Boundaries is a big word. For some people it is scary because they feel if they set a boundary, the other person could be upset. Nobody wants to deal with that. But is it really about them? No. Not with a boundary.
A boundary is about you. It shows people how you want to be treated.
People will be happy that you are telling them. Especially if you are calm, clear, concise and respectful. Do not apologize or over explain. Just say what you want.
This can be difficult if you have never set a boundary before. When it comes to boundaries most of us don’t have much practice.
I think the best way to look at it is as a guide for your life. With a guide you now know what is important to you.
When someone crosses one of your boundaries you just respectfully tell them about it. No need to get upset. They didn’t know your boundary until you told them. You are just giving them information. When you tell them, they get to honor your boundary and they get to know you better. It is a win/win for everyone.
I never was able to set boundaries as a child. We had a bunch of rules but nobody asked what I wanted. I think this is one of the reasons I didn’t have direction in my life.
When I decided to change careers, I was lost.
That is when I started to get clarity about who I am, how I want to be treated and how I want to live my life.
Boundaries are a great place to start.
This is a practice. That means it can be hard at first. So, start small. Start with one, honor it and then add more. It will get easier.
Keep checking in with yourself and see how you are feeling after expressing your boundary.
This is all about you. It doesn’t matter how others react. That is not your responsibility.
I struggled with this for many years. I thought if I set a boundary at work I wouldn’t get hired and would end up with a bad reputation. But I found that to be untrue.
When I told people what I needed I was respected. Most had no problem with my request.
How you tell people your boundary is important.
People bring their own thoughts when they hear your needs.
For example, when I worked in film production everyone that smoked, smoked everywhere when we were outside. Cigarette smoke gives me a headache, shortness of breath and we all know that secondhand smoke is unhealthy. When I asked that they please not smoke around me, because I don’t like it, it was not honored.
I decided I needed a new way to get my point across. I started to tell everyone, including the smokers, that I was highly allergic to cigarette smoke which is how my body reacts.That was the trick, no one smoked around me.
I found a way to tell them so they would honor my request. They didn’t feel like I was difficult or mean when I presented it that way. I was confident when I told them and they respected my boundary without question.
There may be times you may need to get creative to get your boundary honored.
Everyone is thinking about themselves most of the time. We all need to take care of ourselves. Setting boundaries is the way to do it.
Make a list about your needs and wants, set boundaries to get those needs met. And be clam, clear, concise and respectful in how you address someone who crosses your boundary. Remember they won’t know what that boundary is unless you tell them.
Boundaries are just one way I help my clients find their next thing. If you are ready to honor your life and find your next thing.