No Boundaries? Here is How You Can Exert Your Boundaries With Others!
Updated: Jan 15
This week is the second part of our boundaries series. Last week we started with why boundaries are important we talked about making a list of your non-negotiables and a list of what irritates or gives you a feeling that does not sit well with you. If you have no boundaries, I urge you to go back and read/watch last week’s episode so you can start from the beginning. Today, we are going to talk about what happens when you have no boundaries.
WHEN BOUNDARIES ARE CROSSED
When your boundaries are crossed there are different paths you may take to address it. For example, when you are catcalled in such a way that is inappropriate, your boundaries have been crossed. You could ignore it or confront the person who is violating your boundaries. How does it affect you? Are you internalizing it or are you letting the world know? It is important to choose a method to address it in the best way that serves you. Violations do not always mean that something inappropriate happened to you but it could be something like being left out of a meeting that you were supposed to be apart of or not having a minute to yourself. No matter how your boundaries are violated it will affect you emotionally and mentally and if you continue to operate with no boundaries, stress is bound to set it.
HOW TO EXERT YOUR BOUNDARIES
The first step is recognizing when your boundaries have been crossed. Sometimes it is not so black and white depending on the circumstances. When boundaries are crossed by people you are close with you may have some blinders on and very well have no boundaries when it comes to them. That does not mean they have a free for all and you have not been affected it just means you have not set those boundaries. Boundaries can be physical too. Have you ever stood in line at the grocery store and you can practically feel the breath of the person behind you? They could be crossing your boundary by standing too close for comfort. There are ways to exert your boundaries in a healthy way and in this case, you can politely ask the person to not stand so close or possibly allow that person to go ahead of you. It can be something as big as ending a relationship with a person who does not serve you. Remember, there are healthy ways to address when boundaries are crossed.
Use words in a manner that they are intended for: When walking past someone, instead of “sorry”, say “excuse me”. You say sorry when you do something wrong and walking or squeezing by someone is not wrong.
Stand your ground: That sounds great, but it’s not something I can commit to right now.
Allow yourself to show up as your best self: Could you please let me know when you arrive so I can be prepared”
It is okay to take time for yourself: I hear what you are saying, but I need to take a break from this conversation right now”
It is okay to demand respect: I understand you are upset and if there is more yelling, I will need to take some space
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: GO FROM NO BOUNDARIES TO BOUNDARIES SET
When you start to recognize your boundaries, when, and how they are crossed you need to examine the situation and ask yourself honestly, was this the first time? If not, why did you let it happen the first, second, third, etc... time? Take responsibility for having no boundaries and that will set you up to be accountable for setting them moving forward. Having a healthy communication with yourself and others will allow for healing. New boundaries can be challenging to enforce with old relationships, but not impossible. Start with smaller asks where you can start to feel into space and confidence you need to thrive. Then work your way to the harder ones that are non-negotiable.
Now's a great time to look within and identify your responsibility in the relationships, but also how you can practice forgiveness to self and others and start living in a way that's more aligned.