Emotional Boundaries are the distinction and awareness between ourselves and others.
They allow us to discriminate between our own and another’s feelings.
Emotional Boundaries help us to have healthy relationships and avoid those that try to keep us in the negative space. When you feel icky about someone’s words or even their presence become aware that you are protecting your self-esteem.
It is a lot easier to notice one owns discomfort than someone else’s. Observing someone to take a step back, having a lack of eye contact, change the subject or give your short and clipped answers can mean that their boundaries are being challenged.
Emotional Boundaries can be overstepped if we listen too much to what others say and allow that to get to the heart. They will make you feel bad about yourself in some way. At the same time, if we are not aware and always speak unfiltered without care, we may too overstep emotional boundaries ourselves.
I once had a situation in which someone told my story and it was in complete violation of my values. It felt rude and disrespectful, even though it was not done in a malicious way. It was also challenging to explain why I felt violated and it comes down to that no one has the right to tell your story but yourself. We don’t lay want to share everything with everyone encounter. I for one am guided by my intuition of what I will or will not share. Relationships take the time to build and this includes learning or noticing someone else’s boundaries.
Having a good awareness of self and sense of worth allows us to engage in a flexible vulnerable balance of communication and interaction.
The challenge can be that we may feel guilty for saying “NO” but here’s the thing, you are not responsible for someone else’s feelings. Saying no isn’t attack or something that should make you feel guilty when it is to help you maintain your worth and healthy relationships.
Emotional boundaries maintain our own emotional freedom and the way we choose to feel about someone or something.
So, next time you notice that you are not feeling so good about a person or space, ask yourself why. Explore the feelings associated with the person, situation or space and identify what values may have been violated.
I will talk more about boundaries in future posts – so stay tuned!