Boundary Lessons

by Dandy

Hello wonderful readers!  This past week I was going through some old journals and notebooks.  I found a particular entry that I’d like to share.  This was written during a time of great anxiety.  I was recognizing that I was being mistreated and taken advantage of.  I was angry and resentful.  Angry at those who had trespassed against me and angry at myself for not having a better understanding of my boundaries sooner.  Even though this entry has an undertone of anger to it, I remember feeling great empowerment at the time of writing this, because I was finally getting it.  It was my Eureka moment! 

When I started this blog it was my strong intention that there would never be anything negative in my posts.  So I hope you can see where I was reaching from to get to these discoveries.  It was a breakthrough for me and really, really positive things came from it. 

1.  No really does mean no.  I don’t have to  explain myself.  I don’t have to answer anyone’s questions.  I don’t even have to debate my position.  NO!

2.  I don’t have to make or keep peace with people who blatantly take advantage of me time and time again.

3. I don’t have to be helpful or accommodating to those who have a complete disregard to my feelings and well-being.

4.  I have a right to ask questions about the things that have a potential negative effect on my life, or could cause me great distress.  Even if people think I’m sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong or if they think I’m crossing their boundaries – I have a right to be protective of my own happiness and wellness.

5.  I can object to potentially hurtful things before I actually become hurt. 

6.  I don’t have to explain myself when somebody objects to my independence.

7.  I don’t always have to be the one who apologizes first.

8.  There’s a difference between having a sense of entitlement and rightfully sticking up for what is mine.

9.  Even though I don’t have a sense of entitlement doesn’t mean I’m less deserving of anyone else of good things.

10.  I am not obligated to help out people who choose not to have their shit together.

11.  I am not obligated to be sweet and nice to those who are intrusive and imposing.

12.  I don’t always have to be the one to “figure it out” for someone who falls short.

13.  I will no longer feel ashamed for having moments of insecurity.  It’s normal.

14.  I don’t have to apologize for not meeting someone elses expectations, especially when those expectations are so high it’s cruel. 

15.  I have a right to my anger.

If you know of anyone who struggles with boundaries I hope you pass this on to them.  What do you think of setting boundries and maintaining them?

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48 Comments to “Boundary Lessons”

  1. Good for you Dandy. Everyone has to set boundries. We all have people that want to rain on our parade. And we have a right to say NO and be the person we are meant to be. I do know what you mean when it comes to this subject. When you have a kind heart you do have to learn to sent those boundries, I am very proud of you. You go girl.
    To your happiness,
    Debbie

    • Thanks Debbie! I really appreciate that. I also wanted to thank you again for you wonderful blog post last week. It created such lively discussion! I’m proud of you too! God Bless!

      • Thank you Dandy. You are going to make me blush. It was fun and thank you for the wonderful words. Proud is something that parents didn’t say to often when I was growing up so it is good to hear. Have a wonderful day . Debbie

  2. Hey Dandy,

    Thanks for the wonderful post!

    I love all you points. You have a right to your anger, but you have to learn to control it. If you don’t control your anger it will take over your life. No one likes to hang around and angry mood killing person. I think its good to get some of your anger out of you though. More times than none, exercise is a great way to do that.

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    • Hi William,
      You are absolutely right. It is very uncomfortable to be around an angry person. The walking on eggshells feeling is awful. There is a healthy balance between being a pushover and an angry s.o.b. I love using exercise as a way to release negative energy. It feels good to burn the negative fat:) Thanks so much William! You are awesome for giving me so much of your support!

  3. Dandy,

    I think that boundaries are extremely necessary in any type of relationship, rather it is business or intimate. What is sad if you don’t set boundaries people will try to control you and your actions and you can end up farther away from where and what you want to be. It is your life and you have the right to control it. You control where you eat. You control where you sleep. You control who you choose to spend your time with. I dare people to choose “life”. A life without forced unhappiness and fake enthusiasm. … a life of…….Anyway I’ll stop there I could go on for hours.

    Dandy you have given some great statements on setting appropriate boundaries. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Frank!
      Yes, I apsolutely agree. Unfortunately there are preditory types of people in this world and they will take advantage of those who have weak boundries. So setting up strong boundries for ourselves is crucial to our physical and emotional well being. Maya Angelou said, “we not only have the right to stand up for ourselves, we have the responsibilty to do so”. That sums it up for me. Thanks so much Frank! Take care!

