Boundaries are something you often hear of but never truly know what they are, what they do, or what they mean.
What the heck are boundaries really?
I never knew what boundaries were at all until my last monumental, want-to-drive-into-a-brick-wall, couldn’t-do-anything-without-breaking-down, heartbreak. I was dating a guy that I knew I was going to marry, I was sure of it. I remember the moment I met him. It was never “Hi, nice to meet you,” it was that internal “Oh, there you are. I know you. I’ve known you in every life I’ve lived before this one. Let’s go back in the coat check closet and make up for lost time.” He was much older, intelligent, cultured, hilarious and devastatingly handsome. He had a laugh that was so raspy and contagious. He was the kind of guy that would walk into a room and without saying a word, everyone would notice him. He was powerful and his confidence superseded the physical toll that time had taken on his appearance. He had a few vices that were usually “deal breakers” for me, but somehow, I didn’t mind or even notice, just like the years between us.
There’s more I’ll get into about him, Mr. FT (f*cktard), in future posts. Yes, he was a very well-known, successful man. Yes, he was actually a narcissist with less confidence than me when I was told my bra size was ‘sports bra’ by the Victoria’s Secret bra expert last week. Yes, he was all bravado, yes, he broke my heart and yes, he was void of empathy and incapable of a genuine emotional connection with anyone, including himself. Yes, he was the first guy I mustered up the courage to cut completely off and although I never spoke to him again after he broke my heart and my old feelings of unconditional love have now been replaced with indifference, he ended up being one of my greatest teachers. Dating him was a masterclass in getting to know myself. The good, bad and the hideous.
He had a lot of amazing attributes, but one of the things he lacked (and I lacked for the majority of my life), was boundaries.
Just like when I learned what emotional unavailability was, when I found out what boundaries were, I was never the same. When I applied them, my pain didn’t seem as unbearable. I stopped being labeled by others as “too sensitive” and I started to lead a much happier existence that included the end of the bs era of my life.
So let’s get into it- What are boundaries? How do you instill them? And when can you put an end to the bullsh*t and the heartbreak because you were ready for that like, yesterday…
Boundaries are basically having a moral code; a knowingness of what you will and won’t put up with and accept. Boundaries are all about knowing yourself; they’re the alert that sounds off, the gut feeling you have, the personal alarm system that notifies you to take action. You boundaries communicate to others who you are and what people can and cannot get away with.
One reason most people don’t have boundaries is because they’re scared of having to turn within. I know I was. HOW could I turn inward and get to know myself when I kept engaging in the drama of unavailable relationsh*ts?
You must know yourself and trust yourself to have boundaries. When you can make a decision (even if your libido is fighting against it and your heart is breaking), in LIGHT of your boundaries, THAT’S how self-respect and self-esteem start to build. Your respect for yourself grows because you see that you were strong enough to make a decision in light of treating you well and looking out for you in spite of how difficult and painful it was. You get behind you.
Another HUGE reason that people lack boundaries is because they’re scared to instill them, I know I was. I was worried that people would think I was being rude, immature or, as I have been labeled my whole life (even by some family members), “too sensitive.”
I’ve learned that the people who will label you as “immature” for having healthy boundaries are the very people who have none.
It takes serious courage to reject and walk away from the hurtful behavior of others.
This is why so few people have boundaries because having them entails ACTION and action is scarier to implement than talk, which is eternally cheap.
There are soooooo many people out there that flip their hair, snap their fingers in the air, puff up their chests and pound like it a 2 ton gorilla, declaring to the world that the “won’t put up with x,y and z,” that they don’t want no scrubs and that they don’t tolerate any bs. LOL. This always makes me laugh because generally, the very people in life that overtly speak out against something, 9 times out of 10 are engaging in that very act or they’re lacking the very thing that they continually preach.
You KNOW your values. Start to value you and treat yourself well. Trust your gut and trust that you have the strength to make a judgement call, actually act upon it and RESPECT and stand by the decision you made.
When you have boundaries, you’ll start communicating to your family, friends and guys, that you only engage in relationships that have a positive impact on your sense of self. Boundaries prevent you from having to engage (either physically, emotionally or both), in relationships and situations that are detrimental to your security and self love.
We really do teach people how to treat us. I can love my family, I can love my friends and I can love my boyfriend, but without boundaries, it’s self imposed, “I’m-never-good-enough,” abuse.
Of course, I’m not going to leave the room and never talk to my family or my best friend again if they disrespect my boundaries, but I kindly communicate through my actions that I am done and that if they want a real relationship with me, this kind of behavior isn’t cool.
The great thing about boundaries is that you don’t really have to SAY anything. You cease existing as the psycho that won’t shut up. You become a dynamic character in your own life story instead of the confused supporting banshee with no purpose.
Having boundaries was the sexiest thing I ever attained. It took me a while to fine-tune, but when I found a way to have boundaries by kindly acting and stopped TALKING about them, people began to respect me much, much more and I saw the level of drama, heartbreak and bs in my life exponentially decline.
How are you supposed to respect someone that barks in your ear constantly about why you’re not giving her what she wants and that she’s sick of you treating her like crap but doesn’t actually do anything about it?
Be a girl of ACTION. Be the classy one that was kind and stayed on the white horse in spite of the bs. Let people say what they want, speak with your actions and EXIT when you know you need to.
Love you all.