boundary setting: time to learn about or polish up your boundaries
time to learn about or polish up your boundaries
Boundary setting is all about what rules, rituals, goals, guidelines or limits you want to set for yourself in regards to your personal and/or professional life. They are closely linked to a sense of being safe, and to a sense of what is perceived as reasonable. This might look different for everybody, but the general guidelines for beginning to boundary set are very similar for all (even for those who appear to not have any or for those who may need a helping hand to put them in place), as everybody needs to have boundaries. This is where it gets juicy because some people don’t know their own boundaries or have a self-awareness around their own and the subsequent impact these may or may not have on others (cue eating and talking at the same time and everything that comes with this as an example…I don’t know about you but I can’t understand someone when they are talking to me while showing me their lunch and spitting it everywhere!??!). This is why boundary setting is so connected to the personal, no matter what situation you are in, as they are closely related to behaviour and excepted behaviour.
This month on the blog I’m going to focus on boundaries and the setting of boundaries - what these look like, what they can be, as well as share some ideas and some experiments that I’ve been working on in regards to boundaries.
An article in the magazine Psychology Today reminds us that “the ability to know our boundaries generally comes from a healthy sense of self-worth, or valuing yourself in a way that is not contingent on other people or the feelings they have toward you” (Bockarova, 2016, para 3). I’m not sure about you, but for me boundary setting is something I have had to learn, and continue to learn to do, as I become more confident with my why, values and how I wish to be treated and treat others. Boundary setting when I was a young girl was not something I was taught, nor was it something that was talked about, yet as I am sure you could do as well, I could share many indoctrinations growing up when my boundaries, and those of others, were certainly not valued or considered. Although this is positioned in the past, it does impact how we view the act of boundary setting in the now.
So no matter what age, gender, or background you are, there is no time like right now to learn about or polish up your boundary setting. As we come at boundary setting with a sense of curiosity think about about what your boundaries will be like in terms of the worth to you (self-worth) and how they can contribute to your awareness (self-awareness). Think about this from intellectual, emotional , physical, and social worth underpinned by a mindful stance, that is being aware of your needs.
As you extend these ideas further, here are some simple guidelines to help you begin to set boundaries:
- Know your limits. Clearly define these for you and be aware they can be different according to the environment, your role and situation. Underpinning these boundaries are connections to your values and a sense of being present and planning for the future, don’t get caught up on pondering about the past, rather have a moving forward philosophy to allow you to grow and learn.
- Communicate your boundaries, but be mindful in how you communicate and action these, as assertiveness does not have to be aggressiveness. Also remember your enactment and communication of boundaries can be foreign to others, so you may have to educate them on the why and how for you…and who knows, they may respond with curiosity.
- Practice makes perfect. Be kind to yourself as you explore and apply them. And come from a space of curiosity that enables you to observe what happens to you, and others around you.
So what boundary are you going to explore and experiment with that will help you be the best version of you that you can be?
Bockarova, M. (2016). 4 Ways to Set and Keep Your Personal Boundaries... and how to get yourself out when all efforts fail. Psychology today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/romantically-attached/201608/4-ways-set-and-keep-your-personal-boundaries
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