How to Communicate Healthy BoundariesMar 11, 2022
A few years ago, if someone asked me to do something, I would say “yes” – my partner, kids, parents, friends. I never said, “no.” And I would get comments like, are you sure? I know you’re super busy already. No, no, I’m fine, I’d say and take on their thing, all while my nervous system went to hell and I drove myself crazy trying to do all the things for all these people. It was not a good scene.
Now, I am much more selective and my ability to discern what I can actually handle and still remain sane has improved – all because I learned to say, “no,”
Communicating Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries help us separate ourselves from others. Especially if you are empathic (easily absorb the thoughts and feelings of others), and even if you are not, it can be challenging to know what thoughts and feelings are your own and what are someone else’s. The same thing can be said for responsibility – what belong to you and what actually belongs to someone else, but you have been doing for them.
There are many reasons we take on the responsibility of someone else including people pleasing tendencies, issues over control, not wanting to “rock the boat”, not feeling like you can say “no” to certain people or situations, and the list goes on.
And yet, having healthy boundaries is a very powerful form of self-care and also tells others how you wish to be treated. The world communicates in the language of energy first and the energy you create around boundaries subconsciously communicates to others what you are open to and what you will not accept as part of your journey.
How To Set Boundaries:
Before we get into the boundary setting dynamics it’s important to state that boundaries are best created AFTER you have done some preliminary work of getting to know yourself better, you needs, values, and creating a vision for your life, and doing the Shadow Work around the programs, beliefs and stuck emotions that are preventing you from accessing the reality of your vision. Once you have done those steps, you will be in a new energetic state, a higher frequency in which you know your worth and want to protect and from this empowered position – it is most ideal to create boundaries that will support you going forward.
You can certainly attempt to create boundaries first and hope it increases your confidence and self-worth, but in my experience as a Consciousness Coach, making changes on the surface level don’t often stick. When someone gives you pushback – which happens a lot when changes are made, trying to hold your boundary in a weakened state, such as low self confidence and low self worth, it is much harder to hold the container and defend your boundary in a healthy assertive manner than when you have done all the work and now are emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually committed to never going back to the way things were before.
In my Empower Process program I go through each of these important steps, supporting souls in creating a new vision for their lives and guiding them through the healing process to release what is holding you back to make room for more. Boundaries and healthy habits are the last cornerstone of this process.
So, you’ve done the work, know yourself better, have a vision, did some healing around it and are noticing that certain structures in your life need new boundaries. Here is the process to communicate them.
- Start easy – find an easy boundary to set, give yourself a small win and confidence boost. Maybe start with setting a timer for yourself to check in or take a few deep, nervous system stabilizing breaths throughout the day.
- When you are ready to move on to more challenging boundaries – do the prep work. Boundaries can be hard for some people to accept – especially if they have been taking advantage of you or the boundary has been poorly managed for a long time. Boundaries are long-term solutions and need big picture thinking.
- Big picture thinking: make a list of the boundaries you need. Organize them into your top 3.
- Write them in an assertive tone, not manipulative or wishy-washy. Assertive means – be concise and be clear. Ex) I need…. Do not apologize or explain why things are changing. This opens the door to challenges, pushbacks and others trying to force you to justify. You do not need to justify.
- Create a list of possible responses you anticipate – what questions do you think might come up? What are willing to speak to? What do you want to communicate? How will you end the conversation after you have said what you needed to say? Remember, it is not your responsibility to manage their response – it is only your responsibility to clearly, assertively say what you need. (This can be hard which is why all the Shadow Work helps to do before hand)
- Ex) I know this is different than how things have been, but this is what I need going forward.
- Ex) I can see you need time to absorb what I’m asking, let’s touch base again in a few days.
- Ex) I can see you are upset, but I don’t need to justify to you what I’m doing. This is what I need right now.
- Ex) I’m not going to be yelled at about this. We can talk again after you have had some time to consider
- Have a list of ways you manage your discomfort afterward. Communicating your needs in a new and assertive manner can be hard, especially to a parent or partner. Have a short list of ways to manage your ego mind if it starts telling you stories of doubt and fear.
- Right before you communicate your boundary, create an energy circle and pour love into it. Draw a clockwise circle with your fingers and say things such as, “It is safe to be in power. I am allowed to express what I need. I am allowed to be supported in the best way that works for me” etc filling the circle with encouragement and empowering phrases. Once it feels charged, step into it. Take a moment and deep breath and feel yourself fill with the power.
- Speak your boundary. Have your conversation with your paper nearby. If you are an empath or someone prone to anxiety, having the paper helps keep you anchored and on task. Say your peace and get out. Be kind, be clear, be quick.
- Release energetic attachments – cut cords, take a salt shower, do a visualization to release the other person’s energy from your field. This will also help stop the ego mind from trying to overanalyze, overthink or stir up doubts
- Do something on your list to feel better. And smile. Creating and holding boundaries is super valuable and not at all easy to do
- Recognize that you will most likely need to repeat, defend and restate your boundary a few times, but never justify, apologize of make excuses – this lowers the frequency and integrity of your worth. You deserve healthy boundaries and the people who love you will support you.
These are some strategies to communicate boundaries in your life. Should you desire support in your healing journey, let's work together to help you design a life you love!