Its sure difficult to set boundaries, I mean where and how do you even start?! First, lets set the basis for what a boundary even is. A boundary is a way to protect yourself from outside sources, "its where i stop, where you begin. " They aren't literal walls, but an insulation of space, that is your own. Setting boundaries is the only way to protect and keep your individuality. In relationships, they must be set, based on each individual. Its time to start taking responsibility for our lives and how we respond to our experiences. Its time to get serious, its wasted time to be a victim to outside sources. This is, of course, easier said than done. We need to really review how a person even defends boundaries, effectively and healthily. Don't be fooled, it isn't mean to set up ground rules, its good! Every classroom has rules and so must every relationship. In the book Navigating Your Mind, Kris reviews six different situations of boundary violations. Lets review:
1. Being too responsible for others' behaviors and actions.
This means taking control and responsibility for another person to gain power over the dependent person.
2. Taking on the feelings or emotions around you.
This is when you blame your moods or feelings on another person. This is the basis of codependency, not being real and responsible for your feelings and needs, but taking on the feelings of others.
3. Pleasing others by being a victim.
Sacrificing your healthy boundaries to be accepted by and invader. Passivity! Refusing to rock the boat to keep others happy.
4. Saying yes when you want to say NO!
Giving time energy and talents to others to be loved. This is based on the fear that saying no, will lose others admiration and love.
5. Unable to express needs or wants.
Too afraid or unaware to ask for what you need.
6. Overstepping other peoples boundaries.
Invader! Many times the invaded person will turn and invade another.
There are a lot of different ways up there to ponder. Think about your own tendencies! I for one, struggle to say no. I can barely choke out a no, I need to go to bed, no I need to take care of me, no I already have plans, because I am so fixated on the lie that admiration and love is based on my answer of Yes. If I get asked on a date, I will instinctively say yes, even if I don't want to go. I fear that if I say no, that person will stop caring about me. That may be true, but it isn't noble or kind of me to lead them on, because frankly Im lying to them! Along with this, I tend to take others feelings upon me. Im so aware of their feelings, that i simply have to give them what they want, or i feel awful. Thats a sick cycle of codependency if you ask me. But one day i became aware of my problem. I was going absolutely 100 mph, i had almost two or three dates a day. This is a dream of many high school teenage girls, but it turned into a nightmare. I had many of my own responsibilities with work, church, family, hobbies, etc. I anticipated my flood of dates would help me feel extra special and loved, but Oh Contraire Pierre. I felt used and exhausted. Realizing that I had turned myself into a tool for other people, I finally understood something had to change. But I was still shy on saying no. I did however have a really great archive of excuses, And usually they were legitimate! I was/am good at pretending like i am always having a great time, but i was running out of fake smiles and laughs. Frankly i was burned out. I knew i had to change, but i didn't want to end up empty handed, until i realized the power over my life, lies in me! I dont need those boys to feel love, i need me to love self... and thats when it busted out of me, NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ENOUGH IM TIRED ENOUGH! NO! YES I CARE ABOUT YOU! NO I CANT BE EVERYTHING FOR YOU!!!!!!
Its still really hard for me to say no OUT LOUD. Im practicing in my mind, but thats frankly not going to be enough. I didn't realize how badly I want to be passive and stay on everyones good side. I guess that comes back to the fact that i'm afraid i have to be liked to be okay. It seems when you're liked, that the pain of your dishonesty is maybe not there. But it certainly is.
The other day I was at work, and Kris started bopping me on the head. Over and over and over again. And each time he hit me, I shrunk lower and lower until I was cowering with my hands over my head, silently. It was hurting, but i didn't have the courage to stay stop. I had ZERO boundaries. I was finally coaxed to stand up and put my hands up. But even still, i keep them right in front of my face and said stop, while stepping backwards. Even though i put up a boundary...it was sucky. I was taught to stick my hands out, in front of my heart and mind, and say NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Stepping forward with confidence and courage. I am practicing, but its scary. I am realizing that i don't need to set boundaries on my oppressors, but myself, and thats when i would be protected. The only person that is going to love me and actually care about me is ME!! Its time to change my perception and rise up to the power that i have. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am worth it. I am not a victim. I AM PROTECTED BECAUSE I LOVE ME!
I am so interested in you sharing your thoughts and feelings with boundaries! What are you finding about yourself? What are ways that have helped you? Did this blog help you? Please share, but keep it appropriate as this blog is a public site:)