|Posted on September 8, 2019 at 11:45 PM|
Do you struggle to speak up or stand up for yourself? Are you always trying to accommodate other’s needs neglecting your own? Do you feel guilty saying No to people? Are you always seeking approval from others? Do you tolerate any type of behaviours towards you? Are you always giving only to become resentful when you get nothing in return? If you said Yes to most of these questions it’s safe to assume that you don’t have defined clear boundaries.
Often we don’t realize when our boundaries have been crossed until it’s too late. The first sign is feeling hurt. Some people who’ve ignored their emotions for so long bypass the hurt and jump straight into Anger. There’s also certain boundaries for us that are should not do’s and absolute must never do’s. There’s a certain degree to what’s sort of acceptable and what totally isn’t accept. Let me give you an example of each of these.
A husband comes home late. A wife may feel fear uncomfortable, but is this enough for her to blow the lid? That really depends on whether the Wife has issues around abandonment or trust. A Wife who is confident and independent may not take notice as she knows herself worth and accepts that this could be a rare occasion or would say something immediately if there was a concern. Now what if he continues to do this. The build-up of emotions around abandonment over time may get heightened and the discomfort would make the Wife want to speak up. She believes she “shouldn’t” be left alone.
Now let’s go one step further what if the Wife finds out her husband is cheating on her? This might be an absolute “MUST NOT DO” boundary for her. If he cheats she has Vowed that this would be the end of the relationship. Here is where things get complicated. If she doesn’t listen to her personal boundaries in this situation she could stretch her own boundary of “Must not do” to “Should not do” and stay with her husband. In essence she’s abandoning herself and her own emotions. Even if they work it out, the trigger is there and next time he comes home late she will bypass the hurt and jump straight to Rage.
But let’s not vilify the Husband here, what if this Man grew up without intimacy within his family and every time his wife withdraws intimacy from him he feels hurt. A personal boundary of his has been violated. Which could possibly be a “Must never do” for him. Yet he didn’t say anything and simply chose to find intimacy elsewhere. Either way none of these scenarios are OK. The most crucial piece of information in each of these cases have been missed! The individual’s FEELINGS!!
Your emotions are your internal guidance system. We have evolved with this incredible internal tool that triggers us to look within. A feeling of hurt will warn you immediately that one of your personal boundaries has been violated. It’s you job then to go internally and find out which boundary it was. It’s a beautifully designed way of consciousness teaching us to become more self-aware. Other people are merely the trigger to an emotion, bringing an emotion to the surface in order to be healed.
Here’s how to tackle this. When an emotion comes up for you Firstly ask yourself What am I feeling right now? Try to come up with only 1 word such as abandonment, rejected, devalued. Don’t get carried away JUST ONE WORD! Then ask yourself when was the very first time I felt this feeling? Go back to the very first time in your childhood when you experienced this feeling, trace it all the way back. Then ask yourself What did I do to cope in this situation? Did you cry, quietly withdraw, get mad….. once you have that sit with that for a moment and see the patterns you may be still running and how they have been working for you. Lastly with this new found knowledge of yourself if it’s working well for you and you are getting exactly what you want then there’s no need to change, but if you are reading this it’s safe to assume you are NOT getting what you want and your boundaries are not being acknowledged in this situation. Brainstorm what you would like to see happen, in the specific situation where your boundary was violated, instead and articulate it to the other person or yourself. So that next time you are faced with this situation you can immediately pick up which boundary of yours has been violated and do something about it before it gets out of control.
Another little thing you can do is make a comprehensive list for yourself on your Must nots and Should nots and address each part of your life. With a piece of paper make 5 columns one for Relationships, One for Work, One for Family, one for friends, one for life in general and anything else you may like to explore your boundaries around. Then in each column divide it in half and make the one for shoulds and the other for musts. For example in Relationships under the shoulds section you could write in a relationship we should both do the dishes, we should both take turns in changing the nappies … Then under the musts you can have In a relationship my partner must never cheat, must never hit me or the children. So you understand exactly when you have a boundary that’s been stepped on when an emotional trigger comes up you could easily turn to this list and see which one was activated.
By Carla Savannah
Categories: Self Development