Boundaries With Benefits

Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously. Prentis Hemphi

I just love this quote!

Many of us have been in closer proximity with family members than we are accustomed to, and tensions can start to rise. We must make compromises, but how do we get along and keep healthy boundaries?

A client of mine just told me how he was neglecting his physical wellbeing so that his partner and kids could do their favourite exercises. They were feeling great, he was feeling out of shape and resentful.

The danger with ignoring boundaries is that we end up not getting our needs met, and we may bear grudges or worse, our self-esteem or health may suffer.

The benefits of Healthy boundaries are that they promote clarity, boost self-esteem, and protect our time and energy.

We can set healthy boundaries for:

  • Our stuff
  • Our time and energy
  • Our personal space
  • Sexuality
  • Emotions and thoughts
  • Ethics

Here are some great questions to help you get clear on your boundaries in any of the above areas where you may be experiencing tension.

  1. People/my partner/children may not ___
  2. I have the right to ask people/my partner/children for ___
  3. To protect my time, and energy it is OK for me to ___

Then make sure you ask for what you need – it’s better for everyone.

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I have learnt to recognise opportunities to step beyond my comfort zone in the pursuit of things that bring me true fulfilment – it was a small tweak that has ended up making a significant difference. We now speak on a regular basis and Simon has become the voice which says “you can do this”.

Keith Banwaitt