Personal boundaries are deeply personal and are usually set by how one feels about a given topic or experience and your feelings are always changing based on your life experiences so your boundaries can also change. Before you can even think about setting personal boundaries you’ve gotta be really good at validating your own feelings first and this is where most people get stuck and that’s what I’m going to talk about with you today.
How to set personal boundaries graciously and with love so you can maintain connection with those you love and still be open to giving and receiving love because that’s what we all ultimately want, right?
Connection, love and understanding. I can’t tell you what boundaries to set because personal boundaries are personal meaning they are unique to you.
You’ll usually discover what they are when you’ve been hurt enough times to feel the pain of not setting them or maintaining them. You can also create personal boundaries in your life whenever you feel it’s necessary to do so.
Here are some signs you’re not setting personal boundaries:
- Saying yes when you mean no.
- Saying no when you mean yes.
- Feeling huge amounts of guilt saying no
- Overinvesting in any relationship.
- Not following through on commitments with yourself.
- Abandoning yourself by giving from an empty cup.
Setting personal boundaries is essential to maintaining a happy and healthy life.
Personal boundaries are a good way to self-regulate our emotions and protect the self (spirit or essence of who we are). While I don’t believe there’s such a thing as giving too much there is such a thing as betraying the self and this is where personal boundaries come in.
To live a happy life we want to be able to give unconditionally, while maintaining our personal boundaries.
Setting boundaries is the antidote to chronic codependency or what I like to call ‘over investment’ of one’s energy in another. Setting boundaries can typically be hard for Empaths because of our altruistic and servant like nature, we tend to give, give, give and not understand there’s an emotional line, that if crossed, will deplete us of our inner resources. It’s really important to be aware of what your boundaries are otherwise overtime the self betrayal will leave you feeling depressed and lacking confidence.
Saying ‘Yes’ when you mean ‘No’ is the most common way people abandon themselves but saying no doesn’t always mean your setting a boundary either. You can say no to something and still be invested in the outcome, if this is the case, then it’s not a true boundary.
There are people who are really good at saying no because whatever they’re saying no to doesn’t serve them but, at the same token, find it extremely hard to say no in their intimate relationships when alot more is at stake. Intimate relationships is where your boundaries need to be the strongest because it’s these relationships that set the tone for our overall happiness and fulfillment in life.
Saying no when you mean no and having no guilt about it, is powerful but if you’re hurting someone on the receiving end, it’s going to be bad karma for you and while it’s not your responsibility to constantly worry about other people’s feelings, it is your responsibility to be kind and have empathy for what they are feeling.
So how does one set personal boundaries while maintaining oneness (close relationships)?
Firstly, you may be able to spiritually maintain oneness with the collective by experiencing bliss and love within yourself, often, but you can’t physically maintain oneness with anybody who doesn’t want to be close, intimate or warm towards you. That has to do with their own self and experience more than it has to do with you. Actually it’s got nothing to do with you.
Secondly, there are some universal boundaries we can all set that we know will assist us in creating a happier and more fulfilling life. An example being having zero tolerance to violence. If you or anyone you know is experiencing any form of violence (emotional, sexual or pyhsical) it’s essential that you seek help.
There is a time, on your healing journey where saying no is about the only thing you can do to begin rebuilding your confidence and trust within yourself after emotional abuse. You don’t want to socialise, go to events, see friends or even family. You say no to everything that once gave you joy.
I remember a time when I’d meet new people I totally closed my heart off from any kind of true connection or rapport because I’d always say no to any bid for connection and while this is OK and necessary at times on your healing journey, it’s important to be aware that it’s just a stage and that it’s also not sustainable. Closing your heart off from loving connections in your life will make you really, really unhappy. There is a healthy middle ground you can find that feels good for you while still maintaining oneness with others and anybody who truly loves and values you will honour your boundaries, full stop. But you must first honour your boundaries in a way that says I’m here for and with you, but I won’t tolerate that.
Most people think saying no to something or someone is setting a healthy boundary but if it’s disconnecting you from the people you love and want to maintain relationships with then is it really healthy? You may need to keep working on healing your heart and past trauma before moving forward.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, just know that, expect that and accept that.
Over investment in anyone or anything will set you up for disappointment. You must have your own dreams, goals and vision for your life and take action to maintain a healthy relationship with your self so you can learn to trust that whoever you choose to connect with, on this wonderful journey of life, holds nothing but goodwill and love for you in their heart.
Here’s a really simple framework for setting personal boundaries. First you have to create them, then you have to state them, then you have to maintain (enforce) them.
That’s the thing with boundaries, simply knowing them won’t work, you have to actually enforce them for it to positively impact your life.
Have you recently set a boundary that’s positively impacted your life? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments!
All my love and support,
P.s If you’d like more help with setting boundaries and need immediate relief you can book a FREE 30 minute empowerment call with me here.