If you’re sensitive, like I am, you might very well struggle with boundaries. Perhaps you have very few boundaries. Perhaps your boundaries are weak, or full of holes. Maybe you’ve constructed some extra rigid boundaries to protect yourself from being hurt.
No matter what type of boundaries you have, if they’re too tight, too loose, or too weak, you won’t feel good. And, true happiness might feel completely out of reach.
Good, strong, healthy boundaries are crucial for everyone, especially sensitive people. Here are some suggestions to create them.
Some tips before you get started:
Determine Your Limits — The clearer you are about your limits, the easier it will be to determine your boundaries.
Use Your Feelings as Your guide – Notice how you feel when you think about or experience something. The stronger your feelings, either positive or negative, the more you need some sort of boundary to help limit or expand your experience.
Be Direct – Be clear and direct when communicating your boundaries with others.
Make Self-Care a Priority – With self-care as your priority, healthy boundaries will be easier to create.
Start Small — One boundary at a time. Just get started, the momentum will build.
For each category below, determine your limits. Decide which boundaries you will create or transform.
Time – Do you feel short of time? Do you need more time to do something you love? Do you spend too much time doing something that doesn’t fulfill you, or that disrupts your emotional well-being? Make decisions on how to spend your time. Carve out time for your innermost desires. Let go of time-sucking extras and non-essential responsibilities.
Space – Sensitive people, especially, need space. Space for rest and rejuvenation. What do you need in terms of space? Do you need time alone each day? Do you need to experience nature on a regular basis? Do you need a room of your own? What can you do now to create more space in your life?
Social Life – Get clear on what depletes you and what nourishes you. If large crowds deplete you, decide how you will limit your exposure to large crowds. With people who annoy, diminish, or stress you out, how can you minimize, or alter your experiences with them? If your social boundaries feel too rigid or tight, help yourself imagine comfortable ways to loosen them up. Which boundaries need to change so you can create a balanced, enjoyable social life?
Emotional Life — What pushes your limits emotionally? What extends you beyond your limits? Which activities cause you to stir up negativity, sadness, anger, shame, anxiety or discontent? Which experiences help you shift into a place of happiness, contentment, satisfaction, enthusiasm, optimism and love? What boundaries can you create to limit your negative experiences? How can you create boundaries to integrate more of what feels good into your life?
Health — Which boundaries will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Do certain foods or activities need to be off-limits, at least some of the time? Do you need to carve out time for exercise and self-care? What will help you make your self-care a priority?
Personal Relationships — With family members, partners, or close friends, which of your boundaries need to loosen, which ones need to tighten? How can you create healthy boundaries to improve your experience in your personal relationships?
Healthy boundaries don’t happen over-night. It takes time. But by creating just one healthy boundary, you will feel immediate results. The rewards are enormous, and life-giving. It’s the ultimate gift of self-love.