There are times in our lives when we feel overwhelmed. Too much is going on. We need time out to process a trauma, loss or event (like the death of a family member or friend), to recover from an illness or we give too much of ourselves and get exhausted.
Taking "time out" to rejuvenate and recover is okay - once you are strong and healthy, then you can give to others again.
Here are the signs which show you that you need to develop some boundaries...
1. Take some time to explore what this is all about - keep a resentment/guilt/anger journal. You will soon see repeat patterns and discover what your boundary really is.
2. Decide what your boundary is. You can always change it at a later date.
3. Make a mantra: "I choose discomfort over resentment". Yes it is uncomfortable to say "no" or ask for what you want - but its better than feeling churned up inside or resentment for days on end!
4. Rehearse: "My plate is full" or "Im sorry I cannot take that on" or "Ill have to let something go in order to do that - what shall it be".
5. Then express it to the person concerned in an assertive, calm but firm way. Be courteous – it is a request! However if that person persists in pushing your boundary state it again and this time communicate the consequence if they continue to do it. The consequence must be something you are prepared to carry out.
Learning to communicate our boundaries takes practice and skill. I particularly enjoy the Non Violent Communication method by Marshall Rosenberg (yes there are teachers in NZ) where you learn to express yourself via feelings and needs.
Some of this blog is copied from http://psychcentral.com/lib/what-are-personal-boundaries-how-do-i-get-some/