What is your definition of Personal Boundaries?
Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits. They are built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning.
As we grow up we learn to feel separate and distinct. That's a necessary development. But for some, clear lines between what they need and what others demand are not developed clearly.
Does this sound like you?
Do you say yes when you mean no or feel guilty if you do say no?
Do you use excuses if you do say no?
Do you say yes even when it’s not in your best interest?
Do you find it easy to change your plans for another person's needs?
Do you have so many things going at once that you can’t do justice to any of them?
Do you over-give to feel “useful”?
Do you feel better about yourself (usually only when you are helping) others?
Do you often feel used or angry that you are constantly being taken advantage of?
Do you allow yourself to be overly involved in problems of other people?
Do you blame your own feelings on someone or something else?
Do you feel responsible for others’ problems, feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being?
Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?
Do you find when you are criticized you become defensive and angry when your behavior is questioned?
Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you?
Do you stay quiet to keep the peace or avoid conflict?
Do you settle for being needed when you want to be truly loved?
Do you feel like a “bad person” when you make a mistake?
Do you routinely take care of others needs before your own and take care of everyone else before yourself and that you come last?
Do any of these behaviours sound like you?
High Reactivity to others-A consequence of poor boundaries is that you react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If someone says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive. You absorb their words, because there’s a weak boundary. With a boundary, you’d realize it was just their opinion and not a reflection of you and not feel threatened by disagreements.
Caretaking- Another effect of poor boundaries is that if someone else has a problem, you want to help them to the point that you give up yourself to do so. It’s natural to feel empathy and sympathy for someone, but sometimes we start putting other people ahead of ourselves and need to help others and might feel rejected if another person doesn’t want help. Moreover, they keep trying to help and fix the other person, even when that person clearly isn’t taking their advice or want any help.
Denial-Do you tell yourself that the circumstance will improve later, have a depressed or down mood, even feel sick sometimes without understanding why? Feel overextended or stay busy to keep from addressing issues? Usually do you think the problem is someone else or the situation? Do you complain or trying to fix the other people in your life or relationships, or go from one relationship or job to another and never own up the fact that maybe YOU may have a problem? Do you also deny your feelings and needs or are often unsure or don’t even know what you’re feeling and are instead focused on what others are feeling? The same thing goes for your needs. Do you tend to pay attention to other people’s needs and not your own? *IF this is the case you may be in denial of having boundary issues or codependent tendencies.
Anger-often is a signal that action is required. If you feel resentful or victimized and are blaming someone or something, it might mean that you haven’t been setting boundaries. If you feel anxious or guilty about setting boundaries, remember, your relationships suffer when you’re unhappy. Once you get practice setting boundaries, you feel empowered and suffer less anxiety, resentment, and guilt. Generally, you receive more respect from others and your relationships will improve and be healthier.
If so you may have Boundary Issues and/ or Issues with Codependency.
Healthy Minds can help work with you create strong healthy boundaries to help create a better mental well-being and create healthier relationships, (including with yourself) in your life!