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Boundaries 101: My Basic Plan For Building Strong Boundaries

~Assertiveness is the antidote to fear, shyness, passivity, and even anger~

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I have a way of attracting the most unhealthy people. They always need some kind of serious help and I don’t really mind this to a point. I’m supportive and love to see people make it and do well. I love being a part of a support system (even though I have none to speak of. Which is OK because I’m pretty self-motivated).

But in time these people have a tendency to wear me down and burn me out. I’m not a 24-hour friend I need my space to get back to me. This is one place I have to learn to draw the line. People seem to want to be around me, especially if they’re low because they need that crutch. That one person who seems to be (somewhat) sane in a crazy world. When your drowning in some out of control situation I think you to want to grab onto that steady hand and pull yourself up. The only problem is that if I spend too much time on them and no time on me I become weak myself.

Good site on boundaries:

https://terricole.com/setting-and-enforcing-healthy-boundaries/

psychcentral.com/

To be real honest after looking at this list, I’m not sure my boundaries are so bad. I just don’t enforce them. I give into people and let them take advantage of me.

Signs of healthy boundaries
  • High self-esteem and self-respect
  • Share personal matters gradually and mutually
  • Develop physical and emotional space without letting someone be intrusive
  • Shared power and responsibility
  • Assertiveness. Be OK when someone says no. Be able to say yes or no with confidence
  • Realize that your boundaries and needs are different from others. Keep your feelings, thoughts, needs and desires separate from others.
  • Take responsibility for yourself
  • Make healthy choices.
Signs of unhealthy boundaries
  • Sharing too much too soon or not sharing at all
  • Not expressing needs and wants
  • Taking responsibility for someone else’s happiness
  • No able to say “no” because you’re afraid of rejection or abandonment
  • Lack of identity. Feeling good about yourself based on how a person treats you
  • A sense of powerlessness. Letting other make your decisions. Not taking responsibility for your life.
Types of Boundaries
  1. Emotional-Being responsible for your own feelings. Separating yourself from the responsibility of other people’s emotions. Emotional boundaries help you take insults in stride. Know what you are responsible for and not responsible for. This will free you from other people’s opinions. Protects your self-esteem.
  2. Sexual-I have this one pretty well down. I don’t do relationships anymore. I’ve had so many bad ones and I only attract unhealthy people plus I have absolutely no sex drive at this point. If someone comes into my life I’m going to make sure it’s exactly what God wants! I don’t go to church and all that stuff, but God has been a big influence in my life.
  3. Mental-This has to do with thoughts, opinions, and values. Do you let other people’s opinions change your core values? I do not. I listen to other’s ideas and opinions, but I don’t let it affect me. Less important matters I do let people change my mind sometimes and not always for the best outcome. This is an area I need to work on. Saying no!
  4. Physical-External. Apply to material possessions and personal space. Do you like to shake hands? Hugs? Do you let people use your computer? Do you lend or give things? I’m pretty good in this area also. I don’t overstep my boundaries here. Most people respect me in this area. If they don’t I omit them from my life. I do lend and give much more than I should.
  5. Spiritual-I have this down pretty well. I don’t go to church. I’ve seen too many religious fanatics with more rules and regulations than God! But God is a big motivation, influence, and support in my life. My personal relationship is pretty well in tact and my core beliefs are well grounded.

From this list, it looks like I have to set better boundaries in the physical area most of all. I lend too much and give too much sometimes. A little bit in the emotional area. I let people talk me into and out of things that I’m not comfortable with.

Why do I lack physical and emotional boundaries?

  • I put other’s feeling’s before my own.
  • I don’t feel I have the right to establish limits.
  • I’m afraid limits will affect the relationship in a bad way.
  • My boundaries were never respected as a child so I didn’t learn to establish healthy ones.
  • Fear of rejection or abandonment.
  • Fear of confrontation.

What strategy should I take to establish physical and emotional boundaries?

Assertiveness!

When out of balance you’ll have these two instances:

  • Unassertive-weak, passive, compliant, self-sacrificing
  • Aggressive-self-centered, inconsiderate, hostile, arrogantly demanding

I am unassertive! Terribly!

What is my strategy to be more assertive?

  1. Express negative emotions. Ex: complaints, resentment, criticism, disagreement, intimidation, the desire to have my own space. Refuse requests.
  2. Ask why. Question authority or tradition. Don’t rebel. Clarify how much control you share in the situation.
  3. Deal with minor irritations before your anger builds into intense resentment and explosive aggression.
  • Number three is the one I have to focus on the most. I let things go too far until I lose all desire to even bother with the person and cut them off or ignore them.
  • Number one is something I need to address also. I have a hard time saying no. I don’t want to cause conflict even to the point of being uncomfortable with something.

