Creating boundaries is crucial for our emotional and physical wellbeing. We often know what our boundaries are, but find that it isn’t always easy to communicate and honor them when the situation arrises. It takes awareness to recognize when we are hesitant or even holding back from communicating our needs and boundaries. There are generally a few reasons why we do not express our boundaries:
Guilt. We can’t say “no” without sensing it would disappoint someone else or feeling responsible for other’s happiness.
Fear. Fear of rejections, abandonment or confrontation.
Unawareness. Many of us were never taught what healthy boundaries are.
Knowing our values and communicating our boundaries keeps us in alignment with who we are. Boundaries are the limitations we set for ourselves and others. They can be both physical and emotional. When we do not honor our boundaries, this can lead to anxiety, depression and in some cases, lead to stress-related physical illness. You will recognize when the need is there to create a boundary because you may be feeling a sense of resentment, anger or you find you are complaining. A physical boundary can be when you feel your personal space is being invaded (the rule: “knock before entering” vs. just barging right in) or someone reading through your personal emails. An emotional boundary can be something like sacrificing your plans, an activity/hobby you really enjoy or even a long-term goal in order to please others. When we make self-care a priority, we are ensuring our wellbeing (physically, emotionally and mentally) is being taken care of and boundaries will need to be created per situation, as it arises.
Here are some tips when you need to communicate your boundaries so you can stay Calm, Focused & Empowered:
Calm Be calm, but firm. Setting boundaries takes some time. Boundaries will continue to arise with new challenges and different situations. Calmly recognize when the need arises. And next …
Focus Keep focus on your “why” the reason you need this boundary. Be direct. Communicate boundaries clearly, but keep it short. You do not owe an apology or need to justify yourself. You are only really responsible for holding respect to your boundaries, communicating your needs. You are not responsible for how the other party reacts to the boundaries you have. Most likely, you will be tested. The other person will most likely make another attempt (especially those who like to be in control or manipulate). Keep focus on why this boundary is necessary for you. It is important to remain firm. Your actions/behavior should match your boundary; otherwise, this can send confusion and mix messages and the boundary you are striving for becomes unclear to the other person and can cause added anxiety/stress to you. And finally, focus on how you want to feel …
Empowered Setting boundaries takes practice. At first, you might feel embarrassed, guilty or even selfish. Your boundaries and needs are different than others, so be strong and determined. It is empowering to create, set and keep boundaries.
So, the next time you find yourself in a situation that requires you to set a boundary, remember to stay calm, focused and empowered.
If you would like to make a positive change in your life, contact me for empowerment coaching firstname.lastname@example.org