As a former people pleaser, I found myself at the bottom of the totem poll and not truly being honest with myself or other people. I realize now that I didn't want to hurt other peoples feelings and in the end... harbored resentment for them AND myself!
If someone asked me if I could help them do something that I didn't really have time for or even want to, I would normally say, "Of course I don't mind.... I would love to!" In my head and heart would be another story.
When someone said mean things to me or was trying to embarrass me in front of others, I would laugh at it but inside.... I was devastated and hurt and wouldn't dream of talking to the person afterwards because I didn't want to offend or make them feel bad!
I didn't stand up for myself and I defiantly didn't set boundaries! Was there even such a thing? Before Life Coaching, I would have said, "Nope.... False news!!" LOL
Today, I will tell you that I believe there is such a thing! Proper boundaries come from a place of love and is how you take care of yourself and it's nothing against the other person.
Boundaries are something we create for ourselves and it can literally be life changing! A boundary includes a request you make of someone to change a certain behavior and a consequence of what you will do to self protect if they violate the boundary again.
An emotional boundary is very much like a property boundary...it delineates where one person ends and another one starts. It's a way of "drawing a circle" around our behavior and ourselves.
Healthy boundaries promote self responsibility and empowerment and can actually lead to closer relationships with others. Weak boundaries promote enmeshment and usually lead to distancing ourselves from others.
Here are two steps to effectively set an emotional boundary.
Ask someone to stop doing the thing that infringes on your property (Literally or emotionally)
Tell the person what you will do if they do not comply with your request.
Clear communication is necessary for boundary setting. The boundaries you set are meant to protect you emotionally!
Here is an example: Let's say you have an adult child that yells at you on the phone. You can tell them, "Listen, if you continue to raise your voice at me, I'm going to hang up the phone and when you are calm again, you can call me back. If it continues to happen, I will stop answering the phone when you call."
This ultimately allows your child to choose how they will behave, but clearly describes what you will do if the violations continues. You make the request, give them the option to do whatever they would like to do, and then follow through on that request.
A boundary is not an ultimatum. It's not a way of controlling another person so that we can feel better. This never works and it's completely disempowering and separating! People don't like being controlled or forced.
Others don't have to understand or agree with your boundary! In fact, you should be prepared for that. When you set the boundary out of love for yourself AND the other person, you tell them your truth without attacking or yelling at them!
Setting a boundary requires more courage than simply eliminating someone from your life or continuing to harbor resentment.
Boundaries are the most amazing, wonderful and yet difficult things to implement. They are beautiful tools that can create intimacy in relationships rather than blocking it out. They don't keep people out of our lives, they simply keep people from violating important spaces.
Setting boundaries is about telling the truth to ourselves and to the people in our lives!
Here's your assignment for the week!
I want you to think of one area in your life where a boundary could be healthy and helpful. Write one boundary with the request and the consequence down and practice saying it. (It's like preparing a talk or presentation) When this situation arises, be prepared to calmly explain your new boundary. If you don't know how to have that conversation, know that as your Life Coach, I can help you with that!
I do a free 45 minute session with all of my clients. Are you ready to start setting healthy boundaries out of love?
It's time! It will be freeing, I promise!
Let's do this! Your Life Coach Robin P.S. You can do hard things! If you missed a Monday Motivation and want to read previous weeks, CLICK HERE.