Are boundaries a scary thing for you to set in your relationships?
Boundaries have a negative connotation for many people. So instead of setting a boundary, they will ignore the problem. But what happens when you ignore your relationship problems?
They grow and you continue to get more and more frustrated. They become the big elephant in the room that everyone can see but no one talks about. This is a problem that does not magically go away on it’s own. Remember, unresolved relationship problems will continue to grow, they need to have an intervention.
As a Spiritual Medium, one of the fastest things I watch pull you out of balance is relationship problems. They affect so many areas of your life so quickly and leave you spinning. Literally.
Relationship problems affect your whole life but you’ll most likely notice them affecting your stress levels, how much sleep you’ll get and how much or how little you’ll eat. They can even affect your performance level at work and make you moody around those that are trying to support you. You don’t want your relationship problems running away from you and you can solve this with healthy boundaries.
What is the purpose of a relationship boundary?
Boundaries protect your energy and your relationships.
Boundaries let others know what is okay and what is not okay with you. Here’s the thing about boundaries, what is not okay for you may be okay for someone else and vice versa. But no one knows this unless it’s verbally communicated. Boundaries are not set in stone across all of your relationships. They are different with different people.
It is very important that you tell – out loud – not just in your head, what your specific boundaries are with the people in your life.
If you feel like you are being pushy or aggressive, I’m going to bet that it’s because drawing boundaries is unfamiliar to you.
There is NOTHING wrong with telling people what is okay and what isn’t okay for you. Again, if you don’t tell them, they don’t know. The majority of the population cannot read your mind and they’re not good with hints. They need you to be very specific and very clear with what’s good for you and what’s not.
If you set a boundary with someone and they ignore it or make fun of you for it, that’s your red flag that it’s time to re-examine your relationship with this person.
The Golden Rule – do onto others as you want done onto you – applies well here. Not only do you want to let others know what your boundaries are, you also want to know what their boundaries are.
What is the #1 Secret to Setting Healthy Boundaries?
The first step is to SET the boundary. The secret to setting a healthy boundary is that you have to ENFORCE them. All of them.
It is completely pointless to set a boundary and then not enforce it. At that point, it’s like you didn’t even set a boundary.
This is where I see most people fall apart is at enforcing the boundary and that’s why this is the #1 secret to setting a healthy boundary.
Let’s use the example of a child in the candy store. You tell the child they can have 1 piece of candy…and for some kids, setting this boundary is going to be a big challenge, but you set it anyhow for whatever the reason. Reminder – you can tell the reason for the boundary as long as it doesn’t come across as a justification for the boundary. Justifying your boundaries weakens them to the receiver.
The kid comes back to you with a bag full of candy. This is your telling moment. Do you ignore your boundary of one piece of candy or do you enforce it?
If you enforce the boundary and say to the child, “Wow, you found so many great choices. But how many pieces of candy are you going to get right now? One. One piece of candy, so let’s pick out the one you want the most and let’s put the others back.”
The child knows that you set the boundary and you meant it. If the child ignores your boundary and tries to have a temper tantrum for only getting one piece, you have to decide what to do to keep enforcing your boundary. Personally, I know as a child I would have gotten NO candy and I’m sure many of you can relate. Because if I kept pushing the boundary, then there was no reward for breaking the boundary.
But if you let the child get the whole bag of candy because you don’t really care or even worse, you don’t want to create a scene, they’re not going to listen to you when you set boundaries around the things that are really important. Like being honest and respectful with you.
Here’s the thing about boundaries, if you aren’t going to enforce it, DO NOT waste your time setting it. Don’t. You create more problems for yourself and the people in your life will have no idea what you actually want.
When you set a boundary and don’t enforce it, you didn’t set a boundary. Let that sink in.
When you set a boundary and don’t enforce it, you didn’t set a boundary.
You also set a precedent that you don’t mean what you say. Then this quickly becomes a very confusing game of do they mean this one or do they not.
Do you see why the secret to setting a healthy boundary is enforcing the boundary?
No one likes to be confused.
The more clear you are with your boundary setting and enforcing, the smoother things will go in your relationships.
What to Do When they Ignore My Boundary Enforcing?
Sometimes you will come across a person that hears your boundary and they continue to ignore you when you enforce your boundary.
What do you do in this scenario?
This is one of the most asked questions I get about enforcing boundaries – what do I do if they ignore me enforcing the boundary?
The answer is it depends on who this person is, what the situation is and what you want to do.
Boundaries are set to tell people what’s okay and what’s not. So if they’re ignoring the boundary and you are enforcing the boundary, it tells me more about them and the type of person they are.
If someone cares about you and you set a boundary with them, they should honor it. They want to be a part of your life and not do anything intentionally to upset you. That’s what people that really care about you want to do. They don’t want to cause drama and rock the boat to intentionally trigger you.
Boundaries are the hardest to set with family members.
Family knows you better than anyone else and sometimes they have a pattern of knocking you down and picking on you until you crumble. This isn’t okay by the way, it isn’t ok for anyone to treat you in a way that hurts you. It’s just more often than not, the people I hear struggle the most when you stand in your power and set a boundary is a family member who is used to having power over you.
Family dynamics are the hardest. Don’t you just love those family patterns, especially the generational ones! And this is followed by partners that you are in an unhappy relationship with.
Typically the most unhealthy relationships you have are often the ones that struggle with a boundary. If they’ve been able to do whatever they’ve wanted for as long as they’ve known you, they don’t usually want to change that. They want to do what they know, whether it’s healthy or not.
This gives you an opportunity to decide how to handle this:
- Do you need to create more space in this relationship? And if you go this route, make sure you communicate with them that the problem is them ignoring the boundaries you have set. If you leave a relationship without saying why, it creates more problems and karma for the two of you to deal with later and I promise you, it’s so much easier to do it now.
- Is this relationship still a fit for you? Is this someone you still want to have in your life. Why and why not? Get really objective and make a list and decide if this relationship was for a reason or a season and it’s time is up.
- Do you need to sit down and talk to them? It is very possible that no one has drawn a boundary with them before and they don’t know how to respond. They may feel controlled. They may have been the kid that was allowed to get one piece of candy at the candy store but got the whole bag.
Boundaries tell others what is okay and not okay in your relationships together. They’re good and you should be using them in all of your relationships.
The #1 secret to setting healthy boundaries is to enforce the boundary. While it is harder to enforce the boundary than to set it, when you enforce a boundary and the other person respects it, it elevates the relationship.
If someone ignores your boundary and you enforcing the boundary, it’s time for you to re-evaluate your relationship and interactions with this person going forward.
Who are you going to start enforcing boundaries with in your life? It’s time!
Now that you know the #1 secret to healthy boundaries, I hope you create more balance in your relationships.