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There is an old saying: “Good fences make good neighbors.” Having healthy boundaries in relationships is important for everyone, especially for people with a chronic condition like hyperhidrosis. Setting and defending boundaries allows you to protect your physical and mental health and focus on feeling your best while living with excessive sweating.
Setting boundaries can be hard. Your friends and family may not be used to you saying no or establishing limits for when and how you are available to them. They may not understand the impact hyperhidrosis symptoms like excessive sweating, anxiety, or skin infections have on you. No matter what, you are entitled to establish the boundaries you need to maintain your emotional and physical wellbeing. Setting boundaries to take care of yourself does not make you mean or selfish – it helps you focus on what you need to do to care for yourself.
Here are a few tips for setting boundaries clearly and compassionately:
After setting boundaries, do not be surprised if you need to defend them. Some people will likely test your boundaries, especially when they are new. Expect some pushback and consider what a good response might be.
Here are some examples of boundary testing and possible responses:
After testing your boundaries a few times, most people will understand that they are well-defended and learn to respect them. If you have allies who understand the challenges of excessive sweating, ask them to help you defend your limits with others. Remember, you don’t need to apologize for setting good boundaries that help you stay healthy, manage your symptoms, and feel your best while living with hyperhidrosis.
Here are some conversations from MyHyperhidrosisTeam about setting and defending boundaries:
"I have missed out on job opportunities because of the sweating. And probably friendships, because they just don’t know how to handle it! I have started a list of help for myself to combat all the situations I encounter!"
"I'm sick of people pointing it out, I mean, I know I'm dripping and bright red. But last night was the worst. This morning I'm feeling exposed and really miserable about it."
"I'm totally fed up with pretending I'm all right so loved ones can carry on with their lives thinking I'm OK."
Have you successfully set boundaries that help you manage hyperhidrosis?
What tips would you recommend to help set healthy limits with others?
Share in the comments below or directly on MyHyperhidrosisTeam.
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