They say, “good fences make good neighbors.” And good boundaries cultivate good relationships.
But sometimes even the most evolved, grounded, and conscious of us can have difficulty holding our healthy boundaries. It is so easy to get caught up in other people’s dramas, problems, and skirmishes, and “blow apart” your own very necessary personal and professional borderlines.
Having healthy boundaries is part of The Wealthy Life. It is only in knowing what matters to you, and keeping those priorities straight and protected, that your life can be balanced and joyful.
That’s why I wanted to jot down a few “Boundary Bombs” that can be the triggers that can cause you to cross the line and not honor your priorities and guidelines.
What Are My Boundaries?
It’s impossible to hold boundaries you don’t have or are confused about. Most people are not completely without boundaries, it’s just that we get a little fuzzy about them. It’s important to get clear on what is healthy for you and what your “willing to do” and “not willing to do” in your business and your life. Otherwise, you can let others easily encroach on your boundaries and then get resentful (without even knowing why!)
Your Emergency Is Not My Emergency!
Let’s face it; most “emergencies” are not. Life and death health problems, a car crash, a hurricane, your stove explodes – those are real emergencies. Everything else are challenges, many of which are not time critical. Almost all of the “urgent” emails you get are really someone else’s “emergency.” This can be a hard boundary to hold because most people present their problems as if their hair is on fire.
Stop Judging Me!
Sometimes we are afraid of being judged by others when we hold our boundaries. Like when someone calls with an “emergency” (see above) and even though you have your own plans or things to deal with, you drop everything to help them because you’re scared of them thinking that you’re not a good friend or that you’re not there for them.
You Like Me, You Really Like Me!
Everyone wants to be liked and seen as a loving, helpful, and reliable. And it’s easy to fall prey to that kind of praise. No one wants to be seen as selfish and uncaring. The real problem comes down to self-respect. You set the tone for how others will treat you and think of you. First and foremost, you need to make sure you are not abandoning what’s important to you in order to “look good.” People will follow your lead and your example encourages them to hold their own self-care boundaries. Otherwise, it’s like you’re mom always said, they won’t respect you in the morning.
Yes Is the New No
Every time you say “yes” to something – a request, a commitment – you are essentially saying “no” to something else. This is called the “opportunity cost.” We are told by popular media that we can “have it all” and “do everything we want to do.” But those of us who live in the real world know that time is finite and you just can’t do everything. That doesn’t mean that you should automatically turn everything down. Just be conscious of what saying “yes” means and don’t let it compromise other commitments (even just to yourself.)
Obviously I’m not advocating using your boundaries as a weapon in order to snub people and keep them away. But not being able to set and hold reasonable limits can actually allow your business and personal relationships to collapse into co-dependence and decay.
So get clear on the parameters that support your life and well-being and encourage others to honor their own needs as well. That will go a long way in forming long lasting and fruitful partnerships.