  4. Dandy,
    THis is a great list. It could very well have been my very one at one time in my life!
    I especially resonate with “I am not obligated to those who choose not to have their shit together.” That was my down fall years ago…trying to help those who weren’t ready to help themselves. Talk about an emotional drain.

    I am glad such positive things came from this. Thanks for all you do, and disclose, for us to think about, ponder, and learn from . I practice daily my right and need to set boundaries, and life is much better because of it!
    Love,
    Jen

    • Hi Jen,
      I like what you said a out practicing your rights and needs daily. Sometimes I still find myself going beyond with what I’m comfortable with. But if we get into the daily habit of using our boundries it would become more automatic. Thanks so much for your comment Jen! Take care!

  5. Dandy, girl have you been reading my mail? This hit home so much for me in my life right now. Thank you for spelling it all out plain. We all need boundries and limits, especially when it comes to other people. No one enjoys being a doormat or being used. Thank you for the great post.

    • Hi Deb! No doubt about it. The best way to feel good about ourselves is to stand up for ourselves! Thanks for the comment and all your support. XO!

  6. I had such a problem with boundaries for much of my life. It took a lot of work for me to understand and establish boundaries. I remember the day when I laughed and said, “Boundaries are my friend.” I have become the queen of good boundaries. Okay, I still slip sometimes, but I am much quicker to catch myself and reestablish appropriate boundaries. Good for you. I like your list!! When you look back at it now, if you are like me, you must think sometimes, “How did I live like that?!” Life is so much better now. Thanks for a post that will undoubtedly be of great help to many readers struggling with this issue.

    • Hi Galen!
      I do look back and say to myself, “how did I live like that?” I wish I had learned a long time ago what boundaries where and that I had a right to them. But I was so happy to have the breakthrough that inspired this list. It’s never too late to take better care of ourselves. I too slip sometimes and that’s ok. I always manage to recenter myself and find my voice! I do hope people find inspiration from this post to establish their own boundaries. Thanks so much Galen! Take care!

  7. Dandy,
    This is wonderful! I was reading along thinking, I’ll tell her I particularly like #1, but then I felt the same way with #s 2 – 15!
    A couple of years ago I listened to Melody Beattie’s Co-Dependent No More. I was surprised to see how much I had been a co-dependent! Listening to that was so liberating for me! Thanks for this succinct reminder!
    Lori

    • Hi Lori,
      I’m a huge fan of Melody Beattie’s, Co-Dependent No More. Her books have really improved my life. I’ve always known that it’s good to take care of myself, but I didn’t know how until I started reading her books. She gave me the nudge to set up boundaries for myself. So three cheers for Beattie!! Thanks so much for your great comment Lori! I’d love to hear from you again!

  8. I used to have a lot of challenges with setting boundaries. I felt violated even where no clear boundaries was set. I have since learned to speak up and define what mine are.

    Thanks for sharing about what you have with your blog. It’s the same for me too. I avoid having negativity in my posts. I feel that it’s not congruent with who I am. My intention is to keep my site vibrationally positive.

    I like your tips #1, #13 and #15. Thumbs up! Most certainly, I hope that your post will inspire others to spell out what theirs are.

    • Hi Evelyn,
      Thanks so much for your lovely compliment! With this post I really wanted to encourage people to be strong in standing up for their personal rights. We all have to figure out what we need and some of us really, really struggle with defining those boundries. Once I did it felt great – empowering. Thanks for your comment Evelyn! Take care!

  9. Found your site on google today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later …

  10. Hi Dandy!

    This question comes from what I have learned about you from a past post and a reply to a comment.

    I am thinking about the ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ post and a reply you made to someone that ‘I feel bad because I might be wrong about a person’.

    Over time have you found that you have constructed a system of ‘checks and balances’ so that your “discoveries” work more truely with your ‘HSP’?

    Also, I am curious…if you have made a huge mistake about someone…has it been up front and physically visible?… or….via online through this site or another site? Perhaps both?…or…one more than the other?

    Sorry to seem prying, but the mechanics of all this really perked my interest since I have been on someone’s ‘shit’ list online and “apologies”…well…I really think she should be doing that…fat chance.

    Also, I no longer put that much credence into the thing that a “controling” person can actually make you a stronger or better person. I think this is just giving the “controling” person a slap on the hand and telling them to go on as usual…kind of like the spoiled professional athlete.

