Why Are Boundaries Important?
When we are growing up, we are surrounded by the boundaries of others that are in our immediate world. When you learn those boundaries and use them as an adult, they may not work out in the world. Boundaries are necessary for healthy relationships.
Boundaries are the script that tells others how to behave around you. Most people will become uncomfortable when a behavior of another crosses that line. You can see this in action when you look around at the differences in personal space. If a person has a small bubble for personal space, they may not understand that you are not comfortable sitting or standing that close. The same goes with personal questions, you may not want to answer due to an emotional boundary. There are also psychological boundaries that are created when a target of bullying or emotional abuse.
We expect people to honor are boundaries. The problem is, if you don’t express those boundaries and their own boundaries are difference, they won’t know they are making you uncomfortable. Narcissists will often pray on individuals with weak boundaries. You must learn how to establish healthy emotional, psychological and psychiatric boundaries.
If you are not sure of your own boundaries or our rights in a relationship use the following questions as a guideline.
Ask yourself these questions about current relationships?
1. Am I safe in my relationships?
2. Do those around me know my boundaries?
3. Is it safe to express opinions?
4. Does the other person affirm and cheer you on?
5. Do you feel validated?
6. Do I feel I have the right to say no and have that “no” respected?
7. Is the relationship meeting personal needs?
8. Are you treated respectfully- absence of emotional, physical, or verbal abuse?
Really think about what is acceptable behavior in your relationships. Is anyone refusing to take no for an answer? Not accepting the answer no is a violation of your rights as an individual. If the same person continues this behavior, you also need a consequence. I often find good examples of this on Facebook. Someone asks to be your friend, you are nice, so you say yes. Immediately you get questions like are you married? What are you wearing today? This is a violation of most people’s personal boundaries. The consequence from me? I don’t even respond to them; I immediately block any message from that account.
If you feel you have poor boundaries due to domestic violence or other traumatic event, you should find a counselor, not a coach. While both can help you with assertiveness training, counseling goes a step further and looks at things such as are you putting your own needs on hold when reacting to others?
People with these type of boundary concerns will say things like: “I don’t want to be mean?” “I don’t want to hurt their feelings.” “I don’t want to make them mad at me.”
The other area you should seek counseling and not a couch orbits around individuals who have had their boundaries completely violated. This could include assault and emotional or physical abuse. They will work hard to not upset the abuser and push their own needs out of the picture out of fear.
I am a life coach and yes, I want to help those that decide to work with me. However, it would be unethical to say I could coach someone who has trauma. That kind of boundary concern takes more than a coach to overcome.
Have a great week!