Read through the following questions and mentally notate either “yes” or “no”:
- Do you ever feel like people take advantage of you or use your emotions for their own gain?
- Do you ever feel like you’re constantly having to “save” people close to you and fix their problems all the time?
- Do you find yourself sucked into pointless fighting or debating regularly?
- Are you a jump in too fast kind of person and find yourself way more invested or attracted to a person than you should be for how long you’ve known them?
- In your relationships, does it feel like things are always either amazing or horrible with no in-between? Or perhaps you even go through the break-up/reunion pattern every few months?
- Do you tell people how much you “hate drama” but seem to always be stuck in the middle of it or it seems to gravitate to you?
- Do you spend a lot of time defending yourself (or making excuses) for things you believe aren’t your fault?
- Do you feel as though you are always the giver and rarely have others precipitate?
If you answered “yes” to even a few of the above, then you probably set and maintain poor boundaries in your relationships.
Personal Boundaries – A Novel Concept
Before I move forward, lets identify exactly what personal boundaries actually mean.
Healthy Personal Boundaries = Taking responsibility for your own actions and emotions, while NOT taking responsibility for the actions or emotions of others.
People with poor boundaries typically come in two flavors: those who take too much responsibility for the emotions/actions of others and those who expect others to take too much responsibility for their own emotions/actions.
Interestingly, these two types of people often end up in relationships together.
Some examples of poor boundaries:
- “You can’t go out with your friends without me. You know how jealous I get. You have to stay home with me.”
- “I can’t go out with my friends because my girlfriend gets really angry when I go out without her.”
- “My co-workers are idiots and I’m always leaving work late because I have to tell them how to do their jobs.”
- “I’d love to go to my in-laws house for Thanksgiving but my mother would never forgive me.”
- “I don’t have time to workout because my family needs me too much.”
In each scenario, the person is either taking responsibility for actions/emotions that are not theirs or they are demanding that someone else take responsibility for their actions/emotions.
There is hope!
Now that we have determined where you are in your journey, we are going to dive deeper into personal boundaries…how you got here and how to set new healthy boundaries moving forward.
In this next article, we will address how self-esteem and identity go hand in hand with personal boundaries. CLICK HERE to read more.
Interested in more? I would love to meet to you! Email or call anytime to schedule an in-person or virtual session. (817) 701-5438 | firstname.lastname@example.org
CRT, CCDC, CACC | Counselor & Life Coach