Boundaries. I have had more conversations about boundaries recently than I can even count. It seems like so many of us, myself included, are dealing with, refining, and having an opportunity to practice keeping our personal boundaries.
Why do we need boundaries?
To help talk about why we need healthy boundaries in our lives, let’s first take them out of the context of interpersonal relationships. Boundaries in the physical world keep one thing from affecting or hurting another thing. Let’s look at a river and in particular, a river bank. The river bank keeps the river inside the edges of the bank. When the river floods and spills over the edges, it causes significant damage to the surrounding area. The same can happen when we don’t have firm boundaries in our personal lives.
We need boundaries to keep ourselves safe emotionally, physically and spiritually. Boundaries also help ensure the safety of others around us. Healthy boundaries lead to healthy relationships where people know and understand what to expect and what is expected.
Examples of boundaries include deciding how you want people to speak to you, deciding how much sleep you want to get each night, deciding how you want to be treated, deciding how to spend your time, etc. Boundaries like this actually help relationships flourish because healthier individuals lead to healthier relationships.
If you are feeling angry, sad, frustrated, or unheard in your relationships, you might need to look at your boundaries. It could be that those feelings are coming up because you aren’t protecting your boundaries, don’t have healthy boundaries, or the other person isn’t respecting your boundaries.
Why does setting boundaries sometimes feel difficult?
If you are a sensitive person, you care about other people’s feelings to a certain extent. You want people around you to be happy. Setting boundaries can be difficult because not everyone will be happy when we set boundaries. This is especially true if you have not had firm boundaries in some areas or are setting them for the first time.
Setting boundaries is difficult because sometimes people around us aren’t happy with the boundary. Change isn’t easy for most of us. Be patient with the people around you and with yourself. But ultimately setting boundaries will make you and your relationships more healthy.
How can setting boundaries be easier and more effective?
- Get clear on your boundaries. Determine exactly what they are. If you have a crystal clear idea of what your boundaries are, they will not be difficult to set. When you lack clarity, you may only generate chaos by trying to set boundaries.
- Write them down or speak them out loud to get comfortable with them. You need to be comfortable articulating your boundary or you won’t be able to keep it.
- Be prepared to practice setting and keeping this boundary over and over. You will need practice for not only yourself, but for the people around you. Changing boundaries or enforcing boundaries will take some time for all of you to get used to.
- Stick with it. Consider people you admire. I would be willing to bet that most people on your list have very healthy boundaries. Setting boundaries is a good thing!! It leads to a greater sense of self-respect and autonomy and increases the respect of other people when they interact with you.
- By setting healthy boundaries, you also give other permission to keep and set boundaries of their own. This is so cool! By taking good care of yourself, you are helping others learn to do the same!
I hope this has been of service to you. If so, please consider sharing or liking this post. My mission is to spread love and light far and wide, and you can help!
If this is an area you’d like support, you might enjoy a spiritual life coaching session. You can check my availability at brendawinkle.appointy.com. If you don’t see something on my schedule that works with your schedule, message me. I have additional appointments via Skype that aren’t listed.
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Love and light to you!