Have you been feeling exhausted lately?
Ever feel under appreciated, unseen, and unsupported?
If you do, it may be that you need to learn how to set some boundaries in your life and relationships.
Our relationships need boundaries.
Healthy self-esteem=good boundaries=happy life
The more you love and respect yourself, the more you can love and respect others.
In this day and age, we are living in an increasingly boundary LESS society.
Boundaries, or personal boundaries, can be understood as an invisible shield or fence around you. It’s a line you set for yourself and others that separates you from others and their influence. Boundaries fulfill an important role in relationships. They are the emotional, physical, and mental limits we set with others that determine what we will, and will not, accept.
We are all separate people but we are also interconnected. Boundaries are the space between.
A lot of issues that arise in counseling, relate to boundary issues in a client’s life.
People who lack healthy boundaries are often unhappy. They are more likely to be emotional needy, get taken advantage of, and get treated with disrespect. Boundaries mean not letting people into your life to behave badly.
Good fences make good neighbors.
Boundaries go both ways-you need to extend the same respect to the boundaries of others.
Boundaries give us a framework on how to act. They give us a warning when they are being violated. If someone steps over our boundary, we know it, we feel it, we have a visceral reaction.
Our emotions and thoughts are a compass guiding us–who we want to spend more time with and who we want to stay away from.
We all have the right and responsibility to set limits and create boundaries that work for us. It is up to you to enforce your boundaries.
You need to value yourself because when we value something we protect it.
What are some signs you have poor boundaries?
~Your relationships tend to be difficult
~You always feel a little bit annoyed
~You think others don’t show you respect
~Your relationships tend to be dramatic
~You hate to let people down
~You feel other people let you down
~You may be passive aggressive
~You have trouble making your own decisions
~You fear being abandoned or rejected
~You are tired all the time
~You have trouble saying no
~You are easily guilted into things
~You coerce others into doing things
~You struggle with anxiety
~You often feel like a victim (especially to situations that you feel are out of your control)
Boundaries are a form of self-care. They don’t steal your happiness, they protect it.
Healthy people have boundaries.
Boundaries are different for everyone—we are all comfortable with different levels of closeness in our relationships.
Boundaries are largely subjective. What I may be comfortable with you, you may be uncomfortable. Neither of us is right or wrong-just different.
If you set a boundary with someone and they do NOT respect it, they are showing you they care more about their own ego gratification than they do about you and the relationship. If this is the case, while it will be painful to find out, it will lead to greener pastures.
There are two possible outcomes when you set boundaries with people:
~a BETTER, healthier relationship (for both sides)
~you find out the person doesn’t care about the relationship enough to respect the boundaries set forth and the relationship disintegrates (if this is the case you usually feel liberated in the end because you are taking care of yourself)
Ultimately, either outcome, is win-win for you. Boundaries strengthen understanding and connection between both parties. Healthy boundaries are the cornerstone of happy relationships.
Boundaries are fluid and change as we change.
As someone who is naturally a pretty open book, I have learned over the years to be more private. Perhaps this is a natural progression of maturing. On the flip side, you may be someone who is more reserved, who is working on becoming more open with others.
Boundaries are a two-way street.
Just as we want to ensure people respect our boundaries, it is equally important for us to respect OTHER people’s boundaries.
If you struggle with respecting the boundaries set forth by others, causing conflict in your relationships, it would be helpful to take some time to reflect on why.
Unless there’s an emergency, the one screaming is usually the problem.
There are extenuating circumstances when there’s an emergency or crisis. Or if you are dealing with an extremely toxic person. But if you find yourself flipping out on people, blaming or resenting others for your feelings, the first place to look is in the mirror. You and your boundaries are probably the problem.
If I feel strong in my boundaries and you feel strong in yours, we can meet and connect in a healthy way.
It’s important for our mental well-being to have personal boundaries. They lay the groundwork for how we approach relationships. Our boundaries help us live according to our values.
Clearly established boundaries help us to take care of ourselves emotionally, physically and spiritually. Our boundaries help us to become less concerned about how we are viewed by others and more satisfied with the perceptions we hold of ourselves.
If you enjoyed this article and are interested in seeking counseling with me:
Erin Doyle Theodorou, M.Ed, LPC, NCC
THEODOROU THERAPY, LLC
590 Franklin Ave.
Nutley, NJ 07110