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How to Set Boundaries

August 23, 2021


-They can keep us emotionally and physically safe

-They can define our roles in our relationships

-They let others know what is acceptable and unacceptable

-They can be a big tool in preventing resentment

-Think of it as your fence line.

You know the lawn inside of your fence is yours, you need to water and take care of it. It’s not your responsibility to take care of your neighbour’s lawn, cut their grass, plant their flowers. Could you hop over your fence and help them out? Absolutely, however at the end of the day, it is their responsibility to take care of their lawn, even if it’s your best friend’s lawn!

There often is a fallacy around boundaries, they shut people out. This is absolutely not what boundaries do. They are not a way to punish people, they are a way of letting people know where their yard ends and our yard begins.

If you grew up in a house where others were enmeshed with each other (think constantly jumping fences to tend to your lawn, pushing you out of the way to do things their way, bringing in their ideas of what they think is best), it would be trickier to figure out where boundaries need to be set because you always had people jumping up and doing what THEY thought should be done.

The next question we often see if how do we know if our boundaries are being violated??

A rule of thumb we can use to explore where boundaries are being violated, is to explore how you feel around a certain person or situation. Are you feeling exhausted with your kids because of the expectation to play all the time? Are you exhausted spending time with a certain friend because she shares everything that is going on with her and it’s not reciprocal? Are you annoyed at your in-laws because they keep expecting you to come to them with the baby? The annoyance, the resentment, the anger, are all signals telling us we may need to set a boundary with them.

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