How To Set Healthy Boundaries That Contribute To A Healthy, Happy Lifestyle
Have you ever wondered why you work hard in some areas of your life but just don't seem to move forward the way you think you should? Does it sometimes feel to you that your energy is going out - but nothing is coming back. It might very well be that you need to assess your personal boundaries in these areas. It's often necessary to negotiate some difficulties when this happens and this article helps you to face the issues and work through them, step-by- step. The liberation and sense of self-worth you can achieve by doing this is well worth the effort.
Firstly, it's very likely that you may well not always recognise the difference between appropriate and non-appropriate behaviour from others. You may get respect in some areas and not in other areas. you may be willing to tolerate rudeness, pain, abuse of your rights and bad behaviour because that's been the norm for you. It may take a while for you to sift through to your true feelings to start to create a picture of what is good for YOU. You may need time to recognise when something hurts you - or damages your self-esteem: your finances: your family: or your physical self, and that's absolutely fine. The main thing to do, is to start the process and treat it as an on-going effort.
But where do you start? I suggest that you highlight just one area in your life in which you are currently unhappy, angry, exhausted or sad– and don't over face yourself by tackling the biggest one to start with unless you are ready for a big change . You need to honestly examine the following factors: -
What is it EXACTLY about the situation that you don't like? (e.g. the way you feel: the consequences of it: the effects on others.)
What is making you feel angry, sad, threatened, suffocated or victimized?
What is it that you get from acting the way you do now? (e.g. avoiding confrontation: maintaining peace: feeling safe: etc.)
What could you say or do differently to change the situation – without losing your self-esteem? (e.g. speak up for yourself: respond differently: say “no”: say “yes”, ask for help)
How could you speak up for yourself in a way that feels safe and respectful.
How could you act in a way that supports you and your needs?
What would you do if you were not scared or tired, and how would you do it in such a way that you do not harm yourself or anyone else (and by harm I do not mean you cannot be angry: By this I mean you need to recognise natural feelings of resentment or spite and avoid using them to manipulate, hurt or deceive in order to set your new boundary).
I suggest you do this at a time when you are not 'triggered' by the situation. Choose a time when you feel calm and have some space to think things through. Writing down your answers, just jotting a few key words even – can be very revealing and helpful.
It's also a great idea to find people and groups who you perceive as having the kind of attitudes and behaviours that you would like to have, and to ask for support and ideas. I have found that by sharing some of my “stories” with others I learn a lot. Healthy networks and friends can teach and support you in so many ways, if you are willing to share your issues.
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