“Being human is hard not because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because your doing it right.” Glennon Doyle, Untamed
How can we set boundaries in our relationships and especially with our family? It feels scary and I am not sure if my people will accept my boundary.
If and when we can wake up and realize setting boundaries is essential to having healthy relationships in our lives we can begin living our lives to the fullest.
Over a month ago, it was the day before my thirty-eighth birthday where out of the blue I was pressed to set boundaries with my birth mother. You might resonate that setting healthy boundaries with your mom has been a lifetime in the making.
Setting Boundaries with Parents Is Hard
Was it hard to set boundaries with her? Was it scary? Yes, yes, and yes I decided it was time.
It is time to stand up, not only for myself but it is time to set a boundary for a healthier me and a healthier family life. Many daughters might know the toxic dump, and energy-draining when it comes to the mother figure. With the incessant guilt trips, and old school shame on you’s, plus the relentless drama, we can’t forget the physical and emotional pain. Hello to anxiety, this list of all of the con’s of this relationship much outweighs the pros.
Yet it has been me who has enabled this relationship. I take full accountability, here and now it is up to me to set a boundary and even if that pertains to cutting all ties with a parent or in this case two parents.
Asking Yourself, Boundary Questions?
I had to ask myself, what have I been so afraid of? Rejection? Her reaction? Shifting our already dysfunctional relationship? What about other relationships in my life, where have people overstepped my boundaries? What has it been Shelly?
Asking myself questions is always a deeper way into understanding myself and how I have allowed toxic relationships into my life. After I wrote a blog that inspired this blog: MAKING BOUNDARIES WITH MY MOTHER: THE BEST B-DAY PRESENT YET! I received social media backlash from her and reconfirming why I made the boundaries in the first place. It was a toxic rant of a flashback of my childhood and then when I blink, here I am a grown-ass woman with a mother who is not capable of the relationship I want or need from her.
So the boundary is set, I choose to speak my truth. I do not want her in my life as of right now. And then the one thousand pound elephant lifts off of my chest and I feel free.
So here I am sharing to let you know you too can set boundaries with the relationships in your life. Making healthy boundaries is for you – for your mental, emotional, and even physical health. Boundaries are not for anyone else and how the other party decides to react to your boundary is not your concern.
The Boundary Lie: We Have to Stay So We Don’t Hurt Them
This lie has been holding us back our entire lives. We are fooled into believing we have to stay in the lives of parents, with our partners, our family, friends, colleagues, or other relationships because we don’t want to hurt them. Or we let them walk all over us because we don’t want to feel pain or worse make them feel pain.
Where does this lie come from? Are these lies sent from a string of generational guilting, blaming, resenting, or shaming? Really ask these questions.
Well, what if staying is actually hurting us. This is our lives and it is time to stand up and live fiercely and decide when enough is enough. Where is the line? What are you willing to bend and what boundary is completely crossing the line too far? Is it a boundary with how others treat you? What about how this person treats other people? How does this person treat you?
7 Tips to Setting Healthy Boundaries in Your Relationships
It is time to communicate your boundary you choose to make. You can set up a coffee or tea chat, or facetime, Zoom or phone call, or even write a letter. Yes rock it old school, get out paper and a pen. What paper? Yes the things we use to write on when we were kids, and with your handwriting write a letter to someone who you know you need to have this talk with. It is time to try these tips and speak your truth.
Okay, okay, an email can work too. I would steer away from texting because as you know text messages are hard to read sometimes and this is an opportunity for you to create healthy boundaries and the best is face to face.
1. PAUSE. With a deep breath pause here a moment and just sit with yourself. Can you tune into what your body is communicating to you about this person? Take a deep breath and allow whatever arises – doing your best not to push it away. Can you feel this in any specific spaces of your body? Head, heart, hips? This is a moment to pause and acknowledge how you are feeling when thoughts and emotions arise about this specific person in your life.
2. QUESTION YOURSELF, WAIT FOR THE ANSWER. What am I afraid of? Is it changing this relationship? How the person is going to react? Am I allowing fear to take the driver seat in my life? Or am I afraid of this person knowing the truth of how I feel? Am I living a life of integrity? What is my integrity, the things I am not willing to waver on in my life? Is this relationship based on gossip or toxic feelings?
With step one in your pocket, ask yourself where has this person been overstepping the boundaries? Has it been in your personal relationships with your children or partner? Have they been sucking up so much of your time with their problems, but when it comes time to talk about your life the subject shifts back to them? Are they sucking your energy dry? Question.
3. FEEL! It’s time to feel into the guilt, blame, resentment, and the shame. I know this can be so challenging. When we can allow these feelings we can open to moving towards healing them.
To feel my friends is a gateway towards healing our wounds. And to make it clear, healing is never going to be the endpoint. We will never wake up and say I am healed and now my life can begin. Life begins as we allow ourselves permission to feel it all. Even the old ugly feelings that hurt. Feeling is healing.
What if inside of these low vibe emotions who are not serving us we can lead with truth and love. This is a love that is not romantic, this is a love for your highest good.
4. GET HONEST. It’s time to face the truth and get honest with yourself. After the pause, and questioning and answering yourself, feeling into whatever is coming up for you its time. Allow all of the thoughts that you have been thinking to yourself to arise from love. This is not about blaming or yelling at this person, this is about speaking from your heart.
Speaking your truth can and most likely will be hard, but you can do it. Most of the time the truth can hurt, and the truth can set you free.
Here it is important to say the things that come to you, especially saying or writing the things you are most afraid of saying or writing. If your shutting down response comes to you, you can always go back to tip one and try again.
5. ALLOW THE PERSONS RESPONSE. Listen how you want this person to listen to you. Allow their response, knowing we all have different perceptions of experiences. Most likely this person will have a different perspective than you. And just because your experience isn’t the same doesn’t negate your feelings or theirs.
While taking in the response, remember your vow to be honest with yourself and be honest with this person. You are not protecting yourself or this person by holding back.
6. SET A HEALTHY BOUNDARY. Come back to the questions you asked and answered yourself. What are the boundaries this person has been overstepping? Get honest here.
Is this person calling and texting you constantly sucking you into their life or drama? Or is this person trying to control you from afar? Is this person telling you how to parent? How to act? How to be in your career? Is a co-worker pushing you under the bus? Is a family member overly involved in your love life? What is it?
It’s time make the boundary, this is not going to be easy. Most likely this will be hard and the person will fight back. It’s up to you how you choose to respond or react. Remember reactions are usually lead from fear and responses can come from love. Not the romantic love, the love deep within your heart for the highest good of your life.
7. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. This is not the end, This is just the beginning of setting healthy boundaries in your relationships, and remembering this quote can help get us through difficult times.
I CAN DO HARD THINGS
People are creatures of habits, and it is hard for people to accept change. Especially when it comes to our closest family members and dearest friends. Our job is not done, just as our healing journey is life long we have to stand up for ourselves and stand up for what we believe in.
Even and especially when we get gruff, or people give us a hard time. Stick to your heart, to your integrity, listen to your body, trust your intuition or gut instincts. This is your life and you are worth protecting and setting healthy boundaries in your relationships.
Just like the Glennon Doyle quote
“Being human is hard not because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because your doing it right.”
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The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, it’s employees, sponsors, or affiliates.