Practicing Setting Boundaries

When I was a kid, I learned that a LOT of things would be met with quiet punishment. To this day, I'm still afraid to do a lot of perfectly normal and healthy behaviors. Don't get me wrong - I'm not knees-shaking terrified of most of them, just hesitant. There are, however, a few things that REALLY scare me - I'm talking deer-in-headlights stutter-y speech confusion mind-storm sort of fear.

Two that I've noticed lately are:
* Setting boundaries
* Building a coherent view of "who am I."

Duh, my mom never let me do these things.

Despite this fear, I'm going to start setting boundaries. This is going to scare the hell out of me, but it needs to be done. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to be an open person - just not super open. I'm also going to work toward figuring out who I am, though that's a more long-term goal.

If anyone has any advice on learning to set boundaries then I'd love to hear it!
MovingForward28 MovingForward28
26-30, M
4 Responses Oct 23, 2010

It sounds like you are on your way. I'm learning to set boundaries too. I started working with a therapist. She helped start with some baby steps and now I just read and re-read several books on setting boundaries to keep me on track. B

evolving - I wrote down your 4 suggestions. My sleep aids are about to kick in, so I'm not going to ponder them right now, but I'll give them some thought. It sounds like good advice, so thank you for taking the time to give it.<br />
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introspection - I do the same thing at work, putting on a thick super-boundary mask. Opening ourselves up to others is opening our selves up to great pain and great joy. Keep one thing in mind though - there's a big difference between being arrogant/ajerk and being distant. We all have the right to be distant (ie: say "hi" and other basic pleasantries while avoiding any meaningful conversation and not revealing our emotions). It doesn't win any popularity contests, but it's sometimes necessary for our safety, or when we're going through hard times.<br />
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Part of it's also about who we spend time with, since some people will use any excuse to hurt others. There are some people who, when they learn your hot buttons, will push them as often as possible just to vent their own malice that has nothing to do with you. It's scary to open ourselves up to all that, though closing ourselves to pain also closes us to joy.

It sounds like you are already on a journey to setting the precise amount of boundaries that will suit your needs..good for you. I have four guidelines that I try to follow as often as possible that I find to be very helpful when it comes to staying in better alignment to where I would like to be. Of course, I stray and things get complicated....but when I focus on these items....things are actually much easier and I am more focused.<br />
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1) Be Impeccable with Your Word: Feel free to express anything you feel need to be expressed...but just a make a point to be aware of what you are saying and strive to say exactly what you mean. If you are passionate about your views....there can be no regret or shame in conveying those thoughts. 2) Don't Make Assumptions: So many of us (myself included) get caught up in expecting the worst...worrying about what other people are thinking...fearing the future. If you think about many times have you been engulfed in stress anticipating the worst...only to find it really wasn't that bad? Find out the facts...then react. If you think someone may be upset with you....react once you KNOW they are. When a problem with it then....don't stress yourself out about things that may never come to pass. It depletes so much of your energy. 3) Don't take things personally. When someone lashes out at you or judges you....reacting negatively does nothing for you and in some cases....only encourages their behaviors. Many times...when someone is rude to is not necessarily because you are the source of the problem...rather...they are unhappy with themselves and by tearing someone else offers them some form of release or entitlement. Other times...they may bite and be over it...they may not even think about what they have done ever again...yet you carry around the baggage from their behavior. If you try not to take things makes it easier for you focus on being in control of your destiny instead of allowing others to affect it for you. 4) Always do your best. Your best may be one thing one day and a completely different thing another. Some days it might just be getting out of bed. may be conquering the world. If you set your own parameters and strive to meet them....if you are doing the best you can for that moment...than you have succeeded...because there is really nothing more any one person can do than there best.<br />
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Please consider these seemingly simple suggestions and evaluate how implementing them into your life may assist you in alleviating stress, allowing you to focus and set those boundaries necessary to obtain your greatest aspirations.<br />
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Good luck to you and feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do to help. You may contact on EP or my

Thanks Squedgeballerina =D