When our lives lack solid personal boundaries, we are more prone to let people, situations, and circumstances cross the line and infringe on those things that are precious to us.
Good boundaries protect us from manipulation, shaming tactics, and guilt trips. Healthy personal boundaries resist the voices of those who want to keep bound in people pleasing activities. They challenge us to be courageously vulnerable by risking a confrontation with others.
By definition, boundaries are confrontational. They are lines drawn in the sand which let others know how far they can go with us. They stabilize you and ground you. They are not about being selfish but about self-care.
- Reinforce your own self-worth and leads to improved self-esteem and more self-respect
- Effectively communicates what you need in a thriving relationship
- Gives you the freedom to honor your best yes and to prioritize your priorities
- Empower yourself to make healthy self-care choices
- De-value your self-worth and leads to insecurity
- Opens the door for manipulation and emotional abuse in relationships
- Creates people-pleasing tendencies and an inability to say “no” for fear of rejection
- Weaken you by leaving you to feel powerless in your own life
When we have weak boundaries, we open the door to hurt feeling and increasing insecurities when it feels like people don’t understand us. It’s very difficult to see healthy growth and mutual respect in any relationship with weak boundaries.
Who or what consistently crosses the boundary lies in your life?
Some of the nicest people I know are the ones with no personal boundaries. You know these people. They are the first person you call when you need a favor because you know they will not say no.
Unfortunately, these same people are often the ones who feel the most unappreciated. They often feel others don’t care about their needs or their feelings. Why do they feel this way? Because others are consistently stepping across their personal boundary lines.
No one will protect your personal boundaries. You alone must create them and enforce them. If others are trampling across them, it’s often because they don’t know what they are or they have been allowed to cross them before without consequence.
3 Must-Have Boundary Tools
Identify Your Personal Lines
What can you tolerate and accept? What makes you feel uncomfortable or strained? Allow your feeling and responses to different situations to help you understand where the lines are. If certain situations make your feel resentful or angry, evaluate why you feel this way. Often it’s because those same situations are crossing your boundary lines and by doing so cause you to feel mistreated. Look at every area of your life and begin identifying your boundary lines in every area including emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Speak Truth Always
It’s not enough to just create boundaries, you actually have to follow through. Enforcing your personal boundaries means always speaking your truth, even at the risk of making someone unhappy. What would be better- an honest no or a begrudging yes? Be direct in upholding your personal boundaries. Respect your own personal worth and values enough to share how you feel without guilt or shame for honoring your limits. Give yourself permission to safeguard your boundaries. Doing so will ultimately strengthen not only your relationships but health and happiness.
You do not have to explain your boundaries. They are personal and often based on many things including your past pains, your childhood experiences, and prior relationships. As stated above, your only obligation with your boundaries is to set them, voice them, and enforce them. You do not have to justify them or rationalize them to anyone. People will test your boundaries. Expect this, but don’t get pulled into their emotional manipulation to make your feel bad about having boundaries. You are not responsible for how anyone reactions to the boundary you are setting. Stand firm and clearly express that this is a personal decision that is best for you. Simple as that. Definitely, don’t confuse the situation by apologizing and making someone think you are sorry about respecting your own needs.
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