Why are boundaries so important and why is it so hard to set them?

Boundaries are important.

Boundaries tell you where you end and other people start. They allow you to define yourself and know what you want and don’t want to do or have other people do to you.

In short, boundaries define who you are.

In order to know who you are you need to be able to know what is important to you. What your essential values are, who the real, authentic you is.

Once you know who you are it is easier to set boundaries without feeling guilty or needing to apologise.

If you are not used to setting boundaries, often as a result of childhood trauma, it can be hard. In truth, you usually compromise your boundaries when you are people pleasing.

People pleasing is where you seek approval from another person and compromise your boundaries in order to hopefully gain that approval.

It is not surprising that people who have experienced childhood trauma tend to be people pleasers. As a child, people pleasing was an essential tool for survival. For the child the need to be cared for and nurtured is about survival. A child who is neglected will die without intervention.

So the need to people please is a basic survival mechanism for a child.

The trouble is those early woundings don’t just go away. They remain and still influence adult behaviour.

As a child it was important to base your worthiness on the approval of others. That is the default you grew up with, unless something was done to correct it. Very few children are given the support needed to correct that belief.

One of the goals of trauma counselling is to help you to know who you are. To know that you have worth that is not dependent on other people. Not only to know this but to deeply believe it.

When you believe you are worthwhile and deserve to be able to set limits on how other people interact with you, then you are able to set healthy boundaries.

As Brené Brown said: When you believe, deepdown, that you are enough as you are, then you can say “Enough!”

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with boundary setting, please contact me on 0409396608 or nan@plentifullifecounselling.com.au

Later this year I will be launching an online course to teach the skills that are essential for survival as a healthy adult. The first of these modules will be “Who Am I”. If you subscribe to my newsletter I will keep you posted on when that course will be running.

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz

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