Boundary bɑʊn·dri, -də·ri/ (n) – An edge or limit to something.

In the age of phrases such as “No Limits”, “Limitless” & “The Sky is the Limit”, I’m aware that boundaries can be a trigger word for some people.

No one wants to feel like they’re being held back or having full access to something or someone. Everyone wants to know or have an understanding that their lives, relationships and every aspect in between has the opportunity to operate in its full potential.

I get it. Until I really understood boundaries in a new light, I used to see it that way, as well.

In the last couple of months, I have really doubled down to understand boundaries because, like the mindset I described above, I just assumed people should “just know” and no one would ever cross a line with me that I didn’t agree with. As I did a survey of my life, relationships, etc., I realized that I had specific boundaries in particular areas, but the other areas where I was rubbed the wrong way the lines were blurred.

Here’s an examples of some my boundaries:

I do not tolerate anyone speaking to me in a rough, loud or disrespectful tone of voice or language. I believe that if you have an issue with me, it doesn’t require any of the extracurriculars. Period. That is my boundary so if anyone starts getting close to that line or crosses it, I’m helping them understand that is not okay and to clarify what works for me.

I do not answer work emails after a certain point in the evening. That time is strictly for my family, myself, whatever. Any email that comes in after a certain time will have to WAIT.

Here are some areas where I had no boundaries:

I do not like taking phone calls in the morning to have negative discussions, yet I found myself just taking any phone call from whomever, leaving that conversation feeling drained and exhausted.

I don’t like being put on three-way phone calls to have discussions, unless it’s something all parties have agreed upon. In my case, it was always in cases where someone would have a beep, say “hold on” and then just link the other person in to consolidate conversations. I hate that.

Although these examples are pretty small, not having boundaries set ultimately have the other party free reign to treat me however they felt. Boundaries keep us safe. It tells us where we can and can’t go. How we are to conduct ourselves in order to respect each other’s spaces.

Think about this: if you were to go for a walk and see a sign on a gate that said “Beware of Dog” with a vicious dog barking as you were walking by, would you walk up to that gate and pet the dog? Would you walk up to the gate? If you are in your right mind, you wouldn’t. Why? They have already established that you should be cautious of the dog. If you cross that line, the owner is not going to take responsibility for what happens to you. That sign is a BOUNDARY! It keeps you and the other neighbors safe.

Same applies here.

Having clear and defined boundaries in your relationships, work and life in general and clearly outlining those boundaries will give you a meter to help you keep others in check when the lines are crossed.

Having clearly defined boundaries has been such a game changer for me when it comes to how I approach my relationships. Those defined boundaries gives the other party a clear understanding of what I will and will not tolerate and eliminates frustration and offense on my part and I couldn’t be happier!

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