Many people have no idea what healthy boundaries are or what they look like. Even more, setting boundaries and enforcing them is like a foreign language to most of us. So let’s talk about it.

The Situation. The Belief. The Truth

The situation: The environment, job, or relationships I’m in or around cause me stress or are toxic.

The belief: Starting fresh somewhere else or with someone else will alleviate the issue.

The Truth: You have boundary issues. Starting fresh in a new place, job, or relationship doesn’t alleviate the issue. You’re bound to take your unhealthy boundaries with you. The fresh start you need is within you.

If there’s a pattern of experiencing unhealthy jobs, groups, or relationships in your life, there’s a common denominator. You! You haven’t been setting appropriate boundaries.

It’s unrealistic to get our needs met by waiting for situations to improve magically. They don’t. You can’t outrun your inability to set boundaries. They follow us because it’s our responsibility to communicate and enforce limits for ourselves.

What are Boundaries?

We can’t expect people to read our minds about what’s acceptable and what’s not. So even when we do know about setting healthy boundaries, others don’t. So, let’s talk about what boundaries are and are not.

Boundaries are…

  • A way of advocating for yourself
  • A way to maintain the health and integrity of a relationship
  • An excellent way of saying you want a relationship. But you want to work on a few things.
  • A way of saying “I love me” and who God created me to be.

Boundaries are not…

Boundaries ARE NOT control of others. They are setting limits, communicating your needs, and enforcing them through direct communication.

Boundaries ARE NOT a license to be rude. Telling people to “stop acting or doing something” is not a boundary. But politely letting them know what’s acceptable to you and what’s not.

What Do Boundaries Look Like?

Setting a boundary looks more like this…

  • Your comment isn’t funny. It’s hurtful to me. Please stop.
  • I’m more of a “handshaker.” I don’t want to hug.
  • I’ve asked that we not talk about that. If you bring it up again, I’m hanging up.
  • I need you to listen, not respond or give advice. (When you don’t need input)
  • When I share things with you, I expect you to keep them confidential.
  • It’s not okay for you to tell me how or what I should feel. My feelings are valid.
  • I can’t talk now but will call you back at _______. Does that time work for you?

The Fresh Start You Need is Within You

Setting boundaries is hard, but not mean. Boundaries are loving yourself and the people around you. It helps others know how to love you well and allows relationships to thrive and flourish. It’s time for a fresh start!!

Note: This does not include abusive relationships. If you are experiencing abuse, please seek help.

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