Being yelled at, being micromanaged, and being bullied are forms of violated boundaries. When others have violated your boundaries time and time again you may have difficulty with trust in intimate relationships.
Do you tend to avoid speaking up out of fear that you may be rejected?
Do you think that only others have rights?
Do you feel you have to apologize for being yourself?
Do you think that you don't need boundaries?
If you answered "yes" to any of the questions you may benefit from working to strengthen your boundaries. Boundaries are everywhere and if you want to improve them it may seem like an overwhelming task.
By organizing boundaries in 5 different categories you can have some sense of control over them. If you focus on one category at a time you may identify your strengths and weaknesses. As a general rule make a conscious effort to communicate with clarity and self-assurance.
The 5 different boundary types include:
Boundaries can be violated by yourself or others. When YOU are the one who has violated your boundaries you may have difficulty trusting yourself. You violate your boundaries when you break your promises and hurt yourself.
Here are some examples of YOU violating your boundaries:
binge drinking cutting unprotected sex
overspending procrastinating being your own worst enemy
Often violation of boundaries increases self-doubt, inability to make decisions, becoming too passive or passive-aggressive, makes you take things personally, causes arguments, and results in unhappiness and low self-confidence.
STRENGTHENING your boundaries is REWARDING!
These exercises can help:
Exercise 1: AWARENESS
I know when someone has violated my physical boundaries because _______________
When someone crosses my emotional boundaries I feel ________________________
When my mental boundaries are crossed I feel ______________________________
I know when someone has crossed my sexual boundaries when _________________
When my material boundaries have been crossed I _______________________________
Exercise 2: HEALTHY vs UNHEALTHY BOUNDARIES
Can you find the difference between healthy and unhealthy boundaries in the following statements:
Sharing "too much" whenever you talk with someone (u)
Feeling guilty for not doing more and being a fool when you do (u)
Communicating your wants, needs, and disagreements calmly (h)
Taking things personally and getting hurt (u)
Keeping an open mind while maintaining your point of view (h)
Being decisive despite the fact you may be displeasing others (h)
Worrying that others will not like you if you tell them what you think (u)
Always afraid you will say or do the wrong thing (u)
(The letters in the parenthesis indicate h=healthy and u=unhealthy boundaries).
by Aphrodite Beidler
Related: Test yourself on the difference between healthy or unhealthy boundaries. Download the boundary exercise below.