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Caring For Yourself ABCs: Boundaries

Caring for Yourself ABCs: Boundaries

B for Boundaries

B for Boundaries. Do you have those? 

I’ve always thought I had decent boundaries until a few recent events that caused me to step back and evaluate them. I discovered, surprise, surprise, that I didn’t really have any. Not only did I have missing boundaries but I also struggled to respect others' boundaries. 

The Story

How did I get myself in this predicament you may wonder?

Growing up, my family was pretty easygoing. I thought things were pretty normal but I realized that keeping and maintaining boundaries is something that reaches back into my great-grandparent's lives. No one maintained boundaries and those they had are what I’ve discovered called porous boundaries, more on that later. 

Not having someone to teach me how to create and respect others' boundaries affected my predicament. It was strange to realize this missing piece and be around my family. I found it blatantly obvious that they weren’t healthy after reading about them.

This lack of set boundaries has trickled down into my life and affected many of my relationships. It explains why I’ve struggled with telling people no and also my tendency to spread myself too thin. Yay, right? 

Boundary Types

So let's talk about the differences in boundaries and the various types. The three types of personal boundaries are rigid, porous, and healthy. Which one do you have?

Rigid boundaries are those that are inflexible to those around you. You have hard lines that no one is to cross and this can lead to some toxicity in relationships. They can be distant and avoid intimacy, closing themselves off to others regardless of how the other feels. 

Porous seems pretty straightforward but it’s where your boundaries are too flexible. Anything can seep in, so to speak, and these individuals tend to spread themselves thin, are people pleasers, and they overshare. This too can lead to toxicity.

Then there are healthy boundaries that we should all strive for. These individuals are balanced and know what they want. They have boundaries that can be flexible but maintain their personal decision to compromise or not in different situations. They know what they want and need and how to communicate those items effectively. 

Discovering your boundaries isn’t always easy. I struggled with it and I continue to work on mine. I’ve read several books over the past few months that have helped shed some light on how to create and set personal boundaries in all the areas I need. When looking for a list of types of personal boundaries I came across several different types and lists. Choose those that are important to you. Every person is different and when it comes to identifying others boundaries, you will find it easier after you work on yours. 

Here is a list of a few books I’ve used and others that may be helpful on your journey to improve your boundaries. I’ve found that it’s also helpful to have a journal or notebook to write down your thoughts. It also gives you space to write out a list of each goal and build from there. That's what I did in figuring mine out. I created a list and worked from there. 



Other helpful links:

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