This month’s theme is boundaries. Boundaries keep coming up with clients, family, friends, and in my coaching conversations. What do family and friends have to do with boundaries??? EVERYTHING.
Do you just love summer and the spending time with friends and family? Can you answer, “Yes, we have the best time and there’s never any friction?” Awesome call me I’d love to know how you do it. Not so much? I get it, me too.
Some of us love this time and the memories and fun we will have. Others of us look forward to the time but with reservations and concerns. We have concerns interacting with others that cause friction. We want to have a great time but there’s that wonder are they going to do things or make us feel uncomfortable or really hack us off.
Vacationing with friends or family can bring it’s own unique stress to our lives. Everyone wants to have fun and make those memories. However, we are human and uniquely different.
Ever have to bite your tongue or find yourself avoiding a certain someone? Ever thought, “I don’t want to be the party pooper but, WOW what you/your child/ /spouse/dog (fill in the blank) just did or said really upsets/bothers/annoys (fill in the blank) me?” I know I have.
When you feel this – it is an indication you had a boundary that got over stepped. OUCH….So, what do you do?
Do you just bite your tongue, walk away, ignore it, point it out, say something, or go off on them? Does it depend on the situation, how tired, hungry, or drunk you are? What if there was a better way?
Good news there is. Acknowledge the boundary, determine what they are and then communicate them. Simple right? Much easier said than done. I’ll show you how in the steps below.
What do you think of when you think of a personal boundary? For me, a personal boundary is my zone to be authentically me. I feel comfortable, safe, and surrounded in support and love. Boundaries also include my interactions with others and what I allow them to say and/or do to me and how I choose to respond. Do you have clear boundaries or are they fuzzy?
When you have great boundaries with friends and family you can have those great times with limited friction. If you have weak boundaries people may walk all over you, disrespect you, or inadvertently overstep and cause you stress and not even know it.
For me, I personally find setting boundaries with my adult children the most challenging now. It’s a new adult relationship that’s different from when they were younger. I'm still mom but they are young adults. I want to preserve the relationship. They have different needs and expectations. So do I. It is so important for your children to see you set and keep your boundaries. Start at an early age if you can! Early boundaries seem easier to me now as I reflect back but they were hard to set originally. I imagine I will look back on these boundaries as easy in the future as well.
Ready to take a look at setting some healthy boundaries? Here’s a checklist to get you started. You may want to journal your boundary work and keep a living document. Boundaries change as relationships change.
1. Realize boundaries are a sign of healthy living.
2. Acknowledge you have boundaries and they are uniquely yours. There are no right or wrong boundaries.
They just are.
3. Think of setting personal boundaries as a means of loving, honoring, and taking care of yourself.
4. Consider how your boundaries are working or not working for you?
a. What might you want to do different? What might be healthier?
5. Describe what your boundaries are and why they are important to you.
a. You may have a home and work set of boundaries.
6. Make a plan to communicate your boundaries to those involved with a boundary.
a. Communicate in a loving caring manner that helps the other parties know how to respect your
b. If you cannot keep calm and loving while communicating, then wait until you can. Setting them in a
negative emotional state isn’t likely to result in the best solution.
7. Have a plan of how you will respond when your boundary has been overstepped.
a. It’s going to happen and it’s not personal. It took a long time to form the habit of overstepping and not
setting boundaries. It will take time to change the behavior for both you and the overstepper.
Acknowledge it takes time and practice to change habits and form a new behavior.
b. Stand firm in your boundaries and what you expect. Restate what you want calmly. I am 200% aware
that when it’s been overstepped it’s not always easy to be calm, do your best.
8. Thank others and celebrate when your boundary has been respected. It takes time and shows progress.
Celebrate the small steps along the way as well.
Want to go deeper? Extra Credit Boundary Work
- What boundaries of others do you violate?
- Make a list of violations you overstep boundary wise and then determine how to stop.
- Set a personal goal to stop violating one or more.
- Celebrate when you stop that boundary violation.
Here’s to setting clear boundaries! It is not easy the first time for sure. It will get easier. Some will embrace your boundaries and others will test you to see if you really mean it. You can do it and it will free you. I know you can!!
If you find this blog helpful I’d love to hear from you. Click like, share, comment, or email me.
If you are interested in coaching from me, I’d be honored to embark on that journey together with you. Check out my website to contact me. If you want more life and business tips register for the newsletter.
Here are some of my favorite boundary resources:
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud
The Power of a Positive No: Save The Deal Save The Relationship and Still Say No by William Ury
Wishing you Peace & Blessings,
Teresa Bitner - Change and Loss Specialty