Creating Boundaries

Hey everyone!

Today I am headed off to Chicago for a fun weekend. Hope you are all having an amazing week. And if you aren’t, I hope you are taking care of yourself the best way you know how. <3

Today, I wanted to talk about boundaries. No, I am not talking about a line marking an area. I am talking about boundaries in your life, especially with your relationships. How many times do you say yes to something you would rather say no to? How many times does a relationship in your life do something that makes you feel like “oh, that did not feel good?”

I am at fault for doing these things way too much. I think the problem is that we are too afraid to hurt someone’s feelings so we do what they want. Or, at least what we think they want from us (projection can happen too). This, actually, hurts us in the end, leaving us depleted. We don’t honor our own needs, and this ends up putting us in a negative space. An unhealthy space.

My therapist caught onto this quickly, this difficulty of mine. She would always ask me why I was saying yes to things and people that really felt like a big NO in my heart. Due to anxiety, I act in ways sometimes to protect someone’s emotions, formulating my words to protect their heart. What about my own?

I started saying no to things I didn’t feel like doing, and my heart started to open up. People didn’t care as much as I thought they did! My therapist was sure proud. But, something I am still working on is being confrontational and saying how I feel when it comes to boundaries in relationships. For example, a boundary may be needed if your mom reads your diary and she didn’t ask. Honestly, boundaries can be obvious like this, or way more discreet. Let’s dive in.

WHEN DO I NEED A BOUNDARY?

This is in a relationship when someone is crossing your lines. If you don’t set a boundary, they will continue to cross them. Teach people how to treat you.

There are 2 types of boundaries:

NONVERBAL:

When you feel the need to use a verbal boundary, step back and see if you can do this first. It actually comes in handy quite often! You can show people what you need without even saying it. For example, if someone is always coming into your room without asking, you can lock your door or put a sign up (“sleeping”). If someone is constantly texting you, you can take a long time to respond and show them you don’t want to respond all the time. If someone is doing something you don’t like or is overbearing, do your best to try this first. Make them un-able to cross your lines by formulating your own non-verbal boundary. And, if they keep crossing your non-verbal boundary, you can move onto verbal. Not everyone is as good at picking up cues. Intuition varies.

VERBAL:

Sometimes you have to speak up. This is very difficult, I know. This is where my personal confrontation issues step in and end up taking me down a passive route that doesn’t set the boundaries I need. I think you have to remember that you are responsible for you and your emotions, and if you say things in a nice way, the other person may feel hurt, but can’t really be mad. Well, they can be, but not due to the way you spoke. Be kind, say how you feel and what you need, and if they are upset, let them be. They have a right to feel these feelings and be human!

And remember, once you set a boundary, usually you will need to reinforce it. That may include a couple things. You can remind them, you can thank them as you go along for doing what you asked (so they are still reminded in a way), and you can add non-verbal boundaries with it along the way.

I encourage you all to take a look at your life and where can you set boundaries. What do you need that you aren’t receiving? What isn’t feeling good? Put that strength into your life and show the world that you have a voice. You deserve to be respected to the fullest.

You are a beautiful human that has needs.

XX, Mads

Madison Brandt