How Do We Know if We Have Strong Internal Boundaries?

We often speak about the need for creating and setting boundaries as not only a means of self-care, but also as a way to allow ourselves to feel some peace in our relationships that prove to be challenging. Boundary setting however, can prove to be emotionally difficult. We can often struggle with the inner dissonance that they create (changing the way we do things often does) as well as the reaction that others may have to our decisions (we usually get tested before the new boundary settles in.) There can also be some grief involved when creating a boundary proves too much for the relationship to handle.

Sometimes our inner turmoil makes us question if we are actually getting anywhere in our goal for stronger, internal boundaries. Here are some important traits to consider:

  • Faith in ourselves. Even when facing challenge or vulnerability, if we can take a deep breath, and know instinctively that we made the right decision – our internal boundaries are working.
  • The decision to distance ourselves to toxic relationships or situations becomes less tolerable. Creating strong internal boundaries is a cumulative process; it becomes easier over time and experience to pick up on dysfunction and make some changes.
  • Understanding that all emotions serve a purpose. Being able to accept our emotional responses and honour them help strengthen our internal system.
  • We feel less taken advantage of. When we have strong internal boundaries, we are able to acknowledge and act on situations that are proving to be one-sided.
  • We don’t tolerate drama. We begin to have a “no games, no guessing policy;” knowing that getting pulled into the drama provides no solution – ever. 
  • We are less tempted to enable others. The pull might still be there “to fix,” but we recognize and acknowledge that we can only truly change ourselves.

When we continue to work towards the goal of strong internal boundaries, we also are in the process of securing our sense of self and being true to ourselves in a way that honours our value system.

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