Beloved readers in the first post of this series I mentioned why boundaries are great.
In the second post of this series I discussed five ways to build boundaries, what they look like, and five things healthy boundaries require:
- No over sharing.
- No fear of “alone time.”
- Polite, calm responses to deny requests for information she does not wish to share.
- Possessing an awareness of what she feels comfortable sharing in any given situation, as well as what is actually appropriate to share in a given social context.
- Knowledge of the difference between “friends,” “best friends,” and “acquaintances.”
I’d read the first two parts, before this final section, if you haven’t already.
The purpose of Part III, the final part of this series, is to offer encouragement to journey through the process, which isn’t always pretty (or even decently attractive) depending on the people currently in your life.
Your relationship practices before establishing healthy boundaries often decide how difficult it can be, especially if they have caused people to view you a certain way or to feel entitled to certain things from you.
The following are a few things I’ve learned (the easy and hard way):
- Be (politely) Firm.
- If you need to explicitly state the need for a boundary–do so.
- Draw a line and stand by it. (This actually makes the process far less difficult long-term. I promise.)
- Go back and forth in your decisions. (That sends mixed signals and no one likes those.)
- Be embarrassed about taking control over a critical aspect of your peace and happiness.
- Give up.
BE ENCOURAGED to make this the day that you start making the best decisions possible in those you keep in your life, establishing healthy boundaries, and how you manage your relationships.
My relationships improved drastically for the better when I started saying: “I enjoy your company, but I need time to do something things on my own as well. I know you care about me, and I really appreciate your cooperation.”
As well as, “I’d rather keep my thoughts on this for myself.”
At first, I felt awkward, I had been a chronic over-sharer as my way of being friendly or an “open book.” But I learned an incredible life lesson in the process:
Those who honestly care about you will adjust and support you.
They will want you to be at your best. Establishing healthy boundaries is an important part of living a balanced life.
(You can do this.)