Boundaries are healthy and they are essential for thriving.
Many people have trouble setting boundaries, it just doesn’t come naturally. Boundaries can be learned and healthy boundaries are something that you want to take the time to learn and implement in your life.
Boundaries are like fences, it keeps in what we want to keep in and keeps out what we want to keep out.
Maybe you are like I was, I never really understood boundaries as fences, I created walls. When I would feel used up and unloved by people, I would build walls in an attempt to hide (protect) myself. The reality was, I was just shutting myself off from community. I had to learn how to engage in community and have boundaries. Boundaries protect, walls cause isolation.
We have 2 little dogs and our yard is not fenced. We have a large lot and they have plenty of room to run around and do their business. But, my anxiety always escalates when I have to take them out, because I never know if they are going to take off chasing a squirrel. I’m convincing my husband to fence our yard because boundaries are safe. That fence would keep in what I want to keep in and it will also keep out what I want to keep out. My anxiety would be low because I would know there is a boundary. The same is true of our personal boundaries, when there are no boundaries, our anxiety is high because we never know what to expect.
People pleasing is a big boundary issue. I know, I’m a reformed people pleaser. It’s so hard to say no to people in fear of not being liked or accepted. Overtime you say a weak yes, you feel overwhelmed, under appreciated and taken advantage of in different situations. Yet, we will continue to put ourselves in these situations over and over again. I learned that people pleasing was a result of 2 things. The first is fear of rejection and the second is low or no boundaries. If we can’t value ourselves, we cannot value other people. Having boundaries is loving ourselves well and loving others well too. My ah-ha moment came when I realized I was living in a state of always feeling like I was being taken advantage of. But, when I would want to say no, I wrestled internally with the consequences of saying no. “What would they think?” We have to understand that when we say YES to something, we are saying NO to something else. For me, I would always change my plans with family to accommodate other people. It was horrible. I was always available to everyone to do everything. People would even say, “If you want to get something done, have Jennifer do it.” While I loved the accolades of feeling important and competent, I was selling my self short of authentic relationships. We can only do so many things well, then other things will suffer.
Protecting Your Peace
Another way we need boundaries is identifying what we let rile us up and take our power of self-control away. When we view stuff on social media and start to feel the need to react and feel riled up by what people post, that’s a red flag that we have very lax boundaries with our self-control. How can someone post something and it steal our joy or peace? Because we let it. We choose what we let in that fence. We have to work hard at protecting our peace.
KNOW WHAT TRIGGERS YOU:
- SOCIAL MEDIA?
- A CERTAIN PERSON?
- PARTICULAR ENVIRONMENT?
PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT TRIGGERS YOUR FEELINGS OF FEAR, ANXIETY, WHAT RUFFLES YOUR FEATHERS?
Then set appropriate HEALTHY boundaries.