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June 15, 2021

Boundaries don’t have to suck

What do you think of when you hear the word boundary? Do you think of a brick wall? A termination of your relationship? Or a sign of rejection?

Can we help to set you free today? Boundaries don’t have to suck. You might be surprised but Heather George loves boundaries. They’re one of her personal values. In this episode, Heather shares her love for boundaries with Jamie Jobe and flips the script on the old way of thinking about boundaries. Check it out!

Boundaries bring safety and freedom

Boundaries don’t have to suck. They can give you a sandbox to play in. Think of a relationship where you hold back from who you really are or don’t say what you’re really thinking because you don’t know if it will be accepted. Wouldn’t it be so much more freeing if people just set the expectations? That’s what boundaries are about. They help us know how to live our lives and operate with people.

So, let’s talk about some areas where you need to identify, set, and communicate a boundary.

How to set a boundary in 3 steps!

Before you get into setting a boundary, you need to shift your thinking on what a boundary actually is. A boundary is an invitation for a deeper, healthier relationship. It is not a consequence, a rejection, or a termination of a relationship. Your goal for setting a boundary should be to help the relationship thrive.

Step One: Examine your feelings and physical responses

Examine your emotions, physical responses, and thoughts when you’re around people. Do you feel anxious? Have you noticed anger creeping up? Resentment?

Look at those areas of negative feelings, and examine what might be causing them.

What’s the goal here? Well, you want to fully understand how you’re feeling about a situation before you try to set a boundary. It’s important to examine your feelings because, in the examination, you might notice that you don’t actually need to set a boundary. Instead, you may be taking something too personally, or believing the worst about someone.

To help you identify your feelings, you might try using Pete Scazzero’s Ladder of Integrity we shared in our last episode.

Step Two: Identify the boundary that needs set

Did you notice that the way someone speaks to you feels demeaning? Or their jokes are hurting you? Maybe they’ve betrayed your trust by sharing your stories with someone else. Boundaries are unique to each relationship so slow down and really identify what expectation needs to be communicated to help your relationship continue.

Remember: A boundary is an invitation for a deeper, healthier relationship. It is not a consequence, a rejection, or a termination of a relationship. Your goal for setting a boundary should be to help the relationship thrive.

What is one expectation that if met could help your relationship thrive?

Step Three: Politely and firmly communicate your boundary

Before you start communicating practice what you’re going to say. Write it out or pray about the best way to preserve and build your relationship. The boundary you are about to communicate is not to build walls or keep people out, it is set to help preserve the relationship. It gives clear expectations on how to interact with each other.

One of the most misunderstood ideas about boundaries is that you can force someone to do something. You can’t force anyone to do anything. All you can do is invite someone to a deeper, healthier relationship with you by sharing your boundary.

Begin by sharing what you’ve been experiencing and feeling. Remember to consider the listener’s feelings. They might not have any idea that you’ve been feeling this way. So instead of building tension or allowing resentment to grow, slow down, communicate clearly, and listen well.

Try this sentence structure: I noticed ___, I would prefer ___. For example, I noticed you’ve been borrowing my clothes without asking. I don’t mind sharing, but I would prefer that you ask first. 

Resources: 

Ask us a question. Text “LIFE IN MOTION” to 23101 and follow the prompts.

Heather and Jamie love to bring people together. So naturally, their podcast is a place where they want to do the same. Every season, we set aside episodes to hear from YOU and talk about YOUR thoughts. In each episode, you’ll hear Heather and Jamie mention their voicemail inbox; that’s where they hear from you!

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