Boundaries are about your integrity, personal responsibility, and maturity. There are a couple of reasons why people have difficulties with boundaries; these are usually (1) how you were raised; (2) fear.
There are three basic types of boundaries:
The goal, in general, would be to have strong, yet permeable boundaries. This means you know who you are and what your rights and responsibilities are, and you allow others to be uniquely who they are, without needing them to be something else to serve you.
How do you figure out what your boundaries are?
“Never make a decision when you are upset, jealous, or in love.” – Mario Teguh
Ultimately, you want to know yourself, your values, and your responsibilities. This exercise will help you identify what boundaries you do and do not have and where change is needed.
Remember this – boundaries are actions you take, not the other person. For instance, if you are tired of nagging your loved one to pick up his/her socks. Stop nagging and put his/her socks in a certain place like a basket, and move on. Don’t mention it; don’t act like a martyr; just take care of yourself and continue on with life.
How to set boundaries:
“What you do is your choice. What I put up with is mine.” – Cloud and Townsend
What to do when you know your boundaries, but aren’t ready to set them:
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart
Sometimes you may know what boundaries you want to set, but for whatever reason you are simply not ready to enforce them yet.
If you find yourself struggling with setting a boundary you know is good for you, have patience and grace. Don’t berate yourself. Remind yourself there’s a reason you’re struggling and you will resolve the issue in due time. In fact, to address this problem, set a boundary like this – “I will eliminate negative self-talk and will be patient with myself when making difficult decisions.”
You will become better at setting boundaries with practice. Keep in mind that boundaries are for you and you do not need to be a slave to them; nor do you need to be concerned with other people’s opinions about your boundaries. You have your own timing and needs, not anyone else’s. Part of the process of boundary setting is empowering yourself to decide what you will do and when you will do it, regardless of other people’s opinions.
“You are the author of your own life story. You have the leading role and get to determine how you interact with your supporting cast and other characters. Without realizing it, you may have allowed the events in your life to write your story for you rather than taking deliberate action to write it in your own voice. What will it take to love your life story to create the happy endings you desire?” – Susan C. Young
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Cloud, H. & Townsend, J. (1992). Boundaries. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Downing, K. (2013). Living and Thriving. Yorba Linda, CA: Changemyrelationship.com.
This content was originally published here.