I've Had Enough - Reclaiming Your Rights

Sometimes a simple "I've had enough" is important for healing relationships. You shouldn't feel guilty about it. On the contrary, setting clear limits and boundaries can guarantee balance and well-being.
I've Had Enough - Reclaiming Your Rights
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 28 July, 2022

I’ve had enough. Have you ever said this to someone before? Asserting your rights, setting clear boundaries, and making it clear that you’re not going to tolerate certain behaviors or attitudes is important for healthy relationships.

While it’s not easy to be assertive, it’s important to practice assertiveness every day. No one deserves to live in the bitter world of repressed needs.

Fear has many faces. It’s subtle, multifaceted, complex, and often devastating. That’s because fear doesn’t just come from the threat of danger or danger itself. There’s also the fear of disappointing people and worrying that you aren’t meeting other people’s expectations. This fear of feeling that you’re failing other people, this fear of saying “no” when everyone expects you to say “yes,” can permeate every aspect of your life.

If you’re stuck in a life without emotional boundaries to protect you, chaos and disorder take over. To others, you might seem organized, efficient, and caring. On the inside, however, everything is jumbled and disconnected. Your identity is affected and your self-esteem is worn away.

Albert Ellis, renowned psychotherapist and creator of rational emotive behavior therapy, paid special attention to this subject. He thought that one of the most common “psychological monsters” that prevents personal development is the need to do things well for others so they treat you like you deserve. This idea, this habit, is nothing more than a source of suffering.

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”

-Ludwig Wittgenstein-

A wooden fence in the country.

I’ve had enough – train yourself to assert your rights and personal boundaries

Usually, when people get to the point where they’re saying “I’ve had enough”, they’re frustrated, fed up, and have a hard time communicating effectively. That leads to negative emotions, frustration, and anger.

Remember that you shouldn’t neglect your personal boundaries. They’re healthy, not only for you but for the people around you.

Find your “sweet spot”

We all have a sweet spot or comfort zone that makes us feel safe and happy. But what does that have to do with setting personal boundaries?

  • It’s all about finding a balance, a space where everything is “just right”. In that place, you feel good, nothing hurts, and nothing bothers you. It’s useful sometimes to stay there for a while. Not just to feel safe, but because that’s where you’re best able to identify the limits that no one else should cross.
  • When you say “I’ve had enough”, you’re reclaiming a space for yourself. If you go past that point, you’ll no longer be able to find that sweet spot.
  • To find your happy place, you have to set clear boundaries. It’s an exercise in brave self-recognition that takes time and honesty.
  • People often don’t question their own actions and thoughts. In fact, they give in, accept, keep going, forgive, and tell themselves that it’s fine, that it doesn’t matter. However, it matters deeply for your happiness and well-being.

Aaron Beck, a psychiatrist who helped shape cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) often said that a lot of psychological tension stems from these kinds of contradictions. We reinforce wrong ideas, justify the unjustifiable, and forget that our own needs and limits are crucial for protecting our identity and self-esteem.

Setting boundaries by saying I've had enough.

Reclaim your rights without guilt

Very few things are as important for your psychological well-being as being faithful to your own principles and making sure your life is free of contradictions. Thus, saying “I’ve had enough” whenever you need to shouldn’t be painful. You shouldn’t feel guilty about setting boundaries. On the contrary, setting boundaries is important for having healthy relationships.

You also shouldn’t forget that finding that sweet spot where you feel protected and safe is the only way to guarantee your well-being. When you feel good, you’re more available to help others and create meaningful and lasting relationships. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Studies such as this one conducted by Dr. Rita Ellen Numerof at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom found that exercising assertiveness every day is good for your physical and mental health. It can also improve your overall quality of life. We’ll say it again and again: setting boundaries and asserting your rights is important in every aspect of your life.

Try to set boundaries without feeling guilty or scared. Not only will you improve your relationships, but you’ll be investing in your own health.

These kinds of things take time and a lot of personal work. You have to stop reinforcing fears about what people will say or do if you assert yourself and say “I’ve had enough”. Make an effort to make these kinds of changes and you’ll be amazed at the results.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.