This month in the Facebook group, we've been working on setting healthy boundaries. This has been a great experience for all of us thus far as we have been challenging and supporting each other in setting healthy and effective limits on what we will and will not do and what behaviors we will and will not allow to occur in our presence.
Many of us in the group have struggled with boundaries in relationships – with our families, friends, coworkers, bosses, and significant others. Often we feel guilty for setting boundaries with our loved ones, and we may even find ourselves on the receiving end of guilt or anger when we try to set and enforce our boundaries.
In the past, I've struggled with setting boundaries with romantic partners. In fact, this was a harder – and longer – lesson for me to learn than setting boundaries with friends, family, and at work.
When I was 16, I met a boy who would go on to stalk me off and on for four years. At first, I was flattered that he ‘liked' me so much. He bought me flowers and gifts and paid attention to me – a gangly, awkward teenager who was much more of a nerd than a beauty Queen (for a modern day example, think of how unhealthy yet romanticized Bella and Edward's relationship was in the first Twilight book/movie). But as the weeks turned into months, I realized I had a problem. He would show up outside my house; when I got off out of class, he would be there. He had his friends call me to let me know he had a shrine erected to me in his bedroom. He began cutting his arms, showing me the wounds, and saying, “These are for you.”
While I think we can all agree that what I have just described was not a healthy ‘relationship,' how often have you found yourself feeling the victim in a similar situation?
And what's more, how often have you allowed it?
I have been guilty of this numerous times. From loaning money to friends and significant others that was never returned to working overtime on a ‘special' project for my boss for which I received no compensation, to caving to peer pressure to do things that I knew were not in my best interests.
But if I have learned nothing else in my 42 years on this planet, it's this: the
. And even when we think we've passed, it will give us one last mini quiz, just to be sure we really got it this time.
If your boundaries keep getting tested, here's my 7 step plan for setting and enforcing effective boundaries: Setting Boundaries 101
If you need help setting effective boundaries, check out my free video where I walk you through how to do this in real life.
I’d love to hear how these work for you in the comments below.
Here’s to setting healthy boundaries!