HOW TO SET AND MAINTAIN HEALTHY BOUNDARIESApr 12, 2022
So what is a healthy boundary anyway? A boundary is a clear line to protect you from being taken advantage of or causing you to compromise your core values or needs. Boundaries show others how you would like to be treated, with respect. When your boundaries are crossed or you lack boundaries altogether, you put yourself at risk of being frustrated, hurt, or taken advantage of. The clarity that boundaries provide is a positive thing for both parties in any relationship.
Struggling to uphold personal boundaries often comes from a need for approval, love, or acceptance from others. This usually originates in childhood and until it is dealt with carries into adulthood. We are only as needy as our unmet needs. If you have not resolved your unmet needs from your childhood caregivers, you will seek to have those needs met by someone else as an adult. This leads to disappointment because no one else can meet the needs that were meant to be met by your parent or caregiver. Once you are old enough to recognize this, you are the only one that can fulfill this void. It is incredibly liberating when you stop seeking from others what your parent failed to offer you growing up. It is often referred to as “reparenting” and it is your special responsibility as an adult. Check out my blog “The One Way to Love, Miracles, and Your Dreams.”
Setting and maintaining boundaries is essential for a healthy, happy life and it is also one way to build your self-esteem. When you don’t hold clear boundaries you lack a solid identity for yourself and therefore have little confidence. Confidence is built through the decisions you make for yourself and your perception. Check out my vlog “Improve Your Self Esteem & Confidence."
This is when personal integrity comes in. Before you can expect respect from others, you must first respect yourself. Do what you say you are going to do. Show up for yourself. Don’t let yourself down. Stand up for yourself. Do for yourself what you’ve always longed for someone else to do for you. That is a game-changer. Check out my blog on “Why You Break Promises to Yourself and Three Ways to Start Keeping Them.”
How to Set Healthy Boundaries and Maintain Them
- Explore boundary possibilities and why before setting them. Your boundaries should uphold your core values, needs, and wishes. They should protect your emotional and physical well-being, as well as financial, material, time, and intellectual needs.
- Know the importance of your boundaries and be able to explain if needed, but be realistic and practical. Even though you don’t always need to explain yourself, sometimes it can be helpful if the situation calls for it.
- Be clear and specific, for yourself and others, and be assertive if needed. Assertiveness is neither passive nor aggressive, it is clear and respectful.
- Be consistent and own it or don’t bother. If you don’t maintain your boundaries consistently you are telling others that you don’t mean what you say or value yourself.
- Decide ahead of time how you will respond if the boundary is not respected. You’ll know because you will feel it in your body through anxiety, anger, etc. You will lessen the chances of reacting in a less favorable way if you prepare a response ahead of time rather than relying on what you might come up with in the heat of the moment. Check out my blog “Twelve Ways to Overcome Your Emotional Triggers.”
- Toss out the guilt you feel when maintaining your boundaries. If you are reading this, chances are you are looking for guidance about setting boundaries, which means you are probably new and haven’t yet mastered setting and maintaining boundaries. If this is the case it is common to feel guilt or unkind after upholding a boundary. When you notice this happening, remind yourself that you have nothing to feel guilty about, you are only expecting respect from others. If they are unwilling to respect your boundaries, it is an issue of theirs, not yours!
- Revisit your boundaries from time to time, what is working and what is not, and adjust if needed. Life evolves and so do relationships so it is only fitting that we should occasionally revisit our boundaries to see if they are still appropriate.
You’ve got this! Does it feel uncomfortable at first? Yes. But only because it is new and not what you are used to. You are changing the rules on how to treat you to what they should have been in the first place. It is just developing a new habit, the habit of valuing YOU!
Building and maintaining self-love and confidence is an ongoing journey. To begin working with me just click the button below.
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