In this episode, we look at how to set good boundaries in our relationships.
Written By: Sophie Sumpter | https://www.instagram.com/sorosum/
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Boundary: a limit, dividing line, or border separating two or more objects. When physical, boundaries are obvious. It’s a line in the sand. It’s a double yellow line separating traffic. But what about boundaries that we can’t see or touch?
We can think of these boundaries as metaphysical, but is it possible that they are just as important as the physical ones? Today, we’re going to be exploring what boundaries look like in the context of relationships.
When we think of establishing boundaries with the people that we love, it can be scary. In some ways, it may feel like we’re being unfair and hurtful to them, especially when we have gotten so accustomed to living life without boundaries.
Living, and loving others, without boundaries may look something like this: You’ve just come home from a long day at work. You’re burnt out, tired, and just want to climb into bed. As you’re getting ready to finally rest from your day from hell, your phone starts buzzing. It’s a close friend in near crisis mode, expecting that you’ll be ready to pick up at the first ring and give stellar advice. You answer, like you’ve done countless times before, and talk for an hour while silently cursing yourself in your head for picking up the phone.
Establishing boundaries in relationships gives us permission to say “no.” It’s common to fear this, especially if we are prone to people-pleasing. When we develop a codependent relationship with another person, whether it’s a friend, parent, or partner, we may develop the idea that if we say “no” to this person, they will leave us or love us less.
In reality, you are worthy of being loved as a whole and individual person, regardless of whether or not you are constantly available to someone. You are worthy of being loved because of who you are, not because of what you can do for someone.
To begin, we want to ask ourselves “why?” Why do we want to start establishing boundaries with our loved ones? Each relationship in your life likely has a different reason for needing boundaries, but think of one in particular where you’d like to begin.
Once we know where we’d like to begin, it’s time to decide what it is that we actually want from this relationship… and really think. What is it that you get out of having this person in your life? How do they bring joy to your life? In what ways? Decide what the specific boundaries are that you’d like to set. Maybe you only answer your friend’s phone calls when you have spare time and YOU want to catch up, not when they call to vent to you every night.