Updated: Feb 10, 2021
Focus of the month....
Boundaries are driven by awareness, discipline, and desire as well as respect of self and others.
By setting boundaries, we are consciously working towards standing firm in our values and taking responsibility. We deserve goodness and greatness in all relationships (people, places, things, experiences) we engage in.
When creating boundaries, we should ensure that there are some gates to let in the good things while also keeping out the things we don't prefer or are not healthy for us.
Boundaries help to define us and give us a sense of ownership of our psychological safety and well-being.
These exist as the limits, rules, or expectations we set for ourselves within relationships. Many are inherent and exist quietly within us. We may not have named them or spoken them overtly, but we know they are there by how we feel when they are crossed. We may get sensations of tension, anxiety, discomfort, or even feel confused mentally as we try to decipher between what is happening and how if conflicts with that "boundary" that is naturally occurring within us.
Practicing acknowledging boundaries before they are crossed can be beneficial... Being able to name them, create them, reinforce and respect them is essential.
A boundary is the space between where you are and where the other person is; where you begin and where the other person ends. Boundaries take care of you and others.
Know your limits: What is important or valuable to you? Trying to please everyone can lead to burnout and resentment.
Listen to your emotions: Our bodies give us the information we can use. It gives us signals when we are nearing a boundary or limit. Maybe your breathing shallows, your jaw tightens, or fists clench. Honor what your body is telling you and take some time to eplore what natural ocurring boundary is there.
Develop your self respect and desire of respect for others: You can observe your and the other person's body language. When in doubt/unsure, ask yourself or the other person "What is this experience making you feel?" Adjust as requested and needed.
Be assertive: You don't have to explain yourself, and a simple "no" when needed is good enough. Other times, a conversation is needed. Maybe practicing a template of gauging the conversation is helpful: "When you _____told your friends about what was going on with my health___, I felt _____embarrassed and betrayed____. Please don't ____share things about me without my consent____. My ____privacy____ is important to me"
Know your values: What is important to you? What are some moral views on your daily functioning and being that guide your way of life and being? These guide your actions and attitudes.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable: If being this assertive is new to you, you may feel awkward, scared, guilty, or nervos about addressing a personal limit. Allow yourself space and time to build your confidence and practice building your threshhold for the discomfort you may be feeling. Ask for support as needed.
Take space: If someone crosses your boundary and you feel off guard, offer yourself permission to take space and come back to the conversation later once you have had time to reflect and recenter. "I need some time to give more thought to what just happened. I would like to plan to come back to this in a few hours/days."
Be flexible: Boundaries may shift over time based on conditions of your life and the evolving of relationships. Be sure to check in with yourself from time to time. If they are too rigid or too loose, maybe something deeper is going on that may deserve your attention.
Be prepared: People may react poorly to your bondaries. Those who are abusive, manipulative, controlling, or have unhealthy boundaries themselves may be triggered when you set a boundary. You can maintain and express them with compassion, but it is not your responsibility to make it okay for them.
Follow though: Cultivate clarity around what you want to do if someone disrespects your boundaries. Choose what you are willng and ready to do and be firm about.