Often the more you have been through, the more you understand others and their own situations. This is both a blessing and a curse. Where you can fall down, is where you can become someone who gets taken for a bit of a ride if you don’t have any boundaries set in place. It’s good to understand people have ‘off’ days and that everyone makes mistakes. You know that nobody is perfect. You’ve gained the wisdom. But others may not be there yet. To ensure you don’t get taken for granted or end up feeling devalued, you may need to set some boundaries.
As life goes on, we tend to lose sight of our own limits and values. We have so many outside influences that bend and shape who we are to suit the outside world. We people-please so much that in the end, we don’t even know what our own boundaries are.
Boundaries can be applied to every area of your life. They could be
- Personal boundaries of what you won’t participate in
- What you won’t tolerate in a job
- What you won’t accept in your relationships
What I love about boundaries is you openly state what you will and will not put up with in life. They’re not an attack on another, they’re simply your limits that cannot be breached. There are three key points to finding your boundaries.
1. The first point is to list out what your limits are. Consider what you can tolerate and what pushes you too far. What stresses you? What will you not accept? What are you willing to let slide? Write these down somewhere where you will be reminded, as it’s easy to forget your own boundaries. Boundaries can be what you will not tolerate, how we won’t be spoken to or just general things we aren’t willing to do. It’s important that when you enter a relationship that you clearly let your partner know about your boundaries. This records what your deal breakers are. Encourage them to do the same and you’ll be setting up the foundations for a healthy relationship.
2. The second key point is tuning into your true feelings. This can be quite hard as many of us adapt to our environment and sometimes lose our true selves in the process. To find your true feelings, we have to look back over difficult situations in our lives and look at what has really bothered us. What has caused you the most emotional upset? What parts have you not forgotten? Where have you not spoken up when you wish you had? If you have found yourself uncomfortable in a situation where you feel overly distressed, it’s likely your boundaries were breached.
3. The third point is talking to others about boundaries they have set and how they went about them. This point is important because on so many occasions we don’t want to be seen as extreme or unfair, nor do we want to be seen as weak pushovers. It’s good to know what limits others set. This will help us to get a sense of perspective on where to set our own boundaries, while at the same time finding our own versions. Remember, everyone’s boundaries will be unique.
If you haven’t figured out your boundaries, there is no need to be concerned. Many of us are still finding boundaries, adapting them and learning. The most important thing is you try to remain true to yourself as much as you can.
Remember that it’s always okay to say ‘no’ and to look after yourself first.