Do you feel that your life doesn’t belong to you and your personal space is constantly being invaded? If this is the case, you should defend yourself and establish healthy boundaries between you and others.
How does it look like? For example, you are talking with a friend via skype at midnight because it’s more convenient for them. Or you may give your colleague a lift, and he starts smoking the very moment he sits down in a car. You spend a vacation where your husband/wife wants even if you hate this place. You even don’t realize that tart words or jokes about your weight imply that your boundaries are crossed.
Why is it necessary?
Some of us reject establishing distinct boundaries because of the fear to insult others. There are also people who may draw boundaries occupying a part of others’ space. Yet, you should remember that there is a part of you to be protected against any encroachment, a part belonging exclusively to you. We mean your emotional health, your beliefs, the things you won’t let strangers touch.
Setting boundaries, we, in the first place, decide for ourselves what attitude towards us will be reasonable and safe so that it won’t destroy our personality. Boundaries aren’t drawn to make others do something. We set them ourselves; this is how we show that we are responsible for our fate, for how others can and can’t treat us. Yet, for this, you should precisely know who you are and what your true self is.
You understand where you “finish” and another person “starts”. You are responsible only for yourself. This is the start of a healthy personality. It’s practically impossible to manipulate a person who clearly understands their personal boundaries and defines them for others.
Define whether these boundaries aren’t being invaded
The first, basic boundary for us is our skin. Physical and personal space are important notions defining your physical boundaries. Thus, answer the following questions to see if others don’t invade your space. Who may and may not touch you? What space do you consider your personal space you defend? Is there a place at home where you can be alone?
Define your personal level when sexual actions and touches are comfortable for you. Only you define what and when is acceptable. Stick to these rules and don’t be silent when others break them.
What can you give as a present? How much money can you borrow? Do you let others use your car, clothes, flat? Who may be guests at your home? What people do you prefer not to invite? The same refers to your children’s friends: what rooms are closed for guests? Do they take their shows off? Do they eat or smoke in your car? You define all these aspects as an owner.
You are responsible for your feelings, but others are responsible for theirs as well. Don’t let others pour out their anger to you or comment on your weight, appearance, or age. Likewise, don’t do it yourself. Healthy emotional boundaries prevent you from accusing anybody or personally taking somebody’s accusations, feeling guilty for others’ decisions or problems, and giving advice when nobody asks to. Besides, you have to be able to admit your inner emotions without condemning yourself for experiencing them.
What is important for you in life? What do you believe in? You should know these boundaries and realize when they are crossed.
Your values, opinions, and thoughts are only yours. Every individual decides for themselves what they want to share with others and what is to be left unsaid. Can you listen with an open heart to people expressing a different opinion, at the same time sticking to your core principles?
There are other things belonging exclusively to you. These are your words and your time.
Remember that “No” is the main boundary and a complete expanded sentence.
· aren’t established for us by others;
· don’t hurt us;
· aren’t rigid;
· don’t invade our personality
10 laws of healthy boundaries
All actions have consequences
If anybody in your life treated you cruelly, egoistically, or abusively, did you set boundaries? Isn’t it happening again and again without consequences for them?
The law of responsibility
We are responsible for ourselves, not for others. It means we shouldn’t encourage and provoke others’ infantile behavior.
Power is limited
We have control over some things, but we can’t change other people. We can change only our personal life.
The law of respect
If we want others to respect our boundaries, we should respect theirs as well.
The freedom of choice
We should be free to sincerely say “Yes” or “No.” We can’t love a person because we feel compassion for them and have no other choice.
It’s necessary to assess how much establishing our boundaries hurts others. Do our boundaries cause pain that leads to healing and development? Or does it only hurt them?
The law of proactivity
We act decisively to solve our problems based on our values and desires. Proactive people defend their freedom and express their disagreement without an emotional storm.
The law of envy
We will never get the things we want if we establish boundaries based on what others have. An envious person simply doesn’t notice their boundaries considering the choices they have.
The law of activity
We shouldn’t wait until others make the first move.
You should inform others about your boundaries
A boundary nobody knows about isn’t a boundary. We should make others clearly understand what we want and don’t want, what we can and can’t tolerate. Also, we have to make others understand that every time they break our boundaries, there would be definite consequences.
All things considered, to be an emotionally healthy and, consequently, successful person, we have to establish and fervently defend our own boundaries. Informing others about them we define their attitude to us. Should our friends, relatives, or acquaintances mistreat us we should be able to notice this and take appropriate measures so that our inner world would be safe.