Yesterday I weeded. My entire yard is a giant weed from all the rain and early Spring. My allergies aren’t that bad so I sat down and began pulling, even though it seemed a daunting task when I began. Surveying around me I realized I might have made a small dent. I was fine for hours until mid afternoon and I felt like I was in the middle of a bad two-week cold with congestion and a voice that sounded like frog. Silly me, I forgot to create a boundary beforehand, meaning, take some allergy meds before I went outside to weed.
As per usual, the simple situations in life often mirror what I am learning, although learning how to set boundaries, as a sensitive empath, is probably my main lesson in this lifetime. But I have been forced to look at the many ways I don’t put in a preventative boundary in place or are reluctant to do so.
5 Ways I Need to Set Better Boundaries
Drum roll please…
1. I have to admit that I have pure panic when I am about to say NO and disappoint someone, or say I can’t do something. It’s usually happens when I need to take care of myself first and my body or needs are screaming. I am definitely a pleaser, and when I really care about someone, I want to please them BAD. And in prior relationships, if I said NO and spoke how I felt, I was punished in some way, so there’s a part of me waiting for the sentence or aftermath. I don’t please you, you won’t like me anymore. I will suffer by being ignored, rejected, or worse. (I actually have one friend I am terrified to speak up to and disagree with for fear of the aftermath.) Since as a sensitive I am FINALLY learning that I have limited energy reserves since I overload easily, and I am recognizing my limits and when I simply need that time-out. It’s my responsibility to let others know this, and hopefully, they will respect my needs and not take it personally because it isn’t about them.
2. I need to learn how to put boundaries up on others’ demands. I’ve never been good with this one. This falls into the category of pleasing others vs. pleasing myself also. It’s funny how everything goes around in circles back to that solid fear of punishment. Dang, maybe I need to look at that.
3. I need to not get others involved in my relationships. When everyone else is involved or has a say in your relationship, even from a place of concern or love, it still isn’t a good idea. They have no idea all the small pieces or details, they only hear you when you are upset, and then you invite them into a space they don’t need to carry, and then they are upset. Plus, they have their own ideas, fears, and experiences that cloud you. Nothing like having a well-placed fear that you didn’t have before fester inside. This goes for projects too. I realized a long time ago, that I only share what I am doing AFTER the fact. Going back to school? Working on a children’s book? Changing your hair color? Show/tell them after you did it. Trust me on this one.
4. Learn that not everyone has the same boundaries. A few of my extroverted acquaintances can talk my ear off all day or would probably visit and not leave, and my introverted self wants to simultaneously combust at the thought of it. Not because I don’t like them, but I’ve got that limited reserve thing. Some friends don’t need a lot of space or have no problem sharing important details of their lives, but I need space and privacy. One is not bad or good, it is just learning each other’s boundary language.
5. I need to ask for what I want and need. Lordy, this is a big one, and fits in with the other four. I see the roots of this one going deep down into the ground. I’m afraid to ask for what I need. Whether it’s support, or help (a big one), or more time to complete a task, or a shoulder to cry on when I need it (never been good at asking for this one), or attention, or money for what I offer (don’t want to be too pushy). This falls under boundaries, because when I communicate these things I help others to respond to me better. It’s a more direct route then pouting, assuming, resenting…you get the idea.
And finally…a big little hint
And a little hint, any area where you are feeling like you want to scream, “Get out of my f*cking space!” is a strong indication that one of your fences has been breached and you hit a boundary. Anger has its purpose.
How about you? Do you relate? Having a tough time with these areas setting boundaries?
Off to take some much needed Benadryl.
So incidentally, I write more about boundaries in my two fav classes, Better Boundaries for the Sensitive, and Empath Skills class. Both have a new session starting March 20th. Go sign up to learn more!