In this second self-care practice from the SASC Bootcamp I will talk more about boundaries. Where you might need them, how to set them, and how to maintain them.
"I always say that boundaries are the foundation of all self-care, without boundaries to protect your energy and time, all the other self-care and self-love work get stripped down a bit."
I want to start by saying I’ve gone through this process myself going from award-winning people pleaser to boundary badass and it doesn’t happen overnight but the rewards were life-changing and life-saving for me.
Some of the benefits:
I could keep going but as you can see, very impressive benefits.
Having the people-pleasing tendency is definitely more common among women mostly because of the societal expectation for us to be the nurturers in the community.
Many women feel pressured to or are expected to care for everyone else before they do anything for themselves if they do for themselves at all.
We have been told to wear this behavior as a badge of honor in communities even if it takes away from our health and happiness substantially.
Now I’m not saying you don’t care for anyone but yourself, I’m just saying you should give yourself at LEAST the same care you give others, FIRST. If you practice this, then you get to put a well-rested happy version of yourself back into your family and community.
Setting boundaries and maintaining them is part of this type of care for yourself.
So how do you know you need a boundary? Many of us have been people pleasers for so long, including myself, that we just do not recognize it anymore.
Some clues you need a boundary are when you hear yourself saying things like:
“Everyone walks all over me”
“Almost everyone takes me for granted”
“Nobody appreciates the work I do around here”
“ No one has respect for me or my time”
“I have no time, I feel so overworked and overwhelmed”
If you find yourself saying any or all of these comments then that is a sign you need some boundaries.
You see we teach people how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves and the way we allow others to treat us. People observe subconsciously and know what you will and will not accept.
If you are that person who will always say yes and do everything for everybody, then the people in your life know this.
It does NOT mean they don’t love you or respect you, most of the time, they just know where you have set the bar and it’s human nature to behave accordingly.
So the first step is to look where you need some boundaries, where you need time and space. Then you have to take responsibility for doing this, setting and maintaining the boundary, all by yourself. You have to realize it is your responsibility and yours only to maintain that boundary and keep maintaining it. It is not the responsibility of the people in your life.
You have to expect to have to keep maintaining that boundary until it sticks a bit and this can be hard for everyone in your life to get used to.
Don’t expect people to respect your boundaries the first time you set them. Change can take a little time.
The next step is to actually create a boundary and figure out how you will maintain it.
When I do this with clients, I have them write out scripts of what they will say and practice it so it will come easily to them when the time comes.
Let’s face it, setting boundaries is uncomfortable, and creating the script creates comfort and confidence within the uncomfortable situation.
The last step is to follow through. Also hard, also uncomfortable. But let’s remember what’s on the other side of that discomfort.
Worth it! Added bonus, the person you’re setting that boundary with is sometimes a person you can have that deeper, more authentic relationship with. How beautiful is that?
The people that will not respect your boundaries over time, most likely are not positive supportive, loving people in your life and will most likely fade away slowly.
Unfortunately, people pleasers tend to attract some of these types.
As an example of a boundary being set, a script, and then the maintenance part.
Boundary: Every time I have any type of disagreement with my partner they automatically start yelling, talking over me, and sometimes throwing things.
The boundary is “ Whenever we disagree, you yell and we can never have a conversation and resolve our differences. When you do this I get frustrated and mad, and I feel the relationship is not important to you. Staging how you feel is important and can sometimes start a very relevant and healing conversation with whoever you're dealing with.
Script: From now on when we disagree if you start yelling and carrying on i will walk away from the situation until you can talk calmly. I will leave and go to a friend, or family member's space until you’re ready to talk.
Maintenance: When this happens just state that you are leaving until they can have a calm conversation. Then you have to leave. That's maintaining the boundary.
This is the process of setting boundaries. You can do this in all areas of your life. With your partner, children, friends, and work relationships.
As you can see, a simple process, but not easy.
I always say, there is always magic on the other side of discomfort.
I go deeper into boundary work inside of the SASC Bootamp if you need more support with this topic.
Registration opens in December, here is the link to get on the waitlist: https://www.tinastinson.com/aligned-worthy-ps
Until then, Start small with the easy boundaries first and gain some success and confidence, then move on to the bigger ones,
Remember to add deep-level self-care into your life daily.