    Thank you Dandy for this…

  11. Hi Dandy!

    This question comes from what I have learned about you from a past post and a reply to a comment.

    I am thinking about the ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ post and a reply you made to someone that ‘I feel bad because I might be wrong about a person’.

    Over time have you found that you have constructed a system of ‘checks and balances’ so that your “discoveries” work more truely with your “HSP”?

    Also, I am curious…if you have made a huge mistake about someone…has it been up front and physically visible?… or….via online through this site or another site? Perhaps both?…or…one more than the other? This question relates to your ‘Communication’ post that Dia did for you.

    Also, I no longer put that much credence into the thing that a “controling” person can actually make you a stronger or better person. I think this is just giving the “controling” person a slap on the hand and telling them to go on as usual…kind of like the spoiled professional athlete.

    Thank you Dandy for this…

    • Hi Rand,
      Wow, you’ve given me alot to think about. You’ve asked some great questions! I liked what you said about a “controlling” person. They don’t make us better. We do that on our own. Thanks for the insight Rand. Take care!

  12. hello dandy
    how are you?
    apologies for my absence. my hands were tied lol!!!
    with reference the article, it’s important to have boundaries. at times people adopt a patronizing approach, simply take delight in deliberately winding people up, ……
    however we must realise that we are responsible for how we feel and who we are and thats why boundaries are needed
    being taken for granted not only affects our esteem it also affects us emotionally and mentally but we have a right to avoid such things that could either create tension or cause offence with/without explainations offered to anybody.
    take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the day

    • Hi Ayo!
      You made a terrific point! We are responsible for how we feel and who we are. We need to let others know what we are ok with and what we are not. If we don’t who will? When we stand up for ourselves it does indeed increase self-esteem. Thanks so much for your insight Ayo! Take good care of yourself!

  13. Thank you fro sharing one of the most real blog posts I’ve read. What I’ve noticed Dandy (and not here, just in general) is that everyone is an expert at “stuff” online. They can speak of theories but can rarely share the realities of their experience – because they have none. They mean well enough – but their message rarely takes a viral turn because they lack the most important part – the experience.

    What I like about this is that it’s real, it’s right from you heart and it each point is something we all share. I don’t think every post needs to be positive. No way. I think each post needs to keep it real – and that’s what you’ve done. It was from the heart when you wrote this in your journal. With anger and all – it’s what hits our emotions and helps us to relate to you more, and be impacted by the message more – because it’s so real life.

    Some people just can’t muster the strength to set boundaries…so this post is a great example of how to do so.

    Thank you for sharing Dandy!

    • Wow Jk, thanks so much for your kind words. I’m so glad my realness is appreciated:) I do want my posts to be real. I’ve learned alot of lessons the hard way, as have most people. I think sometimes people feel the need to apologize for their anger, especially women. While I was writing this post out I thought about writing on that subject – women & anger. Anyway thanks again for all your support on my blog Jk. It means alot!

  14. Hi Dandy,

    Thank you for sharing such a personal experience with us. I remember reading an article by you on boundaries before so this is familiar ground of sorts with your blog. While there might be a slight angry undertone in your entry, given the background and how you felt you were being taken advantaged of, this is perfectly understandable. In fact, it is good that you were roused to anger so that you would finally make the decision to draw the boundaries and the lines in relationships with people. While we should help others where we can, this does not mean we should let them take advantage of us or walk all over us.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article! We should all learn to draw boundaries and stand up for ourselves! :)

    Irving the Vizier

    • Thanks so much Irving! Boundaries are an important subject with me, because once I learned that it was ok for me to have them, my life changed in such positive ways. I’ve tried to use the moments in my life where I’ve felt so defeated as learning tools for improvement. I think that boundries are a tough subject especially for women. Even in this modern era, women need to know that they can be in charge of their own lives and be of use to others. Thanks so much for your insight and kind words Irving! I think I’ll be writing more on the subject of bounaries in the future:)!

  15. Well said Dandy. Truly well said. You don’t have to apologize for being human. You don’t have to put up the self help facade of being optimistic all the time. Because it’s not normal. It’s normal to be angry and normal too be happy. This is as honest as a post gets. I respect that.

    • Hi Jonathan! Thanks so much for that, and you are sooooo right! Nobody is optimistic all the time. We do all experience anger – it’s what we choose to do with it that is the most important. I try to turn my anger into feul that pushes me forward! Thanks so much for the kind words and support Jonathan!

