Boundary + schedule
You don’t have to drop everything the second someone needs you to do something.
If you can’t commit to someone’s request at the moment but you could in the future, however, it’s important to be clear about exactly when and how you’ll do that.
“I’m working on something else right now, but I can meet with you at 2pm today to discuss your question.”
Boundary + resources
Part of boundary setting is learning what you can and can’t give to others. There will be situations where you simply don’t have the knowledge or resources to help in the way they need and it’s OK to say that.
“I’ve given all the advice about your relationship that I know. I still want to be supportive, but maybe you’d benefit from talking to a couples therapist about how to handle those problems. I can give you the number of one I like.”
Boundary + alternate solutions
Just because someone tells you something must be done a specific way, that doesn’t mean you have to comply (unless that’s your job). People often get frustrated, however, if you shoot down their idea without offering another solution to the problem at hand.
“I won’t be able to take on that project right now and complete it in the time frame the customer wants. We could extend the deadline or see if someone else can help work on this.”