How do you feel when you do something you don’t want to do? If you are like most people, we are quietly resentful, or sometimes outwardly rejecting or irritable.
When it comes to relationships, going along just to keep the peace or because we are striving to meet other people’s expectations is like slowly poisoning your relationships with arsenic. It is a slow process, but effective at building resentment, hurt feelings the other people often don’t even know about, and often kills them.
So if a relationship truly matters to you, set BOUNDARIES.
Practice paying attention to what makes you feel STRONGER or WEAKER so you can actually discover what boundaries matter to you. If you aren’t making time and space to check in with yourself, you can’t possibly know. It doesn’t have to take long, we are talking seconds to minutes out of a day.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty-
There are different kinds of boundaries
Thankfully it is the same process with each of them, once we are aware a boundary needs to be set, it is the same process to set them, regardless of what type they are or who they are with.
This looks deceptively simple. As some of you may have already clued into, simple isn’t easy. For some of us, even allowing ourselves to be aware that something is not ok with us is a challenge, for others it is stating it or enforcing it. The important thing is to remember why we are bothering to set boundaries when these difficult moments come…
If we don’t set boundaries, we take responsibility for other people’s actions, thoughts, emotions- when those things are actually out of our control anyway. On top of that, when we take responsibility for other people, we usually do this at our own expense. They matter. We don’t matter.
So if there is a question of meeting their needs or ours, we meet theirs, which in the short term seems easier, but in the long term costs us our lives because we are now living for others and not ourselves.
Take a moment to reflect on what kind of boundaries you currently have, and what kind you would like to have?
If you are not happy with where you are, you can start the process today. Follow the steps above and add in a healthy dose of courage and I MATTER. Then embrace the short term discomfort of doing so, and the long term gains of getting your life back! This will be the best gift you can give yourself AND others.