Boundaries are hugely important when it comes to achieving contentment, being authentic and reaching our goals. Sadly, however, boundaries are rarely taught in schools or talked about in families. Perhaps we can’t blame our parents for not teaching us boundaries because if they weren’t taught them then how were they to know? What we can do now is rectify the situation for ourselves and for future generations.
The different boundary types are as follows:
- Time boundaries. How much time do you spend doing certain things and how long do you spend with certain people?
- Physical boundaries. What physical boundaries do you want to set and for who?
- Relationship boundaries. What are the limits for certain relationships in your life?
- Content boundaries. What information do you want to consume and at what times?
- Personal boundaries. What boundaries are important to you personally due to to things like abilities, strengths, likes, dislikes, physical health conditions, mental health conditions and triggers.
- Conversational boundaries. What are you comfortable talking about and with who?
Hopefully this provides a useful framework for exploring boundaries. I will talk a lot about journalling in this blog because it is such a helpful tool for processing and reflecting (apologies in advance if I bore anyone!) It could be very helpful to do some journalling on each of these areas. Questions you could explore include:
- What currently works or doesn’t work in each of these areas at the moment?
- What are the area or areas that need more work and what could be the reasons for this?
- What are small steps I could take to improve things for myself over the next week?
- Who do I know who has excellent boundaries and what can I learn from them?
If you are considering exploring and working on issues relating to your boundaries CON|GRATULATIONS because it could be one of the best things you have ever done for yourself. If you are embarking on this, please don’t get disillusioned by how new ways of doing things might be received by others. As mentioned at the beginning of this post many of us are unaware and uneducated when it comes to boundaries and people probably won’t be aware of what you are trying to do. Some may also have the incorrect and damaging idea that setting boundaries is selfish. This is absolutely not the case. In many ways setting boundaries is not only kind to ourselves but kind to others too. For instance, what could be better than being clear and direct and letting people know where they stand? Furthermore, setting our own positive boundaries encourages others to do the same.
Additionally, what shouldn’t be ignored is that there may be people in your life who may benefit from any insufficient boundaries you may have and they may resist any changes they view as unhelpful to them. This may not be conscious on their part but it is important to stand your ground. Pushing back on resistance may result in greater empowerment for that person in the future and it will certainly make the way for a healthier, happier you.
I will blog regularly over the next couple of weeks to explore each of the boundary areas in more detail so I will look forward to accompanying you on your journey into boundaries! Good luck!