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What Are Boundaries?

At the heart of it all, boundaries are like our personal power switches.

They challenge us to think about why we might be holding back from giving ourselves the green light to live and work in a way that truly nourishes us.

Ever wondered who’s really calling the shots when it comes to our lives, daily routines, and workloads? That’s where boundaries step in, giving us the power to choose when, how, and even if we hand over the control.

Here’s the thing: when we’re drawing up these boundary lines, we often stumble when we expect others to magically know and provide what we need.

You know, like hoping our partners and pals will always communicate with a sprinkle of empathy, or our bosses will decide to send that final email before the clock strikes 5.

Or perhaps we dream of our workplaces suddenly embracing the flexibility we crave. But guess what?

Reality check, those outcomes we dream of don’t always materialize.

Time goes by, and honestly, we get a little weary of having to spell it out.

Establishing boundaries starts to feel like one of those endless conversations we just can’t muster the energy for anymore.

We might surrender, opting to just ride the current and conform to schedules, routines, or people that don’t exactly do us any favors. But, here’s the kicker: this path only fuels our growing frustration.

So, let’s flip the script and explore the art of boundaries in a way that truly empowers us. Ready to dive in?

What are the different types of boundaries? Physical Boundaries These boundaries involve personal space, touch, and physical interactions. They define how close others can come to you, what type of touch is acceptable, and when and where you’re comfortable being touched.

Emotional Boundaries Emotional boundaries pertain to your feelings, emotions, and personal experiences. They determine how much you’re willing to disclose about your emotions and experiences, as well as how you handle others’ emotions and reactions.

Mental Boundaries Mental boundaries relate to your thoughts, beliefs, and values. They help you maintain your individuality by preventing others from imposing their thoughts or beliefs on you.

MY FAVORITE Time Boundaries Time boundaries involve how you manage and allocate your time. They help you balance your commitments, responsibilities, and personal needs, preventing you from feeling overwhelmed or burned out.

Material Boundaries Material boundaries concern your possessions and resources. They determine how you share or lend your belongings, as well as how you handle requests for money, favors, or material items from others.

Social Boundaries Social boundaries revolve around interactions and behaviors in social settings. They include appropriate behavior, communication styles, and the types of relationships you’re comfortable engaging in.

Digital Boundaries In the digital age, digital boundaries have become crucial. They involve managing your online presence, protecting your personal information, and establishing guidelines for online interactions.

Myths about boundaries Setting boundaries is selfish Boundaries are a sign of weakness Having boundaries means cutting people off Boundaries are only necessary in extreme situations Boundaries create conflict

FACTS A boundary is not a demand. A boundary is not an ultimatum.


How to set boundaries?

Non Negotiables Vs Negotiables

Non Negotiable = unwilling to compromise Negotiable = A “nice to have”

Write down what are your top 3 priorities in your professional and personal life.

Write down your top 3 obstacles and limitations for each.

Implement and commit to one “non negotiable’ boundary and two “negotiable” boundaries.

Do this for 60 days.

Track your progress by asking yourself these four questions: What are the favorable results that emerged as a result of the boundary I established? Were there any adverse consequences that arose due to the boundary I set? In terms of my emotions, how does my current state compare to when I initially embarked on this boundary journey? Am I better off? What modifications do I need to make to ensure I remain on course?


Boundaries in the workplace Not a Boundary (Ineffective): Always saying yes to additional tasks or projects, even if it leads to excessive workload and stress. Proper Boundary (Effective): Politely declining additional tasks when your workload is already at capacity, and offering to reassess when your current tasks are completed.

Not a Boundary (Ineffective): Constantly checking work emails and responding to messages during personal time, even on weekends or vacations. Proper Boundary (Effective): Setting a clear expectation that you will not respond to work-related emails or messages during non-working hours, and using an automated response to inform senders of your availability.

Not a Boundary (Ineffective): Allowing coworkers or supervisors to make derogatory comments or jokes about you without expressing your discomfort. Proper Boundary (Effective): Politely but firmly addressing any inappropriate comments or behavior and requesting that colleagues and supervisors treat you with respect and professionalism.


Boundaries in our personal life Not a Boundary (Ineffective): Allowing a friend to consistently borrow money from you without discussing your own financial limitations or discomfort. Proper Boundary (Effective): Politely declining to lend money when you’re not comfortable or when it would strain your own finances, and explaining your reasons for doing so.

Not a Boundary (Ineffective): Accepting a last-minute invitation to an event even though you had other plans, without communicating your needs or preferences. Proper Boundary (Effective): Expressing that you already have prior commitments and are unable to attend, but you appreciate the invitation and would like to plan for another time.

Not a Boundary (Ineffective): Listening to a family member criticize your life choices without addressing your discomfort or standing up for yourself. Proper Boundary (Effective): Kindly but assertively telling your family member that you value their opinion but do not wish to discuss certain topics or be criticized in that manner, and steering the conversation in a more positive direction.

Not having clear boundaries WILL result in: Relationship Strain Without clear boundaries, relationships can become strained and stressful. People may struggle to understand each other’s limits, leading to conflicts, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings.

Burnout and Overwhelm Lack of boundaries often leads to over-commitment and an inability to say “no.” This can result in burnout as individuals take on too much and neglect self-care, ultimately affecting their mental and physical well-being.

Decreased Productivity Unclear boundaries can lead to poor time management and distractions. Without a clear separation between work and personal life, for instance, productivity can suffer as focus is divided, and important tasks are neglected.

Loss of Identity Personal boundaries are crucial for maintaining a sense of self. Without them, individuals may find themselves constantly accommodating others’ needs and desires, leading to a loss of personal identity and a sense of purpose.

Resentment and Anger Failing to establish and communicate boundaries can result in feelings of resentment and anger. People might feel taken advantage of or disrespected, leading to a deterioration of trust and emotional well-being.

When the people closest to you struggle to embrace the healthy boundaries you set, the path forward is simple.

Consider the empowering choice of gracefully moving forward without them.

We don’t need inconsiderate energy vampires in our lives.

The End!

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