We need boundaries so we can be clear about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in our relationships.
When we have healthy boundaries, they should provide a framework for relationships that are mutually loving, respectful and appropriate. Healthy boundaries are when you take responsibility for your own actions and wellbeing, and refrain from taking responsibility for the actions or wellbeing of other people.
If you often find yourself annoyed by how you are treated by a family member, it is likely there is a boundary issue.
Weak boundaries allow:
- People to walk all over you
- People to speak in inappropriate ways in front of you
- People to touch you in ways you are not comfortable with
- People to take advantage of your generosity
- People to expect too much of you physically and / or emotionally
- People to use guilt to manipulate you
Notice that all of the sentences above start with ‘people’. When we have weak boundaries there is often a feeling of these people ‘doing’ horrible things to us. While we stay in this position, we stay in a powerless position where life happens to us and we have little agency.
As we realise, we DESERVE to have boundaries, our self-esteem strengthens and slowly we start to set boundaries and take the risk of disappointing others.
As we shift our boundaries and get clear on what we will and won’t accept in relationships, people ARE likely to get upset. It is part of the process. Expect it.
Tomorrow I will be starting a series of posts on HOW to identify your boundaries, an important part of the process.