What do we mean when we say Boundaries?

Let’s talk about what a boundary is and how to implement one, how to manage toxic relationships and how to spot gas lighting. First I will break it down and simplify it for all of us. Like, what is a boundary? So what I always say to people is when I ask that question, like what are your boundaries? more often than not people are like, I don’t have a clue. Not surprising to me, I see it all the time as a Life coach and the reason for this is because we never give ourselves the time to think about it. So I would encourage anyone to grab a pen and paper and just write that down. Like what is a boundary for me? 

So for me personally a boundary is knowing when something or someone is a little too much for where I’m at right now. So if I’m at a certain stage in the week and I’m just feeling a little bit tapped out. Maybe I’ve been ignored by my boys a thousand times that day and it’s only 10am and I just feel like I need to be on my own. I just need to physically be on my own in a room. My boundary might be to say to somebody, no, I can’t do that thing because in my mind, I’ve decided that I’m going to go home. I’m going to lie down and chill or read a book. Or I’m going to clean the windowsill! Yes you heard me right. Yeah, it makes no sense, it’s just one of my things. 

Oftentimes the word Boundaries can be perceived as a dirty word and people kind of think you know doesn’t he or she love themselves. But we need to love ourselves and take time out for ourselves and that may be disappointing to other people and that’s okay. If you find you are already so busy and don’t have time to think about this. May I make a suggestion to you now; think of this in a practical, logical point of view if you are saying yes to something that makes you miserable that you know you’re going to come away from that situation feeling bad about yourself, feeling undermined, feeling disrespected, then it just makes good sense to not do that thing because whatever happens in that moment, you’re going to bring it home to your family and the people who love you, like your kids, your partner, or even if you’re not, no relationship, your kids, your kids will pick up on us. They’re very, very clever. So they will feel that from you. They’ll still feel that mummy is frustrated. I recently said to my son the other day because I was really frustrated about something and I said to him, out of curiosity, can you pick up on how I’m feeling right now? He said. Yeah, Mommy, I can, you know, and I asked him, what do you think it is? I think you’re depressed. I said Right. OK. Then I said, what does that word mean to you? And he said that, you know, kind of a bit fed up, a bit frustrated. I said, ah, well, I said you’re absolutely right. I’m definitely frustrated. But I said depression is a bit different. Depression is when you’re feeling really, really low, really sad. And I have felt like that, but I don’t feel like that now. And that was interesting. We had a little conversation about that.

So with that in mind, I would say to people to see boundaries as a positive action for your mental health, just like minimising your cups of coffee, don’t have coffee after one could you know will keep you awake all night or going for that run or ticking off the smaller jobs in your To Do List because it makes you feel like you’re getting stuff done. 

Personal boundaries are like your protector, it protects your energy. I know I am not the only one who has come away from a coffee meetup and I promise myself I am not meeting them again because they are just too much. You know those people with those domineering personalities and they always interrupt you. So a personal boundary for you might be to choose how much time you spend with that person. You might decide to not see them on a particular day because you don’t have the energy for them on a particular day. So the next time you are faced with an invitation that fills you with dread then why on Earth are you saying yes to it if it makes you feel miserable?

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