BOUNDARIES! What is it about this simple word that can stir up so much? And how come when it comes to boundaries, we don’t know how to do it where they will STICK instead of them feeling ICK-y?
Are you like me? When it comes to setting, or more accurately, holding my boundaries I can’t seem to do it with a firmness that echos through the ages never to be messed with again! 😊
Maybe it starts off with one conversation that doesn’t feel too great and then what starts off as a one-off event becomes a flood of situations that has all your boundaries called into question. They all require you to use the word no or please don’t do that again! And while this may feel daunting this is actually a good sign that the Universe is delivering to you. It is as if the Universe is saying,
“Hey girl, you are leaking energy in these “specific” situations. We need you to power up. So here are a few situations for you to work on. 😉 ”
Or in other words, learn how to do this, k. Especially if you can count a succession of events that have called up some anger, frustration, or the like. This is really a signal that it is not enough to be aware of what is happening, it is time to do, say, & repair the boundary that is permeable.
Fortunately, the Universe delivered an answer to me via a video lesson from Kate Northrup. The class was about BOUNDARIES! Thank you, Universe! Her tips were great. In this article I am giving you her tip along with a few things I know about HSP (highly sensitive person)/Empathetic people & enhanced it with NVC (non-violent communication)break-down. There is a lot out there about boundaries. This is just a summary of what I have learned in my own life & from the teachers I follow. 😉 I hope this helps you get started with fortifying your own boundaries.
These are actions that are helpful to making boundaries less icky.
1. Be aware. You need to first understand that the source of your anger is coming from a boundary that was violated/crossed. For an Highly Sensitive person this may be a little harder to figure out as our boundaries are always permeable. This is because we connect with people in more ways then just using words. We connect with feelings that are sometimes not expressed out loud, so to speak. It can take days, sometimes weeks, later before you understand what happened inside that conversation that stirred up so much emotion.
Helpful Tip: Journaling on these events can help you to find the boundary that is in question. Boundaries can be: being respected, feeling misunderstood, needing acknowledgement for your achievement, etc… The more you journal the more aware you become of your boundaries.
2. Get tools. HSP/Empathetic people would be helped by getting a few spiritual & visualization tools to help them navigate crowds & any situation that calls you to be with other people. I have a friend who specializes in helping people with this specifically, Nathasja Gootjes of Helderheid Coaching (Clarity Coaching). Her newsletter offers a wonderful tip for those of you beginning to learn about your sensitivities.
3. Take responsibility for your boundary. Once you have figured out that a boundary was crossed, you can fix it if the situation calls for it. If it is with a friend, then call her up (more on how below). If it was a stranger that you will never see again, then you can’t fix it but prepare yourself for the next time. Don’t beat yourself up every time you DON’T defend your boundary. Sometimes these incidents are there to remind you. 😉
4. Use Non-violent communication. This means to use words that do not throw blame on the other person. When one feels “violated” there is a tendency to blame. It is irrational to think that the other should know your boundary and yet we do this anyway. This is an excellent time to educate them on what you are feeling and needing from them. NVC follows 4 principles: Observe, Feel, Need & Request. This is an example that Kate offered.
“When you interrupt me in conversation (Observe), I feel upset (Feeling) because I feel my words are not important to you (Need). Would you be willing to allow time for me to finish my thoughts when we are in conversation? (Request)
This is a great way to maintain a solid connection between you and your friend/partner. It also opens up a meaningful conversation without throwing the other person off-balance by blaming or making them upset. And it gives you what you need. In this case, acknowledgement from your friend that what you say is important to them. That you matter.
How does this method feel to you?
Would you use it the next time someone crosses your boundaries?
Want a little help with finding your boundaries and setting them?
Let’s have a chat! I will go in just like a detective, help you find your boundaries then we explore what ways you could set & hold your boundaries to make them stronger.
It is my specialty to see you as you truly are & approach your concerns with an open and loving heart. I coach women to listen, trust and follow their hearts. If you are ready for a talk about what you want to bring into your life then please schedule 45 minutes with me.