Editor’s Note: We’re sharing this article, originally published in March 2020, as a reminder of the power of setting healthy boundaries in each and every relationship. system in our lives.
Practice again: No, no, no.
Boundaries, honey! We all need them and we can all benefit from having healthier people. With the help of Jess Doughty, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor practicing at Restorative Living Therapy in Wayzata, Minnesota, let’s break down what boundaries look like, why they’re needed, and how we can better identify them. So, you know, you don’t suddenly burst out with resentment or anger at your child or have a mental breakdown — whatever your choice response to Boundaries being violated.
For starters, what to be boundary?
Boundaries = your limits and rules in a relationship. They can be emotional, physical or mental. They can be hard, spongy or healthy. Think of the line as the line in the sand between what you consider to be acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior.
Boundaries = your limits and rules in a relationship. . . . Think of the line as the line in the sand between what you consider to be acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior.
– Keep a distance from others for fear of being hurt or rejected
– Avoid intimacy and close relationships
– Protection, isolation and inability to ask for help
– Excessive sharing and excessive concern for other people’s problems
– Fear that if they don’t comply with others, they will be rejected
Having trouble saying “no”
– Understand yours personal wants and needs and be able to communicate with them
– Share just enough personal information in the right way — at the right time, in the right place, with the right audience
– Can accept to hear “no” from others
– Don’t compromise your own values and opinions for others
While we all want to have healthy boundaries with everyone in our lives at all times, chances are good that everyone is a combination of all three, depending on the situation. Perhaps you’re hardened into a night of booze, tough on romantic relationships, healthy at work, and a mix of all three with your brilliant family.
How flexible you are with your boundaries is another factor. Doughty thinks of it this way: “Boundaries can have different qualities, from a stone wall over 10 feet high, to an iron fence,” she says. “The quality of boundaries is linked to value systems, priorities, and motivations. That is, I can have a hard and fast rule that I won’t ‘take’ anything from anyone (steel), and even if someone bribes me, my boundaries won’t move (brick wall 10 feet high). There may be other boundaries that act as a guide, but I’m willing to adjust as needed – more fragile like a ramshackle fence. ”
Think about it: What are your rock walls and what are your cocoon fences?
What if we don’t have boundaries?
Boundaries provide a sense of security and expectation that we can rely on, says Doughty. “It’s important to know your limits to shape who you are, what you’re capable of, and simply too much.”
No, your employees shouldn’t text you a trivial business question after work. No, your sister shouldn’t be ignored complicated relationship with your mother. No, you can’t touch me there. No, no, and more.
Trick and hardest part? You must notify your limit. Be frank and tough and polite.
How do you know when you need to set boundaries?
If you are experiencing a rising and sustained level of an unpleasant emotion, especially resentment or anxiety, chances are you have identified a clue that somewhere in your life are lacking emotional, mental, or physical boundaries. Be careful with internalizing other people’s moods and feelings, which may feel empathetic at first, but can actually be a lack of setting emotional boundaries.
If you are experiencing a rising and sustained level of an unpleasant emotion, especially resentment or anxiety, chances are you have identified a clue that somewhere in your life are lacking emotional, mental, or physical boundaries.
How can you practice defining boundaries?
Usually, your body knows best. “If you think about when someone is too close to you, how would you feel?” Doughty asked. “The urge is often to create more distance from the person, hoping they will notice the cues to back off. This is a ‘feeling’ that occurs in us when someone is violating a boundary. ”
We all know what it feels like when close talkers or shoulder-to-shoulder people invade our physical boundaries. Identify the equivalent of feeling when someone tramples on your emotional space bubble. How do you feel when someone pokes your emotional boundary bubble — frustrated, annoyed, fart? Capture that information so you can identify it faster the next time it happens and set and enforce those boundaries.
Maybe there are too many boundaries?
Healthy boundaries = good. There are too many rigid boundaries = uh oh. “We can certainly be over-attached in a variety of ways, which can be communicated as ‘emotionless’ and ‘unavailable’ to others,” warns Doughty. (Sorry everyone I dating in my twenties!) “This can also be conveyed in the attitude that if I don’t feel like doing something, I shouldn’t do it. The reality is that there are obligations in life and it is important to maintain them.
There is also the danger of being too flexible, boundary-wise, in certain areas of our lives and too rigid in others. Let’s say you’re working overtime at the office, no problem, just to be short-tempered with your patient partner. Or if you let your in-laws dominate your parenting style but don’t even consider the gentlest advice from a well-intentioned friend. “As the people closest to us start giving us feedback that they feel belittled, it might be time to look at the boundaries and see if you’re expanding too much,” says Doughty. self-level in one area at a non-zero cost”.
Are boundaries human nature?
“We were made to connect. This is a basic human need that is not conscious but innate,” says Doughty. “Although some might argue this now, history has proven that we need each other for basic survival. When belonging and connection are threatened, especially chronically, we become preoccupied with staying connected at all costs.”
Unfortunately, the price to pay is a self-sensing system that helps us sense when something is wrong, too much, or unsafe. “If we weren’t able to sense these things,” Doughty said, “we wouldn’t know what our boundaries are or how to set them.”
That’s enough. This is to find the limits of your healthy boundaries. And to the occasional porous boundary when we pour too much wine and certainly overshare, because once in a while, that’s okay too.
Megan is a writer, editor, etc-er who muses about life, design, and travel for Domino, Lonny, Hunker and more. Her rules of life include, but are not limited to: zippers on incorporation, cash tips, and contributions to your IRA. Be a friend and subscribe to her newsletter Night vision or follow her on Instagram.