What do I have to say?
BOUNDARIES, repeat after me.
B O U N D A R I E S.
Definition: noun – a line which marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.
Where I end and others begin. Limits, full stops.
I’ve never really had this or maintained it. Innately, I’m not used to closing myself off. In actual fact, I find it quite easy and comforting to be an open book, transparent and predictable. It got me nowhere.
Actually that’s a lie, it got me somewhere and some things. I received emotional lashings from those who overstepped my dividing line. Granted I encouraged it, but alas the scars were evident. It creates a dullness, a slowness to react because you are used to there being no boundary and an unequal yoking in some relationships.
I think it stems from a desire to be liked and accepted. To be loved in a way that makes sense or that is easy.
So I want to talk about it.
And I don’t think I’m alone in my thinking. Many people, who have exercised loose boundaries (as part of their nature) will now fight against it in a bid to protect themselves. As a result the heart is often hardened and corrupted.
Psychologist and coach Dana Gionta, Ph.D says that for many of us, boundary-building is a relatively new concept and a challenging one. We may pick up pointers here and there but it isn’t often learned.
Yet boundaries are still important and set a strong precedent and foundation for future relationships. They allow us to exist as individuals who are part of a larger social community. So we basically can’t do without them especially when seeking healthy, non-toxic bonds.
A healthy boundary “is one where each person understands that they have their own thoughts and feelings and they are able to maintain a curiosity about the other person’s thoughts and feelings without making assumptions,” says Carlene MacMillan a psychiatrist and the founder and clinic director of Brooklyn Minds Psychiatry.
They are also flexible and open to negotiation. This means there can be new dialogue and continuous growth. It can be just as bad to be rigid in your boundaries as having none at all.
And this is my aim for the new year. To create boundaries that are solid, but flexible and wholly healthy.
Do any of you struggle to maintain boundaries and how do you do it?