Boundary pushers in your life can be tough to tackle. On one hand, you want to be respected without pressure to do or be something you are not comfortable with. On the other hand, you may be getting feedback that the boundary pusher isn’t happy with the decisions you are making. This could look like minimization, direct “I don’t like it” statements, or flat out ignoring your boundary despite clear communication. Have a look at these three tips to help you on your journey to having healthy boundaries.
#1 If you are able, decide ahead of time what you are and are not willing to do. If you don’t have time beforehand, you can buy yourself some time and space before you respond so you can make a decision that works for you. Phrases like, “I’ll get back to you on this” or “I’ll have a think on it and let you know when I have decided” can be helpful to have at the ready.
#2 If you are finding you have to repeat the boundary constantly then it’s likely time to have another conversation so you can speak to the boundary directly. It’s important to communicate as clearly and calmly as possible. They might not like the boundary, especially if they were benefiting from something before the boundary was made. It’s common for a boundary pusher to try and push the anxiety they are feeling back on you. Remember this does not mean the boundary isn’t valid!
#3 Have a look at why boundaries are so hard for you. This could be a self reflection to start, with a counsellor, or even in a workshop focused on learning about boundaries. If boundaries are tough to put in place and stand solidly in, then your difficulty with boundaries could have an origin in your early development. Some questions to explore might be: Were boundaries not ok or allowed growing up in your family? Was it ok for you to have needs? Think back to as early as you can remember in your life when you had to set a boundary. How did your family react? These are all important and useful questions to start to ponder as you work your way towards becoming solid in knowing what your boundaries are and discussing them in your relationships.
If you are looking for a counsellor to help support you as you get clear on your boundaries, contact us here to schedule a complementary 15min consult.