Have you ever said: “I’m setting a boundary!” Often when people say that they mean they are demanding a certain behavior from someone. However, that can actually be manipulation. We can request that someone do or stop doing stomething, but adults are always free to behave how they want, regardless of our request. Sometimes in these situations it is helpful to set a healthy boundary.
A healthy boundary is set from a place of love, peace and calm not anger or upset. If you are feeling angry or upset, then you want to do your mindset work before setting a boundary. A boundary is something we set for ourselves. It isn’t if you do this or don’t do that, then I am going to punish you. Here is a great example of when and how to set a healthy boundary:
I knew a married woman with small children. She loved her mother-in-law and wanted her to spend time with the children. The women’s mother-in-law would stop by the house unannounced, walk in (the front door was unlocked) and expect to be able to spend time with the kids. This was not always convenient. Sometimes they family was sitting down for a meal or the kids were napping. So, the women said to her mother-in-law: “I love you and want you to spend time with the kids. But it isn’t always the best time when you drop by unannounced. I am requesting that you call before you come over so that we can make sure it will work for you to spend time with the kids. If you come by unannounced you may find the front door lock. The kids could be napping, or we could be gone. So please call before coming over.” Now if the mother-in-law drops by unannounced she will find the front door locked.
Another example is of a woman who liked to go out with her girlfriends. Unfortunately, sometimes the friends over-drank and started arguing. The woman set a boundary in her mind. The next time her girlfriends over-drank and started to argue, she would simply leave. She didn’t have to say anything in advance to the girlfriends. This is a decision she made and decided to honor for herself.
Think of a boundary like a fence with a locked gate around your property. You wouldn’t yell at people passing by: “If you break the locked gate and come into my yard, I am calling the police.” No, you wouldn’t do that. However, if someone came into your yard uninvited you might call the police or at the very least ask them to leave.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before setting a healthy boundary:
What is the boundary violation you are seeing in your life?
What is the boundary you want to set?
What is your request of the other person?
What is the consequence? What will you do for yourself if the boundary is violated?
What are your fears around establishing the boundary?
What are the benefits of establishing this boundary?
How will you set the boundary?
How will you insure that you honor your boundary?
If you would like help deciding what is or isn’t a boundary or how to set a healthy boundary, simple go to: www.CindysCalendar.com and schedule a free sample session.