What are healthy boundaries
What are healthy boundaries
Recap from session 3:
Identifying the areas in your life that need boundaries.
Practicing & Trusting your intuition
Learning the difference between saying yes and no
To create healthy boundaries, let's look at what makes a strong, lasting boundary.
Types of Boundaries
Boundaries come in different shapes and forms. There are boundaries that are rigid like a wall. And what walls do is they keeps others out and isn't flexible to change.
They can create long-term dysfunctional patterns, getting pushed to the point where you explode with anger and ultimatums. But what tends to happen with ultimatums is that both individuals become trapped in escalating feelings of guilt and resentment.
There are also boundaries that are Porous.
For people who have difficulty saying no or fear being rejected, they might set a boundary, but just as quickly give in, going back to the usual harmful patterns of behaviour. It's so easy to give in to your spouse or child again and again, even though you know it's affecting your well-being.
Both rigid and porous boundaries are very common in intimate relationships. And what began as a porous boundary can quickly change into a rigid boundary when you've "had enough," and you feel forced to close off from those you care about or push them away.
The best kind of boundary is one that falls in the middle of the spectrum. Neither too soft or too hard, but balanced. Healthy boundaries should be strong and firm, but also fluid and flexible. Their ability to adjust with your ever-changing life situation allows healthy boundaries to last and grow along with you and your relationships.
Healthy boundary include:
Learning the other person's love language
Learning the other person's childhood trauma and triggers
Understanding that the other person is not the source of your happiness and vide versa
Do you have any rigid boundaries ?
What are they?
Explain why you created them.
Do you have a porous boundaries ?
What are they?
Explain why seem to give in to the other person.
Identify your Boundaries
To set boundaries with confidence, set them with intention, which means when expressing what you do or don't want, identify and visualise the changes you would like to experience.
An example of this is, when deciding to set a boundary with a family member or a friend, imagine what it would feel like to them to respect your wishes and come to a creative solution or a compromise. That way both of you are happy and at peace, which will give you more energy to use somewhere else.
Similarly, when you set a boundary with intention, you want to envision the feelings and experiences that the boundary will help create in your life. If a boundary needs to be set with your boss about bringing extra work home, think about the feelings and benefits that this change would give you: time with your family, time for self-care, feeling more relaxed and balanced, etc.
Think of one of the boundaries that you have identified so far, and now add your intention, describe the feelings and experiences you want to have as a result of setting that boundary. For example, when I ask my partner for what I need (eg. acts of service or quality time), and they meet my need, I will feel, happy, joyful, confident, loved, appreciated, seen, heard etc.
If you need help with your intention and tapping into your feelings, practice this visualisation meditation:
Find a comfortable place to sit and close your eyes.
Breathing gently, bring your focus to your breath until you feel relaxed.
What is the boundary you want to set.
Visualise how setting that boundary with the person will improve your life and relationship.
It's important to really "See" it in your mind's eye.
Along with visualising the experience, FEEL the experience as well.
Identify the feelings silently to yourself.
When you're ready to end the meditation, bring your awareness back to your breathing.
Take a few deep breaths and open your eyes.
Write down what you saw and felt in the meditation.
Read over what you wrote and try to express your boundary's intention in one or two lines so it's easy for you to remember.
Once you have created your intentional boundaries, take time every day for the duration of this course to meditate on them.