Boundaries: Please Stop Here—The Personal Side
“I will not spend time with you when you are drinking alcohol.”
“I expect my partner to be treated with respect or we won’t come over anymore.”
“I understand you are frustrated, but I will not participate in family gossip.”
All of these are examples of boundaries. Whenever I counsel clients who are learning to set boundaries one of the first things they say is that they will feel guilty when they set a boundary. This is normal. Rarely do I meet someone who says they enjoy setting boundaries. While they may enjoy reaping the benefit of the set boundary, they do not usually like setting it in the first place.
Normalizing the discomfort is the first way I support others who decide to set boundaries. The second way I support my clients is by sharing this truth about boundaries: an emotionally healthy person will be able to accept the healthy boundaries you propose. They may have questions about it or want to talk through it, but ultimately, they will accept and honor the boundary. There is freedom in this! If you set a boundary with someone and they do not accept it or worse are unkind to you, it is time to assess your relationship and if you want to move forward with this person sharing in your life.
All of this may sound good, but it does get trickier when the people involved are co-workers or family members—people you may not be so able to easily walk away from. That is why we are here. At Life Enhancement Counseling Services, our trained and seasoned mental health clinicians can provide the space and support you need to explore the boundaries you need to thrive and how to set them well. Don’t wait. Please contact us today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.