Help! People Walk All Over Me!
If that title grabbed you. You just may be boundary-less. Think of healthy boundaries as a fence around your yard. The fence clearly defines where your property starts and stops.
Keep reading. Boundaries are game changers. Life Savers.
For reasons beginning in my childhood, I learned to be nice. Good. Compliant.
Over time, that became my default personality. It was OK until someone else's actions, desires, needs, wants, etc., clashed with mine.
Instead of assertively expressing my desires, needs, wants, opinions, concerns… I would get angry (hello passive-aggression), pout, whine, complain- but never assert what it was that I wanted.
People in my life realized that if they could weather the Pout-ty, Whiney, Complaining Storm, they'd eventually get what they wanted from me.
My unmet needs festered and simmered until I had enough, and I would explode to get my needs met- just the way I had seen my parents do it.
Unfortunately, setting boundaries were one of the last healthy habits I started. My family was already used to my 'yes' every time something was needed.
In fact, even while struggling with chronic fatigue, I watched our 3-year-old grandson for hours a few times a week. I would be wiped out by the end of the week. I'd recover a little, then the cycle would start all over again.
Looking back, I shake my head at what I allowed. I wasn't "needed." I was "preferred." L.O.L. Does that make sense?
Learned behavior can be unlearned. New healthy habits can replace old, unhealthy, self (and relationship) sabotaging ones.
However, did you know the brain loves its "comfort zone"? It loves the familiar. Same 'ole same 'ole. And it resists new! The next time you are learning something new, be aware of any internal resistance.
So, it will take diligence, patience, time, and consistency to change old unhealthy habits into new healthy-promoting ones.
Setting and maintaining appropriate boundaries are vital for healthy living.
WHAT ARE BOUNDARIES?
Boundaries are physical, mental, and/or emotional limits- the dividing line- we create to protect ourselves from being controlled, used, or mistreated. Boundary violators could be family, friends, co-workers, or anyone that seeks to meet their needs at our expense.
Marvin Kittnel, in his article "Why It Is Important to Have Boundaries?" lists three types of boundaries: healthy, rigid, and porous.
Healthy boundaries are not compromising your values for others. Healthy boundaries look like
appropriately sharing personal information (especially on social media)
valuing your own opinion
and accepting other's rights to have boundaries too.
Rigid boundary examples are avoiding close relationships, not asking for help, detaching, and distancing yourself to avoid rejection.
Porous boundaries are oversharing too much personal information, difficulty saying 'no,' and tolerating disrespect, misuse, or abuse.
In the past, I lived between rigid and porous boundaries.
What about you? Does any of this relate to you? Do you have friends and family that "need to hear this"?
Remember, unhealthy learned behavior can be "undone" or re-learned. No one is too old to start making healthy choices. My oldest client is in her 80s. My youngest is in her earlier 30s.
Change can happen for those who are willing and take action.
-Missy Rankin, C.T.N.C., CHC
I find many of my clients struggle with setting healthy boundaries. Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is something I regularly teach.
Remember: Setting boundaries isn't about 'getting back at someone.' Or teaching them a lesson. It's about doing for ourselves what we need to do.
By the way, the Old Testament is full of verses on boundaries. God was very clear that no one should move boundary markers. (Proverbs 22:28 & 23:10 are just a few).
Jesus even set boundaries. He set limits with the crowd following Him (Luke 5:15-16). He rested as needed (John 4:6). Took naps (Mark 4:38). Ate when he was hungry (Matthew 9:10-13).
Do what you need to do for yourself. Put your mask on first, then help the person beside you- right?
In the meantime, here are 3 quick tips for setting boundaries you can do today.
Carpe Diem (make the most of the present time)
Here are some steps you can do -- right now.
K.I.S.S. Keep it Simple, Sweetie. Pick one thing or area that you want to set limits. For example, Lyme Disease is challenging for me. I have discovered that if I take a break in the middle of the day, I feel better and can do what I need to do through the rest of the day and into the night. I protect that rest break time. I have let my friends and family know- that's my time. I don't take calls, check emails, do favors, chat, etc.) What's the one thing that you can start with- right now.
Say no. I know this may be hard or challenging. However, there's an epidemic of stress and stress-related diseases. Saying no in an appropriate peaceful way is a first step in setting boundaries and limiting stress in our lives.
Be kind and empathic when possible. The people in your life have become used to getting their own way. Sometimes people in our lives will resist our new boundaries. Be firm. Hold your ground. Protect what's important to you.
To help you get started…
I'm on a mission to reach and teach as many people as I can how to conquer stress and create healthy habits that help reverse stress related dis-eases.
I'm currently creating a mini-teaching on boundaries. Want to be notified when I'm done? In it I'll share more about boundaries, why they are so difficult to practice, and will share the "how-to" for setting and maintaining healthy boundaries. Click here then scroll to the bottom of the page to be added to the waitlist.
Here’s to your health!
It is my goal to teach, encourage, and empower you to make health-promoting decisions so you can reclaim your life and health from stress or emotional pain.
Click here Work with Me to start or continue your healing journey.
Missy Rankin, CTNC, CHC
Certified Transformation Coach
Certified Hormone Coach
Science and/or Fact-Based: I write blogs based on science and/or evidence-based information. I add my experience(s) and education where applicable.
Faith-Based: I may also add scriptures and faith-based information as well.
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