There comes a time when we realize that we need to create or tighten our boundaries. Perhaps someone is taking advantage of us, we recognize that a relationship has become enmeshed, or we are allowing someone to treat us in a way that isn’t acceptable. In any case, we decide that some boundaries have to be set. We can do this in such a way as to make sure that we are moving from the position of “I am important and so are you;” to be calm and kind in our approach. We can practice saying it, find the courage to speak up and decide to ourselves that we will be consistent in maintaining the boundary.
From here, we are best served to remember that our emotions are going to play a role in both the setting and maintenance of boundaries. We can be prepared for different emotions: anger when someone tests the boundary, disappointment if the outcome isn’t what we desired, resignation if nothing changes. And the emotion that potentially will provide the biggest hurdle? Guilt. Feeling guilty carries a lot of weight in whether or not we follow through.
It will be important for us to process our emotions as we feel them. To understand that our feelings can simply be felt and that no action is required. We can use our logical brain to remind us of why the boundary needed to be set in the first place, carrying forward with setting our limits. We can take a deep breath and remind ourselves that boundary setting isn’t always easy; it may feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar – but in the end, as we begin to feel more confident and at peace in our decision, our emotions come to settle too.
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