There was a time when I wouldn’t speak up for myself. I didn’t know what my boundaries were yet alone reinforce them to another. It didn’t matter whether this was a work, in friendships or relationships.
Looking back I was really concerned with what others though about me that I just simply accepted any behaviour and in most instances left me being really upset with myself. I also found myself resenting people and felt a great discord with them.
What are boundaries?
Boundaries are the perimeter or threshold which you have, and/or need to have, with regards what you do and don’t accept from others. It is the point at which you feel empowered, joyful, at peace and in alignment with your true self.
As boundaries are fundamentally what is and isn’t ok for us, they will differ for each person. As long as your boundaries do not purposefully hurt another, they can never be right or wrong.
- the degree in which we will allow someone into our personal space, physically, emotionally and spiritually;
- the nature of treatment and behaviour that we find acceptable and appropriate;
- what we allow or disallow; and
- how loving we treat ourselves and how loving we can be towards others.
What makes it difficult for people to communicate their boundaries is because they don’t want to offend or upset the other person, preferably upsetting them self. Dr John Demartini, a modern day philosopher, calls this the Law of Lesser Pissers – who would you prefer to piss off, yourself or another?
Most people allow themselves to be pissed off and it is senseless how we will readily upset our own being, allow our self to feel taken advantage of, to be offended or even angry, rather than the possibility of maybe offending another. Noting the word possibility.
Yet too we often think that by not saying no, or telling someone that their behaviour upsets us is a loving thing for that other person. However setting boundaries is act of treating yourself with love and respect, as well as treat others with love and respect.
When we set boundaries let the other person know our threshold. When they know what the our boundaries are it means they now know the limits of what they need to meet and thus how much they also need to give and contribute.
Your willingness to communicate and reinforce your boundaries is also equal to the value you put on yourself. When you have a lack of self worth then you will fail to convey what is ok with you (or perhaps not ok). You are unconsciously giving others permission to reinforce your lack of self worth.
It is important to note here that often we treat others through our own boundaries, i.e. of what we consider to be appropriate. Therefore at times some people don’t realising they are overstepping the mark, which reinforces the importance that we communicate what IS appropriate for us, as it helps another to have awareness of our boundaries.
It is my belief that when we speak from a positive heart space we cannot go wrong and if what is said is done with the right intentions then it is a positive learning opportunity for both parties.
Noting in the instance we say something (with the right intention and in the right way), and the other person gets upset then it is more than likely they have an issue which is coming up to give them an opportunity to own and dissipate.
If we are not clear about our boundaries, then others cannot be either. We need to know our boundaries and honour them, in turn valuing our self. We also need to know which of our boundaries are not negotiable and which ones we are willing to bend & to what degree.
We can take this learning further outside ourselves to others. Know most people are working on their ability to voice their needs, so we are able to tell when we have crossed another’s boundaries by picking up on subtleties, such as when someone withdraws or goes quiet, perhaps they have a rush of emotion, or their face changes colour i.e. reddens.
If you have spent a lifetime of not knowing or conveying your boundaries then this new habit / way of being is going to be like building a muscle, so start small. Also the only way to create connections with yourself as well as others is to allow yourself to be known. Boundaries are simply that way for you to lovingly and respectfully get yourself to be known.
If you are having challenges with allowing yourself to be known then perhaps a kinesiology session would be ideal for you. You can make an appointment with us via: http://www.theinnersageaustralia.com/appointments/