Do you want peace of mind?
Most people, when asked that question, will respond positively. It seems to me that most people want to feel a sense of peace more than anything. One of the most vital ingredients of peace of mind is to set and maintain boundaries with people.
What does this mean?
Setting limits with people, regardless of their relation to you; work colleagues, friends, family members, etc., is as vital to peace of mind as flour is to baking bread. Setting limits around how we allow people to treat us and how we treat ourselves is about learning to really respect and value ourselves and those around us. It means that we tend to allow others to treat us badly to the exact extent that we treat ourselves badly.
No person can tell another what their boundaries should be. That is what makes setting boundaries so exciting. It’s part of the “process” of self-discovery. The truth is, we already know what beliefs and behaviours make us feel awkward and what hurts us, whether the words or deeds are our own or from another person.
Setting boundaries is about saying, “no” and refusing to put up with behaviour that gives us a sense of being mistreated in any way whatsoever, by anyone, at any time.
Just as no one can tell you what your boundaries should be, no one can tell you when it is time to make a start in setting this type of limit. We all must ‘come to that place’ in our own time. It cannot be forced. Incidentally, we must also allow others to see for themselves when, or if they ever, become ready to set their own boundaries.
Having said all that, when we come to the point when we are ready to stand on our own two feet, stand upright, hold our ground, and speak out loud, even our first assertion that “enough is enough”, the feeling of freedom can be totally liberating to the full extent of the word. There is a true sense of freedom in setting our personal boundaries.
Contrary to common belief, it is not rude or impolite to say “no, I will allow this much and no more.” It is not self-serving to say, “I have given enough.” It is not healthy, (emotionally, mentally, or spiritually), to allow others to treat us as anything less than equal.
Setting boundaries is about taking ourselves seriously, taking care of ourselves and requesting, or demanding if necessary, that others treat us with sincerity. It’s not anything to do with controlling or manipulating others. It’s about becoming true to ourselves in an authentic way.