A Quick Guide To Setting Boundaries
Whether your boundaries are being breached or you don’t know what a boundary looks and sounds like. This quick guide to setting boundaries will help you find your way.
One of the top questions I’m asked is regarding boundary setting. I was someone who grew up around individuals who had no boundaries. As I grew up, I consistently felt disrespected, hurt and taken advantage of. I didn’t know what a boundary was for a long time until those emotions became too much and I learned. I can tell you my path to setting boundaries was not an easy road but it was a necessary one.
When you grow up with no example of boundaries, you probably don’t have them. However, you’ll know you want them when you find yourself feeling these ways below.
Emotions Indicating You May Need a Boundary:
- Taken advantage of
- Like you’re in lopsided relationships
- Like you’re over-giving
- Not heard or understood
- Like you deserve more
People who do not have boundaries struggle to respect yours.
Why is that? Because they simply don’t know how to.
We extend what we practice with ourselves. If we have none with ourselves, how could we possibly know how to respond to someone else with them. We wouldn’t. It would be foreign.
Boundaries are not a one and done type deal.
I know from experience, both professionally and personally, that healthy relationships require you to consistently communicate on your behalf as you grow and change. Boundaries are something that are necessary to set moment to moment each day. Therefore, healthy communication and boundary setting work hand in hand and you will often find me posting on both those topics at once.
I created a quick guide to setting boundaries that will help you below.
A quick guide to setting boundaries:
1). You recognize you are feeling disrespected, angry, annoyed, frustrated, hurt, anxious or any negative emotion leaving you feeling/believing you are powerless. Your first step is to acknowledge that emotion’s existence. Validate it. Feel it. Put a name to it, “I am feeling angry about _____.”
- Step 1 is important because you are being honest with yourself. Those unable to be honest with themselves are unable to be honest and transparent in their communication with anyone else. You have to be capable and willing of admitting to yourself when you are hurt or upset.
2). Now you are aware that the emotion exists. Get clear on how you desire to feel. Getting clear looks like you speaking aloud or writing down what you prefer to feel in this situation or how you prefer to be treated.
Above all, getting clear is all about what YOU WANT!
- Answer these questions for yourself: How would I like to feel? What do I want? How would I prefer to be spoken to? What would make me the happiest here?
- Additionally, this step is going to bring up any type of worthiness struggles you may have and/or any negative and limiting beliefs you hold about what it is you deserve, desire and want. This is something I work through with you in one 60 min session .
3). With your newfound clarity, reflect on these questions: Do you feel something needs to be communicated to another person or do you feel a different action step must take place?
- Action follows a change of thought. Taking any type of action before working through the negative emotion and changing the negative belief, is you reacting and not intentionally acting. This will not serve you. However, it will provide you an outcome you do not desire. In other words, you could end up feeling regret, remorse, guilt or like you’ve left words unspoken if you act before truly processing your emotions here.
BOUNDARY PRO TIPS:
- Practice communicating from the “I” perspective.
- You are not here to attack anybody or try to control them.
- Boundaries are not an ultimatum or a threat. They are for communicating what you’re available for. Remember that setting a boundary is to respect and honor you.
- Boundaries teach others what you are available for.
- Therefore, without them, you show people what you are willing to tolerate and put up with.
- Reacting by yelling, attacking, blaming, blocking is not setting a boundary.
- Blocking may be something that has to happen AFTER you communicate and it is continually breached. However, blocking prior to communicating and processing your own emotions is a reaction, not a response.
- Your first boundary with one person (is usually not) the last boundary you must set with them.
- If you’ve acted one way with one person for years, it’s going to take practice and consistency on your part to reteach them how to treat you now.
- Understand and stay committed to your end game. That end game is you feeling better. Staying aligned with that will provide you more compassion and patience for everyone in this process.
- Boundaries that are continually breached must be reset a bit firmer each time.
- I tell clients to ‘remove the margin of error’ each time you reset it. In other words, tighten up the boundary with that individual if you’ve been a bit lenient and it isn’t being respected the way you want.
“It’s not your job to hold others accountable. It’s your job to be responsible for you and what you do.”
– Amy Fiedler