Ideas and inspiration for efficient living.


on March 9, 2012

Have you ever heard of boundaries in relationships?

That concept improved my life greatly in the last two years.

Boundaries define where my person begins and ends and where another person begins and ends. It’s like a bubble or invisible circle around each person that determines a person’s rights.

Boundaries determine who and what you let into your life.

I believe a vital part of efficient living is to be emotionally healthy. Boundaries help achieve emotional health.

The whole point of boundaries is to respect yourself, to teach others how to respect you and to respect others.

Let me give an example: let’s say you have a dear friend who is chronically late, no matter what. I’m not talking fashionably late, I mean 30 minutes late every time you meet. You love this friend, but you are tired of wasting your time waiting for them. You have missed parts of events or entirely missed events because you waited for that friend in order to leave.

Time is precious and you like to use it wisely. Applying a boundary would involve kindly talking to your friend about their tardiness and how it makes you feel. You would give them a few chances to be on time. If they still show up late without making an effort, you would tell them that next time you will give them 5 minutes past your meet-up time and if they are not there, you will leave without them. And you do exactly that.

The point is not to hurt them. It is simply to establish the value of your time, teaching them to respect the schedule you set together. That is setting a boundary.

Boundaries are always about what you can control. In the above example, you cannot force the other person to be on time. You cannot control their feelings if they are hurt when they show up late and you already left. You are only responsible for your own person and actions.

Applying boundaries is not always easy. Today I had to establish a strong boundary towards some people I really care about. They will most likely be hurt by my boundary. However, my emotional and family health come first. I did not make the decision lightly, and I knew it was the right thing to do.

Are you good with setting boundaries for yourself?


6 responses to “Boundaries

  1. Lori Ann says:

    I’m not good at this. I have hang-ups with saying hurtful things; it’s hard when you don’t see healthy relationships like this modeled in real life much. Definitely something to work on.

  2. Pamylee Roy says:

    Merci Marie-Êve de nous avoir partager cela.

    Pour ma part, pour l’avoir vécu a quelques reprises, cela a été difficile, a blessé l’autre personne, ce qui m’a évidemment fait culpabiliser. Par contre, en me rappelant le pourquoi, j’ai réussi à continuer dans ma nouvelle voie et la relation avec ces personnes est devenu beaucoup plus forte. Si je n’aurai pas pris mon courage à deux mains pour respecter mes limites, ces relations seraient restées misérables et je l’aurai été aussi. Bonne chance dans l’application de tes limites. Je prie pour que Dieu te donne la force de perséverer la dedans. Toi et tes relations en sortiront assurément plus fortes.

  3. Karine says:

    I’ve read about this recently in the book “Bounderies”, and it was like a revelation for me, like I’d never ever heard about this concept before…of course, I was always a person who didn’t have many bounderies…either for myself, but even for what others did or asked of me…I sort of always went with the flow, and said yes to almost every request asked of me. Obviously, I also had a hard time understanding people who had bounderies (of course, I didn’t understand it as that at the time) But I’m so happy to know about boundaries now, and no, not easy to apply this principle all the time; I quickly forget about them, but am really doing so much better.

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