You can’t have a great relationship without great boundaries.
Relationships can take time to learn how to maneuver through. The more we practice the better we get. As children I feel like most of us learned that we didn’t really have boundaries or were’t allowed to. The feeling always seemed to be an adult thing. The issue then is, well how do I know how to have boundaries, much less express them? Sometimes, we scream because we don’t know how else to get someone to listen. Or we choose not to have boundaries and wear ourselves to shreds. I don’t like either one of those options and I’m here to tell you there is a better option. I think so often we end up trying to please other people or not hurt someone else’s feelings that we just take it on ourselves. We give ourselves too much work we say yes when we don’t want to just be put ourselves beneath other people. The problem with that is they’ll take us up on it. People will believe you if you don’t instill boundaries and allow them to dictate your value. Sometimes we’re thinking perhaps that if we give to the other person and say yes more than we want to that they’ll do the same back for us. I don’t find that to be accurate.
What I have found is that the more I assert a boundary and hurt peoples feelings a little bit upfront telling them who I am and how I do things, our relationships tend to get along much better. Maybe feelings are hurt a little bit at the beginning because we asserted a boundary and it’s a little bit shocking sometimes. We can actually discuss and share our feelings with one another and say “hey this made me feel not so great can we change things here” and that’s valuable because you show them that you’re not just gonna write them off. You’re actually taking the time to share your feelings and share how the relationship is going to work with you. What I will tell you is that this works better in the long run. They’re (whomever they are) going to respect you because you actually stood up for yourself. You said no when you wanted to and you live the way that is true to you. Or they will choose to exit your life. Either way, you need to find that resolve to be okay with whatever outcome. Your self worth and boundaries should come first. This is never meaning to be unkind. Only putting yourself first so that we can all have authentic, real relationships. I would say this is every relationship, not just romantic relationships. However, this is imperative in a romantic relationship because you’re with that person constantly. You’re living your life with this person they really need to understand and know your boundries.
Boundaries are something that you can’t just say to a person. Yes, you have to say it so they can hear it and understand it BUT what happens when that person hears that boundary and doesn’t listen? They don’t adhere to what you spoke. What do you do now? What I would tell you is that you have to take action. If you don’t take action after seeing once they didn’t respect your boundary and allow them to continue whatever behavior it was, the behavior will never change. You will likely feel walked on, angry and you might feel like “boundaries don’t work because people don’t listen”. But people will listen when you take action. This is why I call it respectful communication because I’m going to assert my boundary if you don’t adhere to it I’m going to take action. For instance if I say my boundary is I need to leave at 1 PM if you’re not in the car I’m going to leave without you. By 1 PM I am in the car and you are not in the car that means I drive away. The next time you’re probably going to change your behavior or we won’t be going together but now you have learned my boundary and you have learned that I’m serious about it. Your behavior must change so that you will be respected. Do not expect anyone else to change. Allow them the space and be prepared to make choices once they make their choices. While I can understand this this may seem mean or hurtful I think it’s more hurtful to allow people to cross your boundaries repeatedly without taking any action because you’re doing that pain to yourself instead of having that person have a little bit of feelings hurt for a short time. You are teaching people your value and how to treat you. You deserve as much respect as you want. Go get it!
Once we learn to assert our boundaries, take the action and show people that we’re serious about being treated the way that we are asking, we will find that our relationships improve exponentially. The difference will be astounding, your relationships will become more authentic they will become better you will start feeling better in life as well. Honesty, authenticity and boundaries are going to be your win in any relationship.
Thank you for being here today. I hope this helps.
Prepper Matchmaker and Relationship Advisor