The three most challenging personal characteristics are boundaries, expectations, and acceptance! We need to be reminded of these characteristics on an hourly and daily basis. When they are managed properly we feel a sense of happiness and serenity. How do we achieve happiness with these characteristics and how are they applied to our lives? This week I am going to cover boundaries and in the following weeks I will cover expectations and acceptance.
Wikipedia’s definition: “personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards him or her and how they will respond when someone steps past those limits.”
How do we set these guidelines in our lives when we have never truly experienced it before? I can tell you from my personal experience, it is extremely difficult! Especially if you are a people pleaser like I am. When I set boundaries I feel bad about myself and very insensitive. I also feel mean! My goal in setting these boundaries is not meant to be harsh, but to make sure that my personal needs are being met. After time, I have realized that I don’t deal well with chaos and drama. So, I ask myself what I need to do to ensure that I do not have those emotions. The answer is simple: I need to set boundaries.
I have provided an example on when people must set boundaries. For example, you have a plan to meet with an acquaintance at a certain time. You realize that your to do list is extremely long for that day, and that you cannot stay at this person’s house for long, only one hour! When you walk into their house, you exchange pleasantries and you also mention that you can stay for an hour. The visit is going very well and you’re having fun! In the back of your mind you know that the hour is approaching quickly; you keep glancing at your watch. You know that you have other priorities for the day that must be done, but you feel bad because the person now tells you she has made you her favorite pound cake. Oh my – you are in a bad place! You have to go but she made this delicious cake. So, you decide that you can stay for an extra half hour and that it is no big deal. The battle in your head is nutty because you set a specific time limit, and you must leave now!
I know everyone reading this knows what I am talking about! Boundaries are helpful and hard to practice!
My recommendation on how to set boundaries is practice, practice, practice! It takes time and work to figure out what you want your life to look like. Do you like chaos and drama? Cool! Then boundaries will not be that important to you. But for those of us like myself that cannot stand running around, and need time to smell the roses, I need these boundaries!