Practice assertiveness using positive self-talks:

  • Imagine the encounter beforehand and decide what you will say.
  • Start with simple situations and work your way up to more difficult matters.
  • Expect emotion like anger or submission. Consider how you will calmly deal with that like explaining your behavior. Stand up for yourself in any case. If they react with criticism accept it if it’s true, “You could be right…” or “I understand how you feel but…”. Listen to their point of view, “What is it that bothers you…”
Actions to take when speaking your boundaries

When establishing a boundary with someone:

  • Focus on their behavior, not their motives that make you uncomfortable.
  • Focus on positive feelings, not resentment.
  • Be firm and unemotional.
  • Look at them.
  • Explain your feelings or motives. “I feel this way because…”
  • Be specific about what changes you would like but be open to change yourself if necessary. Be fair.
  • Don’t set consequences that are impossible. A good example of a consequence is, “If you call me during working hours I won’t answer my phone.”
  • If the person insists on trying to change your point repeat a short clear message, “No I will not lend you $30”.
  • If the situation is not progressing or someone is becoming emotionally charged, address that. Redirect the subject, “We’re getting off the subject…” or “Let’s not get emotional…” or “Let’s be reasonable…”. You could suggest taking a break to rethink the matter.

Tips:

  • Remember if someone does become upset it is not your problem. You are not responsible for their reaction to your boundary.
  • Do not justify or apologize for a boundary.
  • Use practice and determination. You may feel embarrassed, guilty or selfish when you establish boundaries in the beginning do it anyway. Don’t be anxious. Remember you have a right to take care of yourself.
  • Anger, resentment, complaining, and whining are clues that you need to set a boundary.
  • Eliminate toxic people from your life.

How to tell if someone is emotionally comfortable or not.

Emotionally uncomfortable:

  • Stepping back
  • No eye contact
  • Turning red
  • Change subject
  • Short answers
  • Hesitation

Emotionally comfortable:

  • Leaning toward you
  • Long detailed answers
  • Eye contact
  • Nodding
  • Easy going
  • Flowing in conversation

Now that I’ve put it into writing I think making boundaries will be easier than I thought.

I’m excited!

Do you have trouble with boundaries? If so which one and what plan of action would you use to improve the situation? I’d love to help you with a success plan if you need one 🙂

 

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12 comments on “Boundaries 101: My Basic Plan For Building Strong Boundaries

  1. I tend to over share my life when I should keep it private.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do that too sometimes. I’ve gotten better about it over the years

      Liked by 1 person

  2. emmyrosebell says:

    Psychcentral, that place is the bomb.

    Coming from someone who has few boundaries and shares all (I’ve reached a point where I kind of just lay it all out on the table right off the bat to weed through the people faster), this is wonderful to see. I’m very respectful of other peoples’ boundaries, and I’m usually good at detecting when someone is uncomfortable or nervous, but it is so important to be upfront with your boundaries. Indeed, assertiveness is important. And it can be ok to overshare to an extent, as long as you’re confident and chill enough to accept others’ reactions good or bad (because you have to understand that obviously some people are just not going to be all right with that, which is 100% understandable). At the same time, know what to keep to yourself because you got to protect yourself. Even if you don’t care what other people think (like I usually do), you can still set yourself up for a world of hurt you didn’t think would affect you but still does. Some people are totally ok with it, and will even share back, others are very to themselves and not comfortable with other people sharing with them too much. And that’s ok! It’s certainly important to come right out and say, “this is me, this is what I need to do, this is what I am working on, this is what I’m comfortable with and not comfortable with” (either verbally or through actions). Stating those boundaries or acting upon/enforcing them helps everyone out. Now, if only people can be respectful about boundaries, because some people refuse to get the hint no matter what, sadly.

    Lovely piece that got me rambling way too much! But this is really well constructed and an incredibly smart approach to standing up for yourself and your needs. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you like it! Thank-you for the advice. I have decided with my online presence I’m going to be transparent. I’m not too worried about people who judge me but on the same token I know what you mean about sharing at least in the real world. I’ve had to learn the hard way to keep things to myself! When I get really manic shutting up is a hard thing to do!!! I do get a little nervous sometimes about what I’ve written because I know it sounds crazy to like my Facebook friends but I leave it out there if they want to unfriend me fine! At this point in my life I want “real” people in my life. I’m so tired of phony people with shallow motives! I could just puke at the thought of it!!!

      Nice to meet you BTW 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. emmyrosebell says:

        So true it hurts! It is torture sometimes to keep myself from spilling when I’m in mania. It took me quite some time to achieve the friends I have now, and it’s taken some work and pain, still does sometimes, but these are the best humans I could find! The sad thing is, all of us being as young as we are could be moving away for jobs, education beyond Bachelors, etc. That thought is a little scary, because I sure as heck don’t want to start over with new people! But it’s something that could be my reality and I’d have to accept that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve seen through my life that there will be a group of people then I step into a new place and there’s a new group. I’ve learned to focus more on what’s inside of me than who’s around me…Do you know what I mean?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. emmyrosebell says:

        Oh yeah, completely. It’s weird though losing that group. But out of everyone I have always been far more to myself and ready to be completely alone at a moment’s notice. Being raised by doomsday preppers for parents pulls the survivalist out in me like crazy. Hard to ignore.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s awesome!! I don’t know how I got so used to being alone…or have I??

        Liked by 1 person

      5. emmyrosebell says:

        SAME

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Why isn’t Word Press letting me go to your site??

      Like

      1. emmyrosebell says:

        Ummmm I do not know… This is a little concerning.

        So I just clicked on my emmyrosebell name up there and it doesn’t input the correct web address. Bitchpolar is not my domain (will be soon), it’s egsbell.wordpress.com. Sorry for the difficulty.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m following you 🙂

        Like

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