3. Humility is necessary
When we feel bad, sad, or terrified, we usually condemn the attitude of someone else and form our emotional boundaries around that condemnation. But usually, this seemingly irrational or intrusive friend is rarely trying to upset us, and just doing the best they can with what they have in their social climate.
Truth is, whatever anybody else does or says usually does not have much to do with us but rather them.
We constantly think we are the focus of the universe, the only performer in the drama called life. We fret about how others see us, how others treat us, and how we are being perceived in each situation. When actually we are just one of a few billion ordinary humans who all wish for the same things like care, recognition, and joy.
When we create boundaries with the understanding that we all make mistakes, being sympathetic becomes easier. We see it all the time: “No one is perfect.” This also includes us, and when we learn this, then the attitude of people becomes less disturbing to our ego, and we can behave out of kindness rather than resentment.
4. Calm vs. Reactive
It’s so much easier often to react than to stay calm and seek a situation beyond how we feel.
All too often we want to lash out when we feel hurt and ‘get back’ so to speak at the other person.
I understand this- it’s self preservation on speed. It’s the mind having you believe that the actions of another has a direct effect on your identity. Rather than acting calmly to resolve the situation or to respectfully reinforce how you wish to be treated, it convinces you that you must claim back your honour and show them.
Being reactive never serves a good purpose unless in a life threatening situation and the ego is never in that position no matter how much it will try to convince you otherwise.
5. We vs. Me Mindset
The ‘we’ mindset is an important ingredient in every healthy relationship and even though “I” statements will come up while explaining your stance to people, ‘we’ is also just as important because the end goal of setting boundaries isn’t to alienate everyone nor is it to prevent them expressing their point of view of the situation being discussed.
The moment you start thinking about ‘me’, you won’t get a solution, you won’t communicate and you will be pushing people away.
Unlike the ‘we’ mindset, the ‘me’ only mindset is often uncompromising and fault finding. When addressing the issues, you tend to accuse the other person and the aim is often to be right than to resolve. Taking only the ‘me’ point of view causes others to also become defensive and close off to anything you may have to suggest on how to resolve the matter.
6. Love vs. Fear Mode
The healthy and right way to set boundaries is when you talk about the issues that concern you from a place of love. You show concern and understanding and give them a chance to speak their mind.
This removes fear of hurting them or rejection from telling people how you feel because it comes from a place of love, honesty, and loyalty.
But when you operate from fear, you create an emotional wall around yourself. You see when you approach setting boundaries from fear, where you don’t want the person to get mad, leave you, or see you as selfish so you keep allowing them to cross your boundaries, there will come a point when you will reach your limit. And this often leads to an explosion of building resentment and can damage the relationship irreparably.
It no longer is an act of love and care to understand the other’s reasons and intentions behind the action; you instead encourage an environment whereby neither party is able to be themselves. You further give yourself reason to believe that you are unworthy of the love you want nor to be respected.
5 surefire ways to feel worthy of love
When you continue to allow fear to control your mindset, that very fear of losing them becomes reality but worse you lose your sense of self in the process too.
7. Apology is a perfect last resort
Often the only thing you can say is “sorry”. Sorry for not taking a moment to see your point of view, or of making you feel you couldn’t express it. Apologising when you get it wrong is a sign of strength not weakness. It not only frees them but you and gives you both permission to be vulnerable and love fully.
Having the understanding that most people are doing their best to navigate this complex, confusing world or that not everyone purposely steps on our ‘triggers’ allows room for what each and everyone of us seeks in our relationships- deep meaningful, loving communication.
As a Doctor I have found that most people just want to be heard, they want to feel understood and accepted as they are; an imperfect human being. Being aware of this whilst compassionately making your boundaries known fosters with the right people mutually respectful relationships.
I hope this helps you recognise how important it is to keep your boundaries whilst being mindful that it doesn’t become a wall keeping out potentially beautiful connections.
I would love to know how this post resonates with you. Have you found yourself in this situation of struggling between setting boundaries and pushing other people away?
I’ll love you to check out these problem solving strategies: 7 holistic ways to do it