The Importance Of Setting Boundaries

What do we know about boundaries?  Well, EVERYONE needs them, yet NO ONE likes them!

The hardest part about boundaries is not setting them, but rather, enforcing them and keeping them set.

Think about how many boundaries are set for us as kids.  When our parents set a boundary, it taught us right from wrong.  Boundaries gave us very clear – and often, immediate – feedback as to whether a behavior was “good” or “bad”, essentially with a “yes” or a “no”, respectively.

More often than not, as kids, we probably heard “no” quite often, and in return, we probably said “no” a lot.

But what about as adults?  Why do we have a hard time saying NO?

Because we feel bad about it.  We feel guilty when we say NO, and that plays into our “guilt cycle”, which, paradoxically, feeds the reward center in our brain.

You know who does NOT like to hear “no”?

PARENTS!  Parents say NO a lot but do not like to be told NO.

Now, think about your adult life for a minute.  Do you have a problem saying NO?  Who are the hardest people to say NO to?  OUR PARENTS … with immediate family, in-laws and really close friends a very near second.

But what’s the cost when we’re so ambivalent about saying NO?  Are we honoring ourselves if we are constantly saying YES to everyone and everything around us?

Conflicts with boundaries can cause, exacerbate or shake the cobwebs off a whole host of psychological issues, such as…

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Guilt problems
  • Shame issues
  • Marital and relational struggles
  • And more

This is why it is SO important to create boundaries for ourselves and our unit – our primary social group, usually involving our parents, children, immediate family and closest friends.

Take time today to think about some important boundaries you need to create.  Where – and with whom – do you need to draw the line in the sand?

Write them down so that you can see where the issue lies.  Is your biggest problem knowing where to draw boundaries?  Or, do you struggle enforcing them?  Or, do you have trouble with both?

Change That Up!

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