Boundaries are about you and are a guide for how you want others to treat you. Boundaries can be hard for people to set. Let’s look at some of the barriers to setting boundaries.
What is stopping people from setting boundaries?
First, we were never taught to set boundaries.
As children we are told what to do. These are boundaries others set. We are taught to honor their boundaries but never taught how to set our own.
Boundaries are about what we want and need. We can feel guilty asking for what we want.
In my family, I was taught to take care of others. Basically, I was taught that others’ feelings and needs were more important than mine. I have needs too, we all do. I needed to look out for myself. I needed to start treating myself better, instead of ignoring my needs. I had to change how I thought about myself and how I treated myself. I started by treating myself like I would a great friend. It was a practice and it took time but I got there.
Another reason people don’t set boundaries is that they are afraid of how others will react.
There will probably be push back. Change is hard for everyone. When someone is used to doing something one way and then they are asked to change, they will react. It will be ok. They have boundaries too.
How you tell them about the boundary can make a difference.
I just got a kitten. She has been testing my boundaries. She is new in the house and doesn’t know all the rules yet. Instead of yelling at her, I am just telling her no in a kind way. I am keeping the thought that she is just learning and this is her way of finding out the rules. We didn’t give her a list, just like others in our life don’t have your list either. It is when they cross a boundary that they end up finding out about it. If you are clear, non-apologetic and kind most people will be fine. They want to know your needs. The ones that don’t might not be the right people for you.
Fear of abandonment is the biggest reason we don’t set boundaries.
I set a boundary with a friend and never heard from her again. I was hurt at first. But I didn’t want to be treated the way she was treating me. I was honoring myself. I had to decide what I wanted in my life. I decided that how I treated myself was the most important thing.
This lesson was difficult for me. My mother is a narcissist. It has always been about her, never about anyone else. I do not want to be that way.
For many years I did the opposite. I put others first and didn’t take care of myself. Finding the balance took me time. I have a nurturing nature. I learned balance, to nurture myself along with the other people in my life.
It took me time to discover all of this because I didn’t have anyone helping me understand what was happening. I read plenty of self-help books and I got counseling. These things helped.
I understood the ideas. But it wasn’t until I got a coach that my life truly changed. It is all nuances. My coach was able to point out my issues and help me change.
That is what I do with my clients. I help them see the thoughts that are keeping them stuck. And I help them change them.
If you are ready for change, set up a free consultation call.