This week the topic of boundaries has come up several times. So I thought it would be good to talk about it here while it is so fresh in my mind. Of course, it is important to have healthy boundaries. And remember, it is a Two Way Street with boundaries! So, respecting other’s boundaries is as important as having your own. Boundaries are limits and allowances we set within our relationships & interactions with other humans.
Having healthy boundaries is a practice of self-care. When we don’t have boundaries (or when we do and they have been violated), we lose touch with our Spirit. When we lose touch with our Spirit, our Spirit is not able to lead us (our intuition (inner knowing) is shut down). When our life is not Spirit lead, we experience stress, frustration, wasted time, & we have relationship issues.
Start with thinking about whether you have boundaries. Boundaries apply to all areas of our lives: family, co-workers, friends, clients/customers, interactions with the general public and even with ourselves. Make a list of all the boundaries you have and those you would like to have. A healthy boundary allows you to have self-respect and empower yourself to make healthy choices and take responsibility for yourself. For each of the boundaries that you have, are you respecting and enforcing them with others (and yourself)? Identify and get to know what a violation looks/feels like. Write all this down.
Know that you are entitled to having boundaries. For the boundaries you would like to have but don’t currently, what would it take to implement them (and enforce them)? It is important to be clear and calm when setting boundaries with others. You don’t want to put anyone on the defensive. This will not work. But you are not responsible for other peoples reaction to your boundary setting. In fact, sometimes it might come as a surprise to others. But they will get used to it. 😊
Let me list a few examples of boundary violations to get your thoughts moving:
· Judging others’ behaviors (and giving your opinion)
· Cutting in line
· Asking personal questions where the relationship does not call for it.
· Giving advice when not asked
· Listening to others’ phone conversations (this is tricky with conversations on the bus or grocery line!)
· Not accepting "No"
· Parents trying to force grown children to live according to your desires/expectations
· Asking inappropriate favors
· Telling someone their boundary is not valid or allowed
· Not allowing others to voice their opinion when you have voiced yours
· Telling someone how they feel
· The list goes ON!!!!
Let this list help you have some awareness around your boundaries and your behavior around others’ boundaries. Getting clear around boundaries can greatly improve your experiences with others (and yourself)!