Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How are your boundaries?

I know I write a lot about the importance of personal boundaries. But I've dealt with it in my life, and I have so many clients who have, too. In addition to that, I hear so many women (and men, too) talking about how "used" they feel—as though people are really taking advantage of their good-hearted and generous nature.

Does any of that describe you? Do you say "Yes" more often than you'd like—and perhaps end up resentful later?

If so, it might be a good idea to work on developing, and keeping, personal boundaries. Those are like little fences that keep you safe from those attitudes, requests, behaviors and words that are harmful to you. They can help you learn to say "No" when you need to do so. Boundaries are not punitive. And you are the one who gets to decide what yours are. You are the only one who knows where to draw the line in terms of how others treat you. Is someone "guilting" you into always doing what they want? You get to say "No" to that, if that's in your best interest. And, of course, there are ways of saying "No" to words, behaviors and requests that are kind rather than hurtful.

When you set boundaries, you get to also say what the consequences are for breaking them. For example, I might tell my friends that I don't like raised voices. Then I can tell them that if they do yell at me, I will leave the room. If they persist in their behavior, I may eventually have to leave the relationship. All those things are within my right to decide—and to do.

If this is something you'd like to discuss, I invite you to contact me for a complimentary strategy session.

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