Research has proven that people who feel connected to others live longer, healthier lives. Creating and maintaining healthy relationships is essential to our well-being, yet not always easy . . .
Sometimes we have to set boundaries with people, which can be hard to do (especially if you relate to being a people-pleaser).
What exactly are healthy boundaries? When do we set them? And how do we do it in a way that is loving?
We are all here to learn and grow so it’s natural to experience growing pains with people you care about. The key word here is growing not pain. Setting boundaries is part of growth.
A boundary is an self-honoring agreement inside yourself or with another person that supports your well-being AND comes from love. When we tolerate hurtful or negative treatment from another, we end up building up resentment or eventually completely pulling away. Having the courage to communicate our needs and setting a boundary is more loving then pretending something is okay when it isn’t.
There are two kinds of boundaries. The first one being Internal boundaries, which are agreements we make with ourselves to modify a relationship. For example, you may have a very negative friend who complains every time you are together. Perhaps you have even asked the person to be more positive and they have not adjusted. You are not ready to completely sever the friendship so instead you set a boundary that you will only make plans with that person once a month versus weekly.
The other type of boundary is one you verbally request from another. Say you have a relative who always asks you, “So are you dating anyone?” or “What’s going on with your career, find a job yet?” Their intrusiveness laced with a tone of judgment makes you cringe. You want to (or have to) be around them but you keep building up resentment whenever the intrusive question is asked. Time to set a boundary!! I give you an example of how you can say it in the video below.
Boundaries not only prevent us from getting resentful and eventually throwing up a barrier, they also save us from being a doormat.
So if they are so helpful, why are they so hard to set and keep? Well because we are scared. Scared that the person will be hurt or mad. Scared they won’t like us. Scared that the relationship will end.
But what is scarier is being in unhealthy relationships or tolerating behavior that feels hurtful. For relationships to grow, there are sometimes growing pains. The other person may very well get hurt or angry. You are not responsible for their reaction. You are responsible for communicating honestly and with love.
Remember: being loving is being real, authentic and courageous. It is not all words of affirmation and rosy language. Consider what boundaries it may be time to set to grow yourself and your relationships. @ChristinHassler (Click to Tweet!)
In the words of Brene Brown: “When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.”
P.S. I have a new podcast where I coach people LIVE on the air. Head over to Over it and On With It and listen in for inspiration and action steps.
Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan in her new book Expectation Hangover. This book reveals the formula for how to process disappointment on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.
Image courtesy of Luke Ellis-Craven.