After a guest post by psychologist and transformation coach Terri Cole on creating healthier boundaries, I received a lot of feedback from people telling me that establishing such boundaries is very difficult for them.
So now I’d like to share with permission a post written by Luminita Saviuc, who blogs under the name “Purpose Fairy,” offering eight steps to create healthy boundaries:
The presence of any feelings of irritation, anger, blame, discomfort, frustration, etc., is a clear sign that boundaries have been crossed. And when boundaries get crossed, people get hurt and relationships start to get messy.
Here are eight steps to creating healthy boundaries in relationships:
- Get clear on who you are
The first step in creating healthy boundaries is getting clear on who you are and what you actually stand for. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
Get clear on who you are:
What are the things that matter to you? How much do you value yourself? What do you stand for? Do you treat yourself with love and respect? Do you think others should treat you with love and respect? Are your time and energy valuable? Do you have a healthy relationship with yourself? What do you expect from your relationships? Do you think you can add value to the lives of others? Do you think others can add value to your life?
If you don’t know who you are, what you stand for, how much you are worth, and the direction you want to go in life, chances are that boundaries will be crossed and your relationships will get messy.
Get clear. Get focused. Create healthy boundaries.
- Communicate openly and honestly
To create healthy boundaries in relationships, you have to know what you tolerate, and what you don’t. And you have to make sure that you communicate these things to those around you.
Seek to be as open and as transparent as possible. Communicate openly and honestly about the things that bother you, and make sure people understand that, without creating healthy boundaries, you can’t create healthy relationships.
- Learn to say ‘no’
Oftentimes, people (family and friends, especially) will use all kind of emotional tricks to try to manipulate you into saying ‘yes’ to things you should be saying ‘no’ to.
When that happens, hold your ground! Take a few deep cleansing breaths to centre yourself. And with a calm and soft voice, say ‘no.’
Don’t try to explain or excuse yourself. A simple ‘no’ is enough.
“Never explain – your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.” — Elbert Hubbard
People might get frustrated and upset with you at first, but, in time, they will respect you for it.
- Make your well-being your top priority
A lot of people sacrifice themselves for their partners, their families, their friends, and the many people they are in a relationship thinking that that is a noble thing to do.
But it’s not!
Trying to please everyone around you is not a noble thing but, rather, a sure path toward self-destruction and total misery and unhappiness.
“A king may move a man, a father may claim a son, but that man can also move himself, and only then does that man truly begin his own game. Remember that howsoever you are played or by whom, your soul is in your keeping alone, even though those who presume to play you be kings or men of power.” — from the movie Kingdom of Heaven
Make your well-being your top priority and know that, by doing so, not only will you give permission to those around you to do the same, but you will also strengthen your relationships because you had the courage to create healthy boundaries.
- Retreat within yourself
One of the most important steps in creating healthy boundaries is spending time alone with yourself – to know yourself, to love yourself, and to understand yourself.
“Until you get comfortable with being alone, you’ll never know if you’re choosing someone out of love or loneliness.” — Mandy Hale
- Let there be spaces in your togetherness
Whether it’s the relationship you have with your partner, parents, children, friends, family or co-workers, to create healthy boundaries, you have to give each other the space to breathe and to experience life as individuals first, and then as friends, family members, partners, etc.
“Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.” – Kahlil Gibran
- Trust the vibes you get
Pay close attention to how you feel about people. Know that when light and love come together, there will always be more light and love.
But when darkness is present – when people come your way with fears, hidden agendas or unloving intentions –confusion will take a hold of you, and your vital life force energy will slowly be leaving your body.
“When you notice someone does something toxic the first time, don’t wait for the second time before you address it or cut them off. Many survivors are used to the “wait and see” tactic, which only leaves them vulnerable to a second attack. As your boundaries get stronger, the wait time gets shorter. You never have to justify your intuition.”―Shahida Arabi
Trust the vibes you get. Trust your gut. Trust your intuition.
- Respect yourself enough to walk away
We are constantly forming new relationships with everyone we come into contact with. And even though some of these relationships are healthy, happy and life-giving, some of them are not.
Some of the relationships we have are toxic and unhealthy – damaging our confidence, making us feel confused, unworthy and unloved, and depleting us of our vital life force energy.
“There are people who break you down by just being them. They need not do anything. Dissociate.” — Malebo Sephodi
Look within. Be honest. And dare to walk away from those who have no interest in you being happy, feeling loved, and living the life you came here to love.
Let go. Break free. Forgive. Be free.
Click here for the website of Luminita Saviuc, who blogs under the name Purpose Fairy.