Why Boundaries Matter

“Boundaries is simply what’s OK and not OK.” – Brené Brown

Imagine that your internal world – your emotions, thoughts, desires, needs – is a village. This village makes you who you are. And in order for your village to thrive, it needs to feel safe and protected.

And it can only do that when it has a clear protection around it, one that defines what’s OK and not OK to enter your village.

Without a clear boundary, your village is always being invaded.

And this isn’t much fun.

Because it means we end up doing things we don’t want to do.

We feel that people are taking advantage of us.

We try to please everyone.

We have a hard time knowing who we are or what we want because we don’t know where our village ends and other people’s village starts. 

We end up in relationships that are enmeshed, where, as Harriet Lerner writes

We put our energy into taking responsibility for other people’s feelings, thoughts and behavior and hand over responsibility for our own.

And this often leads to resentment towards ourselves and others because we can’t say no or clearly state our needs. Or as Brené Brown explains:

We let people get away with things that are not okay. Then we just become more resentful and hateful.

And also, we can’t take care of our own village when we are too busy taking care of other people’s villages.

Learning to set a boundary does not mean you have a walled off village that isn’t able to interact with other villages.

It simply means creating a safe container from which to create, thrive and love without losing ourselves in what others want or expect from us.

According to boundaries expert Chad Buck, a clinical psychologist at Vanderbilt University, boundaries lead to:

♥ More self-awareness and self-care

♥ More assertiveness / confidence

♥ More trust in self and others

♥ More compassion towards self and others

♥ Healthier relationships

♥ Less likely to burn out / less stress

♥ Less anger / resentment

If you would like to find out how to start setting boundaries in your own life so you can have healthier relationships with yourself and others, join me for a workshop on Boundaries: The Key to Healthier Relationships with Yourself + Others.

This workshop is based mostly on Acceptance on Commitment Therapy (ACT), a mindfulness-based behavioral approach, as well as the work of Brené Brown, Harriet Lerner and Karla McLaren.

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