Boundaries, Part 2

It took about a month for me to get back to this blog.  Lots of things popped up in my life, mostly good....just busy.  Those things popped up and took my attention away from this blog.  Apologies to you if you have been sitting on the edge of your seat for the follow up to this post.  Wait no more, here it is......BOUNDARIES, PART 2: hula hoops Do you recognize these lovely fellas pictured above? They are hula hoops.  Loads of fun back in the day....sure.  But they are also a great example of boundaries.  I've used hula hoops as a visual for kiddos to know about their bodies and personal space.  I also heard a speaker use it as a visual for boundaries.  We have a hula hoop around us.  We stay in our hoop.  And nobody else belongs in our hoop, without explicit permission.  If someone comes into our hoop, they are crossing a boundary. Not long ago I was explaining this concept to my teenagers, while we were driving in a car.  The car in front of me didn't go right when the light turned green, so I said out loud, "ya know....if you'd stay off your phone while you are driving, you'd know when the light turns green."  My son was quick to ask, "Mom, weren't you just inside HER hula hoop?"  And yes, in fact, I was.  He was right.  It is awareness like this that we can keep present in our minds to keep establishing our own boundaries.  It is an internal and personal awareness FIRST that must be understood before doing anything else.   Here are a few other points to keep in mind:
  • Be aware of your feelings.  If you feel anger or find yourself complaining or feeling threatened, these are clues that your boundaries may be in danger of being violated....or ARE being violated.
  • Once you are aware and begin this internal process, consider setting boundaries externally.  ONLY DO THIS when you are ready.  Do not let anyone push you to do this before you are ready.  That is, ahem, a violation of your boundaries.....
  • When you are ready to set a boundary, recognize that you might hurt someone else's feelings and find a way to be okay with that.  After all, their feelings are in their hula hoop....and feeling feelings is good for ALL OF US!!
  • When setting boundaries, word them with what YOU will be doing or not doing.   We cannot control someone else, so it doesn't work to set a boundary that tells them what to do.  Instead of, "do not call me anymore," you say, "if you call, I will not answer."  The shorter and simpler, the better...
  • Finally, follow through with whatever you set in the boundary.  Don't answer if they call, for example.
  • Remind yourself that you are valuable just as you are and have a right to set boundaries as you see necessary!