Let’s look at two types of boundaries. Physical and emotional.
Physical boundaries are just that. Your body and your space.
Everyone needs different things in their lives. Defining those things are your boundaries.
Hugging or no hugging? I grew up with very little physical touch in my family. My career in film production was the opposite of that. We worked in cramped quarters with a lot of physical contact. Hugging was the usual way to greet each other. Working in that environment changed me and my level of comfort around hugging. I grew to need it.
One of the hardest things for me during COVID was the lack of physical contact, including hugging. I missed the physical closeness. I was not alone. I joined the masses and adopted a cat in April of 2020. I don’t know the numbers but the animal adoption rate was definitely up during the pandemic.
Physical boundaries also include your office and home.
I like spontaneity. When people stop by my in-town home, I am happy to visit with them. Many times, I am ready for the connection and am thrilled they have stopped by. Other times when I am busy, I tell them I don’t have much time. I don’t feel guilty telling them what I need because they understand the stop-by mentality. I love to stop by my friend’s houses too. I know which ones like it and which ones don’t. Because I know their boundaries I honor them.
Emotional boundaries are all about respecting and honoring your feelings and energy.
We need to put ourselves first. We are the only ones that can do that.
This was hard for me. My mother is a narcissist. She thought only of herself, never took responsibility for her life or actions. Her way of dealing with our emotions was to make us feel like we shouldn’t have them. When I was upset, I was isolated, ridiculed and told I was emotional and crazy.
Thinking about what I wanted was not on the table. I was taught to ignore what I want and to put others first.
I had no boundaries with my family. I took care of them. I changed plans in my life many times as a youth and young adulthood to do what my Mother needed. When I didn’t I was chastised by my mother and family. All because I had a boundary that they didn’t like.
The people that don’t like your boundaries are the ones that cross them regularly.
I had to work hard to learn to set boundaries.
I found without defined boundaries I would tolerate things for a while, but once my limit was reached I was finished. It would have been much healthier for my relationships and my friendships if I had established boundaries. We both would have understood what we needed and when the boundaries were crossed. I could have had deeper connections with those people, instead of just ending them. I could have had healthier relationships earlier in my life.
It took me awhile to understand the value of boundaries for me and the people in my life.
Boundaries are just a guide for you and others in your life. They help you stay calm and happy. They help others know how to treat you.
Remember, without defined boundaries people will still cross them. But instead of you being able to stay calm and open, you will get frustrated and possibly damage your relationships.
Clear boundaries are the way to be kind to you and others in your life.
Now that I have mastered setting boundaries, I am skilled at helping others do it too. Send me an email if you are ready to start your boundary list.