Confidence Chats - pt 3
Updated: Feb 10
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Welcome back to Confidence Chats - just Nikki here, but Thor is on the floor snoring while laying on my feet, so I'm not mad at that!
(you can purchase this adorable sticker by snarkyandsage here)
Today were going to be chatting BOUNDARIES!!!! Scary stuff, I know, but you're a grown up now and it's time to have healthy boundaries in order for you to thrive! I know you're probably wondering what boundaries have to do with confidence - so you know I'm going to tell you!
Confidence comes from boundaries two fold - when you set boundaries around your size, weight, or the way you dress to those in your life that would LOVE to say something negative about those things, you feel like a BAD BITCH! Confidence will ooze from your pores standing up for yourself!
Second, boundaries help you know your worth. When you understand your worth, you feel confident! Bam, instant gratification!
So what are boundaries, who do we set them with, and how do we set and enforce them?
I like to think of boundaries as an electric fence. The people you want to enforce them with are the ones wearing the shock collar. When they step over a boundary that you have put in place, they get a shock. They keep stepping over it, they keep getting shocked. And much like Pavlov's dogs, this behavior usually results in what you want, that person eventually respecting your boundary. This is called conditioning training.
However, there will be people who you can't "train" to respect you. This is where boundaries have to become brick walls. This can manifest in lots of ways, whether it's dissolving a friendship, going no contact with your parents, or even divorce.
In our last confidence chat, I had you divide people into three categories. Were really working on that category 2 person today, but sometimes category 1 people need boundaries too. Remember that boundaries are HEALTHY! And good thriving healthy relationships have them.
For example. my husband knows that I have a lot of childhood trauma surrounding around abandonment. I expect that, because we are married, we will always do everything in our power possible to stay married (as long as its healthy). When we first got married, anytime we would have a fight, he would leave. Like physically get in the car and leave and then not answer his phone. He could be gone for 20 minutes, sometimes he would be gone hours. Leaving me feeling abandoned and emotionally vulnerable, not to mention volatile towards him. When we went to couples therapy, I learned this is the way he processes, and he learned it really hurt me. So we put up boundaries our boundaries. He could leave as long as he reassured me he was coming back and this didn't mean we were done, he just needs a break. This boundary has been set, and now, even though we rarely fight, when we do, if he needs to "flee", he will call a time out and tell me when he will be back, and I feel taken care of, not emotionally cut open, and I have time to breathe and think rather than sit there stewing and seething.
Boundaries can look like lots of things, telling people your body is off limits and you will not discuss it for ANY reason, even if there intent isn't malicious. They can be certain words you don't want used in your home because they are triggering like stupid, or dumb. The list can go on and on.
The key to boundaries is knowing how to approach them, who to approach them with, and how to enforce them, which is usually the hardest part. If you have told your partner or parent you do not want to discuss your weight and they still bring it up, you have to be strong to stand up for your self. It doesn't have to be combative, but you can simply say things like, "I just want to remind you that I do not wish to discuss my body" or "My body is off limits and Im going to have to either end this conversation completely or we can talk about something else." Also, remember that people don't know your boundaries unless you have told them what they are. You can't say you don't want to discuss your body to yourself and then expect your best friend to know. People aren't mind readers, so you MUST verbalize any new expectations with those around you.
I have a few resources that I have really enjoyed over the years that have helped me in my boundaries practice, they are Boundaries and the Boundaries Workbook, as well as Safe People. Worth a check out for sure!
Boundaries are a healthy part of growing. They show that you care about yourself enough to take care of your mental health. They also show the other person you care enough about your relationship to not just end it over feeling disrespected, and that you trust they will uphold your wishes. To those that keep overstepping that fence, or bulldoze through it as if it was never there, these are the relationships you have to consider no contact or ending the relationship, and I highly recommend seeking professional counseling to deal with those people.
If you have more questions about boundaries, feel free to leave them as a comment and I will get back to you ASAP!