Do you have boundaries in place?

 

 

 

 

We put boundaries in place to protect ourselves and others. Boundaries define how far we can go and what is reasonable.  Boundaries ensure there are no blurred lines, misunderstandings, stepping over the mark.  Boundaries reduce the likelihood of over familiarity between friends and family members. Boundaries ensure we respect the wishes of others though we may not always agree with them.

Babies and toddlers have no understanding of boundaries, they cry whenever they need feeding, a nappy change, attention or just a cuddle. They have no consideration of their parents who may be tired and frustrated. They want it and they want it now.  However we pardon them time and time again because they are young and know no better.

As a child and teenager I had boundaries and routine and am thankful to my mother for them.  Boundaries meant I had a stable upbringing. I knew when my mum said no, she meant no.  I knew what time I had to arrive home when out and about with friends – usually several hours before I actually wanted to arrive home. Though I did not like the rules, I respected them and they in turn gave me an element of security.  Boundaries reminded me that I was loved and cared for, that my safety was my mother’s priority. It did not stop me from being envious of my friends who had far more leeway than me.

As adults we have the responsibility of putting  boundaries in place with family, friends and in the workplace.  At first it may be uncomfortable for those who are less assertive.  If you are naturally passive you may struggle to say what you mean and be open about what you want and do not want. People will expect you to do as you have always done. It is your prerogative to change the rules at any time.  If you feel pressured to make a decision, you can advise the person you will confirm with them at a later date.  This will provide time for you to give it some thought and return with an answer you are happy with.

To conclude, setting boundaries are a part of life. At times they do not require an introduction, it is simply your way of living. I know a couple who do not answer their phone when eating or having family time. They did not inform anyone of this rule, instead people learnt they were uncontactable between 6 and 9pm in the evening and had no choice but to honour this.

Are you confident in setting boundaries?
Have you seen the advantage in doing so?
What advice would you give to those who struggle to do so?

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Do you have boundaries in place?”

  1. Setting boundaries is a good and a not so good thing at the same time. Good thing is that one learns to sort life in a disciplined manner and can avoid many troubles because of this.
    The not so good side of it is often we feel uncomfortable if somehow we step outside the boundaries. I, for example, like to set certain limits in almost everything I do. But there have been times when the same limits I have made me feel bored and frustrated.
    The trick is to set boundaries and also create a secret route to escape their mundane nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t have a stable upbringing and married young to someone who also had an unstable upbringing. I’ve spent the last three years learning just how much I didn’t know about setting boundaries. As a result, I’m on my way to being a more well-balanced person for the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spot on, Phoenicia. Boundaries are essential when we are children as they are given to us by our parents, and for sure when we are adults. There are people who will always push against our lines in the sand, but stand firm and eventually, they will give up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, children need boundaries though they may not want them. I look back at my teenage years and am thankful for the boundaries my mum put in place. I had a lot of stability.

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  4. We absolutely have to set boundaries. But sometimes we set a boundary that we later regret. For instance because it stops us from getting an assignment we didn’t think we would want but later decide we do. However because we stateed that we don’t work with that the door is closed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Totally agree, boundaries are about keeping yourself safe and sane. The trick is to ensure you haven’t put up so many boundaries that you can’t actually engage in the world around you. Like most things in life balance is important.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of my favorite topics Phoenicia. You know I regularly receive emails from readers and without question weak or unhealthy boundaries is the number one issue that comes up time and again. Thanks for sharing your valuable insights!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A word in season for me. I’ve been struggling with this my whole life and have begun making changes. Every boundary I set is a struggle and fight for me emotionally to maintain. When I gain some ground it’s downr exhausting keeping it.

    Our area was flooded by Hurricane Harvey. My daughter and her family and my in-laws all flooded and moved in with me because I didn’t. I was one of the 4% of my neighborhood that didnt. My in-laws have long since moved on. However, my daughter and her family are still here. She has 3 little ones (2 1/2 yrs, 23 months and 5 months. The youngest she gave birth to after moving in here).

    I had a stressful year last year with my health and was beginning on a good road to recovery when Harvey hit. Not long after everyone moved in my physical therapist said this whole situation, though it couldn’t be helped, was not helping me physically at all. I was degreasing where I was improving. He said emotional stress is the same as physical stress on my body. Stress is stress.

    Well my daughter and family are still here and it’s going on 7 1/2 months. As it turns out my in-laws gifted me and my husband their house because they’re elderly and don’t want to deal with the stress of it anymore. So we are responsible for the rest of the repair costs which is stressful too.

    The good news is we should be in there within a couple months and my daughter and her family are going to rent to own our current house. So I’m finally in the final stretch.

    I keep telling myself it’s not much longer. My husband and I are beyond stressed and don’t even like each other most of the time anymore. Everyone has been putting all these demands on him and there’s nothing left for me but criticism and bullying and angry w, not just because of Harvey but I’m still trying to recover from my many illnesses last year.

    It’s been very hard maintaining whatever ground I can because sometimes I’m just too exhausted or ill that I just don’t feel like fighting or even just standing firm. I’m completely worn out physically, emotionally and mentally. I know there are more boundaries I should be setting but I’m completely worn out. I’m on the home stretch. Thankfully.

    The storm itself, the aftermath and some of the rebuilding of structures are what makes the news. The emotional and mental struggle of families living together in one home doesn’t.

    Prayers appreciated

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing Tammee. You have certainly been through an ordeal. At times we make rules and we break them in order to help someone who needs it. As a result we put ourselves out and suffer whether it be financially; emotionally or physically. Somewhere in meeting the needs of others we must remember to look after ourselves too. I believe your situation will change and in the meantime you need to be good to yourself. Take the break when you need it. Listen to your body.

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