BOUNDARIES: What life has taught me about Boundaries:
Posted on 22nd February 2021 at 17:01
“Your personal boundaries safeguard the essence of who you are and your ability to choose what is right for you in any given moment” – Michelle.
Those that do not like your boundaries, are generally the people that were taking advantage of you!
Setting boundaries isn’t always comfortable and people may push back if you say NO to some things or try communicating your needs more clearly. People may try to test your limits, to see how serious you are about drawing the line. Or they may be used to you responding in a certain way (agreeing to take on everything), and they may push back when you try to make some changes. That doesn’t mean that you’re doing something wrong. It may just mean that you need to be clear and consistent until people adjust to the new way of interacting.
So, the question you must ask yourself is this: What is acceptable to me?
It is worth spending time really clarifying what you are willing to accept in a relationship, it is time that will serve you well.
Personal boundaries help to define a person by outlining what behaviours they are willing to accept from others. Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships not only with others, but with ourselves too.
Why Are Boundaries Important?
Healthy boundaries are a necessary & key skill for self-care. Without boundaries, we feel drained, taken advantage of, taken for granted, or used. Whether it’s in work or in our personal relationships, a lack of boundaries may lead to resentment, hurt, anger, and exhaustion.
Boundaries give us permission to say NO to things if that is our wish.
An enormous & very important part of creating Personal Boundaries is to make them clear to the people in our lives. It is impossible for other people to treat us as we wish, if they are not aware of what we perceive that to be.
So, we must draw a clear line around what is ok for us and what is not. Creating boundaries is a hugely powerful thing to do & promotes self-respect & self-love.
We must respect too, the boundaries of others, realising that while some behaviours clearly cross the line for almost anyone, we all have different beliefs & therefore may have different opinions of what we deem to be acceptable.
When someone behaves in a way that crosses our line, we need to take care of ourselves by letting them know and reinstating our boundaries, leaving room for no doubt.
Boundaries are important for both individuals in a relationship because without clear boundaries, we may feel resentful, taken advantage of and eventually shut down our emotions.
Clear boundaries allow us to remain connected to each other, and shows our respect for the relationship, because we’re willing to put in the work to ensure it stays strong.
UNHEALTHY Boundaries (could be written for me as I was a few years ago!):
• Not expressing your need and wants.
• Feeling responsible for others’ happiness.
• Depending on others to feel happy yourself.
• Weak sense of your own identity.
• How others treat you affects what you think about yourself.
• You allow others to make decisions for you, feeling powerless to stop it.
• You do not take responsibility for your own life.
HEALTHY Boundaries (me now!)
• Know Your Worth & have self-respect.
• Be your Authentic Self. Accept your needs, thoughts, feelings, and desires are different from others. That’s what makes you unique!
• Recognize that your boundaries are different from others
• Share personal information gradually. Do not ‘need’ for someone to know your story.
• Protect physical and emotional space – stand in your own power, in your own right.
• Have an equal partnership where responsibility and power are shared.
• Be assertive. Say what you mean! say YES or NO as you feel is right for you, and respect when others say NO to you.
• Make healthy choices and take responsibility for yourself.
If you are dealing with someone who is physically dangerous or threatening to you, it likely is not safe to attempt to set clear boundaries with them. If you are in this situation, it is advisable to work with a professional in this area.
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