As a bred people-pleaser, boundary setting has been one of my biggest challenges in life.
That’s why, when I feel myself slipping and leaving my boundaries vulnerable, I remember that I must make a conscious effort to be aware of my boundaries and defend them, just as any partner or loving parent would defend their loved one.
Each time I successfully defend my boundaries, it feels quite empowering!
The more I’ve paid attention to boundaries, the more baffled I get by how they are constantly being tested in our daily lives.
For example, an ex-boyfriend once sent me a message on social media, after twenty years of us not having any contact at all. At the time when he reached out, I was dating someone. So to ensure my reply was construed as platonic, I tossed in a mention of my new boyfriend.
The ex and I exchanged a couple of benign messages that day—“You good?” “Yes, all is good.” Okay great, we seemed to have closed that conversation loop.
When he first reached out, I hadn’t really stopped to consider how I really felt about his attempt at reconnecting.
But I didn’t give it much thought again, since I felt the conversation loop had ended and that would probably be the end of it for another twenty years or more, as far as I was concerned.
But then, not too long after that interaction, he commented on one of my social media accounts just like any of my friends and family would do. When I saw his comment, what I felt in my body was like someone uninvited was intruding on my personal space.
It was just a comment on a post, so I had the option to ignore it.
But I had to be honest with myself about this feeling.
The old me would have not wanted to make him, or anyone else, feel bad. And so the old me would have just let it happen and wouldn’t have done anything about it.
But the me of today knows I have to protect my own boundaries, stand up for myself, and put myself highest on my list of priorities.
This ex had crossed a boundary and so now I needed to protect my personal space. I sent him a note stating that we were not “friends” and never were.
I reminded him that we had a relationship that ended because he violated my trust and had been quite dishonest with me throughout our tumultuous relationship.
I made it clear that I had no interest in trying to pretend to be friends with someone who I’d never
been friends with in the first place.
And then I disconnected him. Period. My truth. My power. Felt great!
When it comes to boundaries, remember that it’s your space. Your body. Your emotions. Your life. Your energy.
Protect all of it as if your life depends on it. Because it does.
For more on boundaries, read Love Note #151: Boundaries Are Extremely Important For Your Safety And Protection