Open Your Heart…but Take No Shit
Boundaries. Otherwise known as the physical, emotional, and energetic bounds within which we invite/allow others to engage with us. Boundaries illuminate expectations and provide structure to our relationships and interactions. As a tangible example, consider driving. We understand that to drive in the US means that we stay on the right side, and preferably, between the lines. We understand that there are speed limits, and signs, and traffic lights that provide information and direction. We understand that there are potential consequences (wrecks, traffic tickets, bad karma) for not abiding those guidelines.
Makes sense in that example, right? Yet when it comes for our relationships, both personal and professional, many of us struggle to define, communicate, and honor our boundaries.
Resentment. Frustration. Disappointment. Anger. Exhaustion. Being chronically at the mercy of other others’ wants and needs. Codependence. Feeling taken advantage of.
Sounds like a drag.
Perfectionism. People-pleasing. Over-achieving. Habit. Extreme discomfort with potentially difficult conversations. Worrying about others’ reactions. Not wanting to disappoint. Not valuing our own worth.
If you haven’t heard this lately (or ever), let me be the one to say: You do not need to move your boundaries so that other people are more comfortable. Period.
Sounds great, right? But how do you begin?
1. Practice the fine art of saying “no.” No comes in many varieties, and it doesn’t have to land like a slap to the face. Here are just a few:
2. Notice which relationships and interactions in your life could be supported my implementing more stable, clear boundaries, and begin defining what that are. Communicating and honoring them can always come later.
3. Take full ownership for the boundaries you create within your relationship. Although you’re not responsible for how others treat you, when you boil it down, creating and honoring boundaries is really about how you treat yourself. And that shit is empowering.