  16. HI Dandy,
    These are fine fine points in setting boundaries for yourself and feeling highly empowered while setting them.
    I personally had been know many years back to be the doormat…you know the kind anyone could walk over. My hubby still says I’m gullible…but I think i prefer to see the positive in people rather than focus on the negative. But in doing so, I shouldnt forget my own self. My right towards me have taken center stage and thats when I felt awesome. I love to no end….but noone dare walk over me anymore :)
    Thank you fro these tips!
    Much love,
    Z~

    • Hi Zeenat,
      I’m glad you liked the post and thanks for sharing about yourself. It’s tough to balance helping people and taking care of ourselves. I think it’s great you’ve taken center stage – I think alot of women need to do this. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment Zeenat! I really appreciate your insight!

  17. Hi Dandy,

    Very wonderful post. I love the points you listed. Creating boundaries is crucial Dandy, otherwise some will take advantage of us. We all experience anger, worry, and anxiety. The key is to not let them affect our lives negatively and lead us to depression, but experiencing such emotions is normal. Thanks for sharing this post Dandy :)

    • Hi Dia,
      You are right we do all experience those emotions, sometimes they are impossible to avoid. So creating boundries give us a chance to take care of ourselves in a world that is challenging enough. Thanks so much for your great comments Dia! It’s always appreciated!

  18. I love those Eureka moments! The lightbulb turns on above your head, and you suddenly see things in a different light, brilliant!

    Emotions will come and go all the time, but the trick is not to let them rule us. We must experience them, accept them, and let them pass through. It’s all about working through our emotions, so that we don’t hold anything back, and we can be open and free :-)

    • Thanks Stuart! You are so right. We do have to accept our emotions and let them have their say. It doesn’t mean we fall out of control. It means we respect ourselves enough to deal with reality and take care of ourselves. Thanks so much for your insight! Take care!

  19. You have the right to always act in your best interest. And as you become more enlightened that credo leads to a broader and more compassionate existence. I do a lot of mentoring and helping others and it’s for a very selfish reason: it fills my life with meaning and makes me a much happier camper.
    Riley

    • Hi Riley,
      That’s great you’ve found a way to extend yourself and your talents and it is all in a positive way. It sounds like you have definately achieved some balance! Thanks so much for your comment!

  20. I never really looked at it that way before. When we have relationships with people we dont always go into that friendship with boundaries. Being open can be overrated at times…lol

    • Hello Judah,
      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m pleased you liked this post. Having boundries is just one of the ways we can take care of ourselves and let people know that we respect ourselves. I hope to hear from you again Judah! Take care!

  21. Dandy: Great post. I could really feel all the emotion you put into this one. I think it is so true that we have to find our own answers and truth and that means we need to know our own boundaries. Really great insight and message.

  22. Dandy, wow. I’m so sorry for what you had to endure! Boundaries are extremely important! They help us to have clear cut goals but they also help us to know our limitations. And to know where others can and can not enter. And it’s healthy to keep some space emotionally. It’s what keeps that sanity in check. I have had issues with letting people walk over me because I failed to keep boundaries set. It’s very painful. Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey!

    • Hi Bryan!
      Thanks for your comment. Boundaries are a really important topic. I think alot of people don’t realize how much better their lives can be if they just establish with others what they are and aren’t ok with. And you’re right it is healthy to keep some space emotionally. It’s not the same as having walls up – not at all. I think that’s where some people become confused. By having boundaries we show others that we respect ourselves enough to have them. Thanks again Bryan! Take care!

  23. I appreciate your assertiveness, Dandy. Our pure consciousness is polluted when mixed with toxic opinions and points-of-view. Setting boundaries is essential to maintain our Sovereign Right to think independently. Expressing our Authentic Self in a world that is trying dominate and suppress takes constant vigilance. When we learn to think for ourselves we have already won the battle.

    • Hi Rob,
      I love the way you put it. The Sovereign Right to think independently – that’s exactly it! We should never have to apologize for being ourselves and it’s hard to do when others want us to conform to their standards. We have a God given right to stand up for ourselves and take care of ourselves emotionally. Thanks so much for your great comment Rob! God Bless!

  24. > I have a right to be protective of my own happiness and wellness
    Well put. At the end of the day, we have to own it. Nobody else owns that for us.

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