We often confuse setting boundaries with shutting people out or being selfish. In fact, more often than not, when you enforce boundaries with people who are not use to having boundaries, it is likely they will react negatively and call you controlling, a b*tch, and other harsh accusatory names. Don’t bend! Why? Because setting healthy boundaries is quite the opposite of what many people believe and can save you a lifetime of drama once you understand the concept.
Setting healthy boundaries means creating limits to protect your integrity, your energy, home, money, health, children, priorities, your relationships, and more. Healthy boundaries, however, is NOT controlling someone or making rules for others to live by.
Creating healthy boundaries do not push people away or control other’s behavior. Quite the opposite of what is believed, creating healthy boundaries for yourself promotes healthy relationships because there is a clear line of who you are and what you stand for (providing true visibility for those who wish to respect you), and allows yourself to give fully from a genuine and healthy place.
So what are some types of healthy boundaries? To start, here are a few that I’ve found helpful to remember when dealing with people (work, romance, friends, family, etc.):
* I will not be involved with a person whose words and actions don’t align.
* I will not be in a relationship with a deceitful person.
*I will not give up my passions (reading, writing, yoga, meditation) for anyone.
* I will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind to others or self.
Setting healthy boundaries is actually pretty easy. It’s enforcing them that is hard. We usually know what we like and don’t like (what we allow and what we will not allow). But when it comes to actually following through on them…. we get stuck.
In short: Don’t make boundaries you can’t follow through on. But if they are important boundaries that your personal mental and physical health require, keep the boundary and fight for the inner strength to follow through on creating and maintaining your boundaries. Your boundaries are key to emotional/physical safety, healthy relationships, and a happy life.