What are these boundaries that people talk about? We have them, we don’t, what are they?
Boundaries are like invisible lines that you as an individual have based on your own needs to allow you to:
1. Look after yourself.
2. Determine what you will and won’t accept in terms of how others treat you, treatment of yourself, how you treat others, living your life and achieving goals.
While the definition above is a very brief one, let’s explore this concept more so that you can go away and explore your own boundaries.
We need to consider what we will accept in regards to how others treat us and what we won’t accept in terms of how others treat us and how we respond to this. The treatment can be anything from how someone talks to you, makes you feel, actions and behaviours towards you and about you. Will you tolerate this or will you not? And how you tell someone or show someone will also determine what your boundaries are and how you will apply them. Determining what you will and will not tolerate will show you how you are also willing to treat yourself.
How have you come about this decision and why is very important to consider and review over time. Some people have very strong boundaries and some people don’t and this can be for many reasons. But one thing remains clear, and that is to have boundaries is good and ok. So if someone won’t accept them, then always remember that it says more about them than it does about you.
Some examples might include:
- How you let your co-workers treat you, versus what you won’t accept and how do you let them know.
- How do your children treat you and others and how you treat them and model/teach them to treat others.
- What boundaries do you have with your spouse/partner, and your spouse/partner with you?
- Do you have boundaries with your friends? Do you need to?
- If you work for yourself what are your boundaries around how many hours you will work and how ‘on call’ you are?
- How do you let your family treat you? Have you ever noticed when you have put a boundary in place how people in your family i.e. your parents, siblings, in-laws have reacted?
- And most importantly, how do you treat yourself? Are the actions that you participate in liberating you? keeping your mind and body in good health, make you want to get up each day and face the world with zest?
Why do we need boundaries?
They allow us a clear indication of what we will and won’t accept. Staying true and honest to your boundaries is well worth the effort. Something to consider with maintaining them is that they will sometimes have consequences just like every ‘action has a reaction’. But, when you have sat down and thought about ‘who you are’ and why it is important to you, it is generally easier to maintain those boundaries. Some are very big and you will need to consider the reactions to them and what support you might need to achieve these and that is ok but also stressful, therefore, find the support as you require it. In the longer term however, boundaries will ensure that you treat yourself with respect, that others who you are close to have respect for you and treat you as such, that you have time to consider what is important you and you can aim to achieve this, whether this is aiming to be CEO of a company or maintaining a beautiful home, playing golf once a week, to ensuring your physical, emotional and mental health and safety are a priority on a day to day basis.
Here is a great article on how to set boundaries by Psychology Today ‘4 Ways to Set and Keep Your Personal Boundaries.
Have a great weekend!
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