We set boundaries all the time. We inform people of who we are and how to treat us by the boundaries we establish. When we set healthy boundaries we are able to create healthy relationships.
Where we Learn
Our personal boundaries are formed out of our beliefs, past experiences and social and family conscience. They are guidelines we create to identify what are reasonable and acceptable behaviours for others around us and how we respond if someone steps out of those limits.
Boundaries outline and shape our differences. It does not mean that we are no longer connected: I might be different than you but that does not mean I am separate from you. The presence of boundaries is not about other people or external factors, it is all about you and how you hold yourself in the world.
Why Define a Boundary?
We all have a clear boundary to the physical world: our skin. It keeps our internal organs protected from outside environmental forces. If we did not have skin we would be defenseless to external attack and pollutants.
We think about boundaries as keeping people out but boundaries are about a sense of self and self-respect. When we create clear personal boundaries we become aware of our own rights and how we deserve to be treated by others.
If we Respect Ourselves, we instill respect in others and
set Limits on How we Want to be Treated
What are Boundaries?
If we’ve spent childhood in a dysfunctional family, in all likelihood we have had almost no exposure to seeing healthy boundaries at work. If our parents were unable to create healthy boundaries it is probable we’ll follow their example and develop weak or non-existent boundaries.
A healthy boundary creates an energetic layer, a skin that protects us from violation, invasion, intrusion and non-beneficial forces. This boundary or energetic field is strong and at the same time flexible to soften and open up to what is beneficial for us.
Physical and Emotional Boundaries
Physical Boundary is a structure like a fence or a door. This physical structure indicates where you’re welcome. It’s your body and sense of personal space and can define who can touch you and how physically close a person may approach.
Emotional Boundary energetic structures unseen to the eye but perceived through our intuitive knowing. Emotional boundaries are individual . They vary depending on your personal and family conscience, trauma history, and personality. Our boundaries delineate how we interact with others and allow them to interact with us. They are a cornerstone in developing trust and intimacy .
Can you ask for what you want? Are you able to say no? Are you a people pleaser? Do you Energetically Merge and mirror the people around you? Can you take responsibility for your feelings and your needs? Do you let others do the same? Or do you take responsibility for others’ feelings and needs but discount your own?
These questions help you begin to map out and track your boundaries or lack of. We learn to identify and respect our rights and needs something you may not have experienced in childhood. Whether our boundaries are blurred, trampled, disregarded, or respected they determine limits.
Establishing healthy boundaries is vital to our overall well-being, empowering, and allows us to step into our authentic self.
Creating Boundaries and setting limits you’re safeguarding your Self-Esteem
Recognize the need to set a boundary and do it in a clear, firm, respectful and calm way. Do not justify, get angry or apologize for the boundary. Remember children explain and apologize adults take responsibility and own it.
When a reaction that is much bigger than the situation calls for; you are most likely overriding a boundary. Pay attention and listen to yourself and determine what you need to say and then say it.
In the beginning you will probably feel uncomfortable maybe even guilty, or selfish. Do it anyway. You have a right to take care of yourself. Setting boundaries takes a little practice; don’t let fear stop you from taking care of yourself.
Karen works internationally with people and businesses interested in psychological and spiritual growth and interested in transforming their lives and organizations.
Karen Johnson 416.732.2661