Honour the agreements you create to protect yourself and enhance your well-being.
Why are Boundaries Important?
We don’t leave our cars unlocked for people to tug open the door handles at any opportunity. We don’t leave the doors in our home ajar for people to come in and out as they please. We don’t have open bank accounts free from password protection. So why would we leave ourselves open, vulnerable, and absent of boundaries?
Boundaries are the physical, emotional, and mental limits we set to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. Boundaries allow us to separate who we are and how we feel from the thoughts and feelings of others.
Signs That You Have Poor Boundaries:
- Your relationships tend to feel dramatic
- You have a hard time making decisions
- You have a hard time saying no to people
- You feel guilt and anxiety when you stand up for yourself
- You over-share personal information early on
- You feel like a victim in relationships
- You feel resentful or annoyed in relationships
- You don’t feel respected; you feel like a doormat
- You make passive aggressive comments
- You are terrified of being rejected or abandoned
How Do We Establish Personal Boundaries?
The first step to creating and maintaining boundaries is recognizing that you are responsible for yourself. You can accept or walk away from unacceptable behaviour. Your boundaries permit what you deem as acceptable. You need to realize that you have a right to boundaries. Expressing what you need is not only your right, but how you can preserve your integrity and take control of your own life.
Why Do We Break Our Personal Boundaries?
Low-self esteem is the main reason for broken boundaries. If we believe other people’s feeling are more important than our own, we will consistently put them first and allow our mental and physical health to deteriorate.
People with a low sense of self-worth tend to derive their esteem, confidence, and well-being from the approval of others. These people tend to feel important when they are needed. This is why people with low-self esteem will break their boundaries to accommodate for the needs of others.
The approval of others becomes a necessity for this archetypal personality, when people dislike or reject them, they feel as if their own sense of self worth has been directly affected and taken a hit.
What People Without Boundaries Fear
- Scared that the person will become angry with us
- Scared they won’t like us
- Scared the relationship will end
- Scared we are not good enough
How Can We Improve Our Boundaries?
Say no more.
Being loving means being honest, authentic, and courageous. It does not mean hiding how we feel, doing too much, and being resentful or passive aggressive to get what we want. Saying no to more, allows us the agency to stand up for ourselves and take care of our needs before another person’s needs.
Determine your deal breakers.
What are your lines in the sand? If you told yourself you would never tolerate someone cheating on you, but then go back to them, this is a broken boundary. Determine the behaviours you are willing to accept and the ones you know you have to walk away from.
You are responsible for yourself. You have value and with this value comes the responsibility to know what you need and want. The next step is asking for it. Make decisions for yourself. You are not a victim that needs to be rescued. You don’t have to be a victim anymore.
Ponder what you need in your relationships, whether it be at work, in friendships, family, or romantic partnerships. Next time you feel the discomfort of a boundary being crossed, speak up for yourself. You can communicate to the person verbally:
“When you ____ , I feel ____ , and I need _____.