A Guide to Boundaries

I said we’d talk more about boundaries, so let’s talk about boundaries.

As I said before, boundaies are designed to protect ourselves. Sometimes people try to create their boundaires in a manner that is to harm others, but those people are wrong. It is true that sometimes people do get hurt because they interpret your boundaries wrong. We sometimes look at the lines that people draw in the sand and think solely of how it effects us. We don’t even think of why people have created certain boundaries.

My boundaries are not about you. They’re about me. Your behaviors may help me realize I need to create certain boundaries, but you are probably not the only person in my life that has done a certain behavior. My world does not revolve around you and neither do my boundaries.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the types of boundaries. You have boundaries in various areas of your life (time, material, sexual, physical, intellictual, emotional, etc). Some people are more willing to give their time, while others are more willing to share their belongings. There are people in your life who you are more willing to share your thoughts with than others. That is natural and normal.

Two forms of unhealthy boundaries are porous and ridgid. Porous boundaries are too flimsy while ridge boundaries are too unyielding. Porous boundaries make it easy for someone to walk over you. Rigid boundaries keep yourself isolated from everyone. Neither is good.

You should be able to change your boundaries as needed. Your experiences help to determine what boundaries you need. What your boundaries are at 19 will be different than at 29. The things you want and need in life change.

If you need/want some simple way to look at boundaries, think of telling someone ‘no’. When you do that you are enforcing a boundary. If you have a rule that your kid can’t have a cookie before dinner and you kid asks for one, what do you do? If you say no, you reenforced the boundary. If you say yes, you broke your own boundary. By breaking that boundary, the kid will likely be expecting the same thing again. Or the kid will just grab one based on this one time. If you don’t enforce your boundaries, what the point of them.

I know that the whole cookie thing doesn’t sound like you’re protecting yourself. We set rules for kids and others who we believe cannot set them for themselves. Kids, the elderly, the disabled, and others who may be easily taken advantage of need help at times with the boundaries. Help them.

But you cannot create boundaries for your spouse/partner/significant other just because you don’t like something. You can tell them about your concern and they can decide if they want to make that boundary or not. The situation is somewhat different if one of you broke the trust in the relationship. And we’ll talk about that another time. This is just for the average everyday situation.

Back to the cookie situation, if today is a special day, you might say yes to the cookie because you allowed for that when making your boundaries. If the boundary was rigid, maybe you’ll always say no, even if the kid just got a really good report card or it’s his/her/their birthday.

The cookie example is a very basic situation. Real life is more complicated. People with healthy boundaries take that into consideration. They know when to be flexible and when not to be.

Last thing, you don’t always have to explicitly tell everyone what your boundaries are. Sometimes you do need to state your boundaries. Your words and actions should match what your boundaries are. If your boundary is to not have sex with someone yet, you probably shouldn’t be taking off your clothes around them or making out with them on the bed. Those can send mixed messages that can cause people to question what your boundaries really are. When mixed messages arise, that is usually a good time to talk about your boundaries.

So, my lovelies, that it a bit on boundaries. I could talk on about them or go more in depth, but I figured this was good for now. I will talk to all of you soon.

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