Healthy boundaries mean speaking our truth about what is OK and what is not OK for us in our relationships with others. A boundary could be as simple as telling someone ‘I would like you to text me before you call to my house’ or it could be cutting off contact with someone who has been a negative or toxic influence on your life.
Many people find it difficult to speak up and state what their needs are in relationships and when this happens, it can lead to resentment, disappointment and hurt feelings. Many of us have been conditioned into not listening to our feelings as children growing up and we may be ‘people pleasers’ as a result. It can take a little time to even identify what we need and then some courage to speak those needs to other people.
The first step with creating boundaries with other people is becoming very clear about your needs.
Ask yourself what do you want the relationship to look like?
What would being clear about your needs look like?
What would it take for you to speak your truth and be clear about what is OK and what is not OK for you?
What support do you need to -1. Identify what you need and 2. Not feel guilty about being honest with the person in question?
If you were not feeling guilty or bad about yourself, what would you say to the person in question?
If you find yourself struggling with the idea of voicing these needs to the person, try writing them out to help you feel clearer. It may even be helpful to imagine speaking to them and what you want to say. Visualise how you will feel once you have said what you need to say. Remember that you may feel very nervous and that's OK. You are allowed to feel nervous or anxious and still speak your truth.
If someone is consistently overstepping your boundaries, remember that a person who takes issue with your boundaries is always a person who has been overstepping them! People who respect other people's boundaries listen and take heed of the boundaries being stated and respect them. You may need to become like a broken record with people who consistently disrespect your personal boundaries.