…Taking Control of Your Life
We have all heard the term “personal boundaries” but how many of us really know our personal boundaries and just as important, how to maintain them. Hopefully this blog will begin to help you define your own boundaries that keep a healthy balance of what is yours and what is not as well as who to let in and how to keep others at a healthy place outside your boundaries.
A personal boundary is this imaginary space that helps us keep things that will nurture us in and keep the things that will harm us out.
I want to start with a story, which is always helpful as an illustration. This fictional story is about two people who met at the gym. Shelly and Shannon were both in the same town and had met at one of the rumba classes they were both in. Shelly was single but Shannon was currently in a long term relationship. Shelly initiated the conversation after one of the classes and Shannon felt at ease with Shelly right away. They began to go out for coffee right after the class and sometimes stayed out late chatting late into the evening. One day Shelly asked Shannon if she wanted to go to New York on a shopping trip with her. Shannon had always wanted to go there to shop and was excited about the possibility but hesitated to say yes because she had really wanted to go there with her boyfriend. Before she knew it, Shannon had agreed to go with Shelly, hoping her boyfriend would be fine with it. Shannon’s boyfriend was happy Shannon had a chance to go to New York, but felt uneasy about Shannon spending so much time with Shelly.
To get this story to the point, during the trip Shelly began criticizing Shannon’s boyfriend that eventually put a wedge between Shannon and her boyfriend. Both women knew a lot about each other’s personal lives but it seemed Shelly had a way of giving more advice to Shannon on how should live her life. Shannon began to feel confused and stressed! STOP!
Okay, what’s going on here? It probably didn’t take you long to see Shannon did not really have any personal boundaries and Shelly walked right in. Shannon’s confusion began when someone else began to pull her into a direction that she really didn’t want to go and well you get the picture.
This is only one example of how our personal boundaries can be compromised. When there is a weak area in our lives, (i.e., not knowing how to say no, situations that causes us to compromise our values for the sake of others) others can walk in and we are left confused. Perhaps, you are very involved in someone’s life and are continually caring around their burdens or they are overly involved in yours.
To keep your personal boundaries secure try the following:
- Learn to say no out loud when you hear it in your inner voice
- Be honest with yourself, taking care to be truthfully confront toxic relationships.
- Guard your time and don’t let others steal it from you.
- Don’t compromise your own value system.
- Ask yourself…”Does this promote my self-care or take away from it?”
There is so much more to cover on this topic so stay tuned!