Boundaries can be some of the most exciting and terrifying things we can impliment in our lives. On one hand its very liberating to put a boundary in place that protects us from ongoing harm; on the other hand it can be scary because we risk aggitating or losing the person we love so much.
Basically a boundary is when we discover where we start and they begin. That is your half of the table, and those are your feelings, emotions and responsibilities – and these are mine. It is a physical and/or verbal barrier that seperates our needs, identities, feelings and issues from other people.
Boundaries protect us.
In counselling, some of the biggest problems people face, are that they feel bad for trying to put in boundaries, or they are confused as to how a boundary works. We either let people walk all over us (nonexsistant) , or we are way to rigid and it stops us from being able to form intimate relations. While these different patterns may have protected us in the past, today they might be stopping us from growing, connecting and living authentically.
When do I put in Boundaries?
It can be tricky at the start to understand when to put in a boundary, and how firm we feel we need to be to support it. ( rigid/soft). But there are some questions we can ask ourselves to see if there is a boundary that is needed:
Am I feeling used here?
Do I feel like a child right now?
Am i feeling resentful or isolated?
Am I angry?
Do I feel scared?
Are my actions promoting healthy relations with others or myself?
If you find yourself feeling these kind of things, you might want to take a step back and consider that there could be a need to put in a boundary in this situation.
How come it’s hard to put in boundaries?
As a professional counselor I can tell you that 2 out of every 4 people that come into the office, have pressing problems that were made worse by not having the right kind of boundaries in place.
There are many reasons why people struggle with boundaries:
Unhelpful beliefs – I have no right to say that, I dont want to cause alot of drama, Im not worth it, its to dangerous
Triggers- We get triggered and we react on our emotions and thoughts
Past – Our parents didnt respect our personal space or rights, it was never o.k to have personal boundaries, We didnt feel we would be included, accepted or loved if we spoke out
Failed boundaries – we tried to put in boundaries and the people in our lives grew more aggressive or they completely didnt respect them
Knowledge – We simply were not ever taught or demonstrated how to use them
We do not put in boundaries because we want to hurt people, we put them in because we want to have full relationshionships with those people, but do not want to get hurt and lose ourselves in the process.
For many people this is not easy, they feel selfish, bad and guilty for speaking up or stepping back; They end up feeling resentful, lonely, little and powerless.
There is help.
Call today and start learning how to have strong intimate relationships that leave you feeling whole and peaceful.
Ken McDonnell 778 846 3569