Setting Boundaries

I use an app to meditate called Insight Timer (would absolutely recommend). Recently they had a 10-day course about setting boundaries. I agreed to do it, and it’s putting a lot of things into perspective for me. Some of the things I had never even thought of before. So I want to share with you today the basic streamlined version of this course.

Day 1: Setting Boundaries

It’s not always easy to set boundaries. Sometimes it might feel like it’s easier to say yes than no, and then you feel overwhelmed. You might just struggle with setting boundaries. And if you do, that’s okay. It’s important to recognize those struggles. What matters is that you can work through them. These are pretty common boundary struggles:

  • No one ever taught you about boundaries
  • Fear of rejection
  • You want to please people
  • You just don’t know where to start
  • Codependency
  • Avoid conflict
  • You don’t think you need them
  • You don’t know what to do when one is crossed
  • Worry about others opinions or hurting their feelings

Day 2: Boundary Myths

Your brain lies to you. If you’re trying to set boundaries, it may tell you that you’re being mean or that it takes time. It could be it feels you push people away by being selfish or even that it makes you say no all the time. None of those are true. Every relationship and situation in your life needs boundaries.

Day 3: Boundary Violations

How does it feel when a boundary gets crossed? Is it an emotional reaction, like anger, resentment, feeling like crying, or something just being off. Or is it a physical reaction, like tightness in your chest, pain in your throat, accelerated heartbeat, or sweaty palms? If you can identify those symptoms, then you can be more on track for those issues when they arise.

Day 4: Boundary Bullies

With the violations, there’s usually a person who committed that violation. These people cam either be first-time violators, repeat offenders, or bullies. First-timers could be an accident. They might not have known. Repeat offenders know the line and continue to cross it, though not all the time. And boundary bullies don’t care. They’ll continue to push it and manipulate you to get what they want.

Day 5: Your VIP section

Boundaries are not a one size fits all situation, especially boundaries toward other people. You should have some people who have more room and others who have less room. The way the therapist phrased it was who would you drop everything for if they asked? Those are the people in your VIP section. You can give them more room then others. And just like a VIP section, it’s exclusive.

Day 6: Over-Functioning and Over-Giving

Over-functioning is the idea of doing more than your share. It’s maybe feeling like if you don’t take care if it, then no one will. You maybe have to solve someone else’s problem or feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It was a shock to me to hear that that is technically bad boundaries. You don’t have to do everyone else’s job. You’re just you.

Day 7: Auto-advice giving

Did you know that automatically jumping to advice is a lack of boundaries? I definitely didn’t. Not every situation requires advice. Sometimes people just need to vent. It’s okay to ask if you can give advice, but don’t just jump into that situation.

Day 8: Boundaries and Denial

Now you may be thinking that you don’t actually need boundaries. Do you make excuses for people? Maybe things like “they’re going through a lot” or “you’re blowing things out of proportion”. No. They’re still violating boundaries. You need to make those lines clear. Don’t make the excuses for yourself or for others.

Day 9: Boundary Script-Starters

If you’re stuck with where to start, then we got a day for that as well. Here’s some for you:

  • I have a simple request
  • I want to bring to your attention
  • I wanted to revisit what happened
  • Thank you for thinking of me, I’ll have to check my calendar
  • My answer is not changing. Please respect it.
  • I want you to be aware of how I feel
  • I need to tell you that
  • No.

Day 10: The Ultimate Boundary: Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is the ultimate way to set boundaries. You gotta make sure you’re okay. You must make sure you’re taking care of yourself. If you’re not, then none of this other stuff matters.

I really hope this helps you set your own boundaries in the situations.

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