BALANCED BOUNDARIES

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL BOUNDARIES

 

 

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Physical boundaries are clear: fences, yards, etc. Non-physical boundaries (needs, wants, values, expectations, limits and consequences) are not as clear, yet imperative.

"We can't really love until we have boundaries - otherwise we love out of compliance or guilt. And we can't really be productive at work without boundaries - otherwise we're so busy following others' agendas that we're double-minded and unstable."

boundary related QUESTIONS

Why do I feel 'emptiness' at times?

Why do I feel disconnected from my partner?

How do I communicate boundaries?

What if I upset him/her when setting boundaries?

Why do I feel guilty stating my needs and limits?

I don't want to be controlling, but how can I get him/her to stop doing [that hurtful thing]?

How do I help someone in need, while maintaining boundaries?

Do I overly-please others to avoid conflict?

Why is it difficult for me to say 'No' or hear 'No'?

 

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others."

Brene Brown, PhD

 

SENSE OF SELF

WITHOUT BOUNDARIES WE LOSE OURSELVES

SELF-AWARENESS

Boundaries draw a 'line in the sand.' Without boundaries our 'Sense of Self' gets lost and enmeshed in the needs, expectations and approval of others. 

 

Your needs, values, opinions, feelings, desires, and limits differentiate you from others - allowing a strong sense of 'Self'. Without boundaries we end up 'Self-less,' feeling empty, alone, depressed, longing for a sense of purpose and worthiness.

SELF-WORTH

Boundaries are necessary to feel and maintain positive self-esteem (ability to honor yourself). Overall, balanced boundaries provide the opportunity for a trusting, honorable, warm, engaging, relationship with yourself.

Prioritizing yourself by asserting boundaries ensures you're keeping yourself safe and cared for. This is your #1 JOB! This builds and sustains a solid foundation of self-love and self-worth.

SELF-TRUST

Without boundaries you risk: abandoning yourself while over-caring for others; people-pleasing; sacrificing; placating to prescribed 'roles' from childhood; and putting up with abuse.

Are you watering others' lawn before your own? Have you abandoned your own needs because you've been scared of disappointing others? This results in resenting yourself and others - and erodes self-trust.

SELF-DISCIPLINE

We also have Internal Boundaries, also known as Functional Boundaries. Studies prove that Functional Boundaries (Self-compassion and Self-discipline, not self-berating or over-indulgence), result in the highest rates of goal-attainment.

 

With a solid foundation of boundaries, Self-Trust and Self-Worth we can consciously 'mentor' and parent ourselves in a balanced way - giving us the power to choose expectations and limits for ourselves, complete tasks and goals and live in alignment with our personal values and desired life purpose.

“Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.”

Brene Brown, PhD

 

4 MAIN BOUNDARY PROBLEMS

ACCORDING TO DRS HENRY CLOUD AND JOHN TOWNSEND

 
 

Boundary problems are not limited to those that "can't say no." People who don't respect others' limits also have boundary problems. We can be more than one type, depending on the situation and person.

 

 

RELATIONSHIP BOUNDARIES

 THE FOUNDATION FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

When we don't feel safe, secure and loved, it will have an distressing impact on the foundation of our relationships. Maladaptive protective behaviors, anxiety, frustrations, resentment, distrust, confusion, hurt, anger, etc., are often due to a lack of boundaries and the skills to clearly communicate them.

1

TRUST, RESPECT & SAFETY

Boundaries create trust, safety and provide the ability to feel respected and LOVED. When you don’t feel loved and safe – not just physically safe, but emotionally loved, your natural reaction (intentional or not) will be to protect yourself (the opposite of connection) by fleeing/withdrawing (FLIGHT), attacking (FIGHT), isolating/shutting down (FREEZE), or placating/pleasing (FAWN).

Maladaptive protective behaviors erode respect, trust, vulnerability, and genuine connection. Poor boundaries, poor connection, poor intimacy.

3

CLARITY & RESPONSIBILITY

Clear boundaries prevent blurred lines, confusion, and distrust. We can't expect others to read our minds. It is our responsibility to (1) know what we want and need in relationships (to feel loved, cherished, appreciated, protected, etc.) and (2) communicate these needs and wants effectively and appropriately at the right time and place

2

WHOLEHEARTED CONNECTION

Our boundaries need gates that open and close. Vulnerability and sharing your authenticity with trusted others is essential. People truly have good things to offer us and we need to open our hearts to those capable of trust and emotional connection.

 

This is especially important in our romantic, intimate relationship for wholehearted, genuine connection. Hiding behind a perfect mask walls you off from feeling seen, heard, and truly valued.  Learn more about your Attachment Style and the Gifts of Imperfection.

4

PREVENTS RESENTMENT

Without realizing and communicating boundaries (especially your expectations and limits), you can end up being a prisoner to the expectations and wishes of another, leading to resentment and a loss of trust in yourself and others. Expectations - without clearly communication our boundaries, wants, and needs is a - down payment on resentment.

"Boundaries in relationships work both ways: they create emotional health and are created by people with emotional health."

Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

6

CONSCIOUS

VULNERABILITY

Feeling connected is a human NEED. Boundaries distinguish our 'property' so we can keep things safe within our 'fences.'

Fences have gates - likewise, our boundaries need openings to connect with others. If we are too walled-off with rigid boundaries we'll feel disconnected and an overall sense of emptiness - even when surrounded by those that are trustworthy and care for us.

Sharing our feelings, beliefs, fears, and authenticity requires vulnerability. Vulnerability requires boundary skills to discern who is worthy and safe.

5

SHARING OF OURSELVES

With boundaries you decide who to allow within your 'property line' (your space), and how comfortable you feel sharing your 'Self' (feelings, values, interests, passions, opinions, dreams, fears, mistakes, experiences, etc.). 

Boundaries are NOT 'all or nothing.' They are complex. For example, you may decide it feels safe to share your passions with a friend, but not your family secrets. You may decide it feels right to share your interests with a date, but not your mistakes and past traumas. See image below for more info.

 

SHARING OURSELVES

CONSCIOUS VULNERABILITY

It is our job to keep ourselves emotionally safe. We set ourselves up for disappointment, resentment, anger, pain, and self-resentment, if we share aspects of ourselves with people (including friends and family) that have been judgmental, shaming, neglecting, dismissing, or emotionally immature. We need to discern (based on past experiences) who is capable of connecting with us at richer, high-levels of authenticity and vulnerability.

"Expectations [without clearly communicating our needs, wants and limits] are only a down payment on resentment."

 

 

 

WORKSHEETS & MORE INFO

BUILD BALANCED BOUNDARES

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ASSESS YOUR BOUNDARY SCALE

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ASSESS BOUNDARY PROBLEMS

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Creating Your Balance LLC and information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.  It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. Creating Your Balance LLC and information provided may not make any medical diagnoses, claims and/or substitute for your personal physician’s care.