You know how it feels when somebody doesn’t respect your boundaries and they cross that line? You feel like they don’t see or hear you! And you may wonder, what is the problem?
But what I want to ask you is, have you actually communicated your boundaries clearly? Boundaries are not just a visible line in the sand. Boundaries can be energetic, and they’re something we need to own, take responsibility for, and let other people know.
When we can communicate our boundaries clearly, then other people know where they stand with us. Then we’ll be less triggered because people will stop crossing the boundaries they didn’t know about!
And then we’ll flow more easily. There are all sorts of different boundaries; we can have physical boundaries, like our literal space around us. These days, a lot of people have the Shoes Off in the House policy. Boundaries also depend on how rigid or flexible you are with them. I live in a Shoes Off in the House place, but if somebody comes in with their shoes on, it’s not going to be the end of the world for me either.
Our physical self, some people hug, (I’m a hugger), and some people do the handshake thing. These are all boundaries. Most of these we don’t need to verbalize, it’s obvious if we’re huggers or hand shakers. And most people have enough awareness and respect to notice or ask if it’s a house with shoes on or not.
We also have sexual boundaries of course. Who, what, when, where, how, how much, how long? And also, info about past lovers, and sexual health. You need to discuss your boundaries with your sexual partner! It’s amazing how many people do not have the sex talk. Then they’re literally flailing around in the dark wondering why it’s not working?
We need to speak up about what we like, how we like it when we like it, and how it needs to be so that we can feel safe and held. Boundaries help us communicate much more effectively. They help us keep our focus on what we’re doing.
We have emotional and mental boundaries, which I would call energetic, which means not being criticized or being invalidated, undermined or even having to rescue someone.
Feeling safe to be able to communicate what it is that we’re feeling and being seen and heard falls into emotional and mental boundaries. So if you have somebody who’s making you feel bad about the things that you say and think, that’s really not cool.
I would also say that this has to do with space. If you need some space, you ought to be able to have it. This may also fall into the physical and literal boundaries but sometimes the space we need is in our brains. Right? Like, I need some quiet time. I like to meditate in the morning. But some people like to watch the news first thing. So there needs to be a conversation around that.
We also have spiritual and religious boundaries. I like to bless and pray over my food before I eat it. But I don’t expect everybody at the table to sit there and wait for me while I’m praying. I bless everybody’s food at the table. And some people are respectful and sit and wait and some other people just dig in. I’m not going to take it personally because it has nothing to do with anyone else. That’s what I want to do. I also bless my car before I drive it anywhere.
Some people have different religions. Some religious people want to come and knock on your door and drag you into their religions. I’m not really into that, but as long as they can politely receive a “thank you, no, I’m not interested” and leave me alone, that is fine.
Other people have different religions and they want to go to church every Sunday. But why drag your whole family if they don’t share the same beliefs? We think that because we’re in a family situation or in a partnership that everybody’s going to do what we’re wanting to do, but that’s not really the best way forward because well, different strokes for different folks, as they say.
We have financial boundaries, like being paid on time if you’re working for someone. Being paid when they say they’re going to pay you or if you’re in a contract, paying your contract on time. Material boundaries are met by respecting your and other people’s possessions, especially if you’re living in their house. You know, maybe some people are all about coasters on the table or no smoking.
Time is another boundary. Show up. Show up when you say you’re going to show up. Show up on time. I know that there’s a social lateness buffer, but social lateness is really maybe five to 10 minutes if there’s a time stamp, especially if dinner is being served or there’s going to be an event. But showing up 30 minutes late is rude and it’s holding other people up.
These are all energetic things in yourself. If you’re somebody who does not respect somebody else’s boundaries, that’s because there’s something going on in you. It could also be because of something going on in the other person like believing they don’t feel deserving and worthy for people to respect their boundaries, for example.
Because if you’re putting that vibration out, you’re receiving that back, or if you haven’t expressed your boundaries clearly how on earth are people supposed to know? But time is a really big one. Many people schedule their time; from 9 to 12 I’m working; from 12 to 1 I’m exercising; on the weekends, I’m not going to read my emails. That kind of thing.
Because when you have clear boundaries, especially in relationship, people feel valued. I mean how would it be if you’re in relationship and the evening time is set aside for your partner, but then you take a work call, how do you think that’s going to make your partner feel? They’re going to feel devalued, not seen, feel that you don’t care about them, that work is more important than they are, etc. And then the resentment sets in…
When you don’t set clear boundaries, or express and live by them and teach other people around you to respect your boundaries, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, rejection, and resentment.
And of course there are those non negotiable boundaries. They’re the deal breakers, especially in relationship. So whatever they’re going to be; maybe it’s drugs, alcohol, addiction, maybe infidelity. Those non negotiable’s definitely need to be addressed, early on! A lot of people are too rigid in relationships and put all of their boundaries in the “non negotiable” column but then you’re setting yourself up for rejection and being alone for the rest of your life!
If we want to be with other people, we need to be flexible, accepting, and allowing, but there’s a fine line to that. When you understand somebody’s boundaries and check in with people, things are easier.
There are also social boundaries. If you’re in the quiet car on the train, and someone’s talking loudly on their phone. Hello! You’re in the quiet car for a reason. Any time you’re in public situations. If you’re eating really smelly food that you’ve brought on a train for example. These social boundaries are not written or expressed, but if they affect other people around you, it is essentially a social boundary.
I think the most important are the emotional and mental boundaries because these are about respect. And about seeing other people and expressing yourself clearly. When you don’t express your boundaries clearly, you’re going to attract other people who don’t express their boundaries clearly too. And what happens is that people start stepping across that line, and then you get really pissed off at them. You don’t know why people keep doing this to you. So if this is a pattern, this is something you really need to look at within yourself.
I also think that we have personal boundaries. My dad is visiting and I’m definitely a chip off of his old block! He’s extremely self disciplined and takes very good care of his body and health. So last night, my kids and their partners and their dad were here and we had hors d’oeuvres, cheese and crackers and then pizza and it was just a big pig out fest and super fun. Naturally, we stuffed our faces and ate all of it with joy and glee. But today my Daddy was like, “We have to get back on the program!” (because we both eat quite healthily). And I agreed.
If you’re usually healthy and diet conscious but continue pigging out, then you’re breaking a personal boundary because you’re letting yourself down. You’re not going to feel good about yourself. But if you just have a one-off night because there’s a party or something’s going on, but then you get back on the program, then you’re being flexible with yourself. So it’s about how we hold ourselves to account and how we hold others to account.
Boundaries are about respect and flow. They help make every relationship, from the one you have with yourself to your colleagues, friends, lovers, children, and parents better and better and better.
There are all sorts of other really cool stuff that I would love to tell you about in my 12-week online course From Fear Into Love and if you’re on my mailing list, you will have received the playback recording of the webinar. There’s so much information on there. I mean, I got called out because I was running out of time! I wasn’t sticking to the time boundary because I got sucked into the work.
It’s so exciting and interesting to me. And I really want to share this level of consciousness with all of you so that you can stop struggling with the day-to-day and start living a happy, easy life in flow. Why are you still sweating the small stuff when you have a choice and I have the answers? So book a call with me. It’s free and only 20 minutes. You’ll probably have an aha moment on the call. It’s fun. I want to get to know you and let’s see if we can work together, it would be absolutely wonderful.
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