In Part 1 of this series on our boundaries, I discussed the importance of healthy boundaries – especially in times of stress, change, and uncertainty – like what we have recently been experiencing.
I pointed out that this past year, some of us have been able to further open our boundaries and help others, while others of us have had to close our boundaries to maintain our sense of balance and equilibrium. And that it is ALL Good!
See HERE to read Part 1
Here in this Part 2, I discuss the differences between healthy and unhealthy boundaries, and how each affects us.
Healthy boundaries are open enough to let the good in, while closed enough to detract what is not good for us.
They allow us to be open enough to those around us to let in what feels good, supportive, uplifting – and to what empowers us, while still being closed enough to avoid the undesirable, like criticism and blame, and what may make us feel bad, unsupported, put upon – or feel disempowered any way.
With healthy boundaries, we know where we begin, and the other ends. And we ensure those around us know where we begin, and where they end.
When reasonable and healthy boundaries are being respected, there are no blurred lines between what is comfortable – physically and emotionally – and what is not. When around others, we either feel normal, comfortable, and safe. Or we do not.
With healthy boundaries,
- we innately know when to engage with others, and when to disengage
- we recognize what our responsibility is towards others – emotionally, physically, and psychically
- we understand – and adhere to what our comfort level is with individuals
- we sidestep – or withdraw from drama and from uncomfortable or inappropriate emotional entanglements
- we know when to say NO to unreasonable requests
- we recognize what is inappropriate for us to engage in or what will stress us– and we adhere to that internal guidance
- and we know – and respect our energy levels.
It is our confidence, self-esteem, and ability to trust ourselves that influence our ability to create healthy boundaries.
This confidence ensures we do not allow others to,
- suffocate us
- emotionally bombard us
- lure us into their arguments or dramas
- expect more than is appropriate – given the relationship or situation.
Healthy boundaries come out of a sense of confidence and self-esteem. We innately know who to trust – and who not to trust – with our words, feelings, emotions, time, energy output, ideas, etc. We just sense it.
With healthy boundaries, we also trust our ability to relate appropriately to others. We are confident enough to make requests and express our self fully with people – without overstepping their boundaries.
(These blog posts are all based on my books.
About My Books and purchase info is found here (a list of my books is at the end)
I am also a copywriter and offer writing services. About my Writing Services see here)
Our Healthy Boundaries Empower Others
Although we never want to block our self off from those in our lives, with healthy boundaries we know to disengage or step back when someone oversteps our boundaries. We do this for us. But it also helps the other.
We all have to find our own sense of empowerment. Allowing others to over-lean on us, or attempt to draw us into their murky emotional world robs them of seeking their own sense of empowerment.
Although disengaging, distancing our self, or saying no to another may be hard to do when someone over-steps our boundaries – especially if they are a family member, a loved one, or a dear friend, in the long run, we are giving them the opportunity to take charge of their life and grow emotionally.
Unhealthy boundaries are either too closed, or they are too open.
- Too wide open, we let everyone and everything in – to our emotional, mental, or physical detriment.
- Too closed, we close our hearts and beings to others, situations, and possibilities – to the extent that we lose out on close, intimate, sharing relationships. Being closed off we may also miss out on new opportunities.
Boundaries that are either too wide open or too closed create problems in our relationships – and in many other areas of our life.
Unhealthy Boundaries and Our Emotional World
Unhealthy boundaries are created because of a lack of confidence, low self-esteem, or a desire to protect our hearts and our emotional world from perceived onslaughts.
At our core, we all long for emotional connections with others – whether we seek it out, or we do not.
- With boundaries that are too open, we may be looking for emotional connections, but are ineffective at creating them because our approach often turns others off as we come across as too enthusiastic, pushy, or needy.
- With boundaries that are too closed, we may long for emotional connections, but we have created walls around our hearts and emotions from past unhealed wounds*(see at end) and are afraid to let people in enough to create the bonds needed for true connections.
These unsatisfactory results in our dealings with others often cause us to react inappropriately. We may become frustrated, angry, get hurt feelings, or lash out at those we are in communication with.
These inappropriate reactions create conflict, distance, and disharmony in others. It is the antithesis of the feelings of love, connection, and harmony we are seeking.
If we get angry and lash out, the strain and conflict further widen the gap to a healthy emotional connection with the other.
If we get hurt feelings because requests made from unhealthy boundaries are rejected, our self-esteem is further negatively affected.
If we bury the anger or hurt feelings, we are disconnecting even more from our True Self, heart-space, and our authenticity and honest emotions. This makes future emotional connections even more challenging.
Unhealthy Boundaries and New Possibilities
With boundaries that are too open, we may be so open and enthusiastic to anything that sparks us, that we have blind spots when new opportunities present themselves to us.
We may tend to move forward before looking fully enough into all that is entailed, causing us embarrassment if we pull back, or difficult circumstances for us if we move forward with something that is ultimately inappropriate for us.
With boundaries that are too closed, our low sense of self-worth often causes us to be fearful and overly tentative of anything new or of change. We go through life with blinders on to other possibilities: it is like we have put our self in a box and want to stay there.
Instead of looking at the benefits of new possibilities, we focus on the problems that may arise. This limits the range of possibilities that may bring us joy, happiness, new friendships, better health, better work opportunities, etc.
We should all ensure that we have – and maintain healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries assure we have a strong sense of self, allowing us to feel empowered – in all areas of our life – including our ability to create harmonious relationships.
In Part 3, I will discuss more on the differences and the effects of having healthy and unhealthy boundaries, how to recognize them, and how each plays out in our life.
Info on my books, how to stay updated on my posts and my upcoming online Workshops are just below.
*(Past unhealed wounds – either from childhood or adult traumas affect all areas of our life. Buried hurts and pains that were never fully acknowledged or dealt with affect our sense of self, causing us to be tentative or ineffective in attaining our dreams and reaching our full potential. And our unhealed wounds wreak havoc on our relationships. It is doing Personal Development through reading or workshops that help us work through these so that we can live a conscious life where echoes of the past no longer affect our present and future).
With blessings that you enjoy these beautiful Spring days. Rosemary ?? ?
copyright©Rosemary McCarthy May 17, 2021.
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here for About my 1st book, Your Journey to Peace, Bridging the Gap Between Religion, Spirituality, Psychology, and Science.”
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here for About Book 2 in the series, Overcoming Our Unconscious Influences, like Anger, Hurt Feelings, Frustrations, Control, Blaming Others for Our Unhappiness – working title. Due out late Spring 2021.
here for About Book 3 in the series, Relationships in an Evolving World – working title. Due out Summer 2021.
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Copyright© Rosemary McCarthy May 17, 2021. All rights Reserved. To copy, share, or distribute this article simply ensure the content is copied in its entirety, is unaltered, and is distributed freely and for no monetary or personal gain, and that this copyright notice and the link for the article and the website www.spiritedfawnpublications.com are included. You can contact me at: email@example.com. Blessings, and thank you kindly, Rosemary?