I recently saw this tweet from writer Jacinda Townsend:
Jacinda, you are definitely not alone!
For those who grew up in a family of origin with appropriate boundaries, learning how to set boundaries probably happened as invisibly as learning to walk, write their name, or sing songs. Interpersonal interactions were healthy and just “happened that way.” Those people often don’t even realize that’s how they are living. (See: fish, water!)
But for those of us from families with more dysfunction, we may have just as invisibly learned unhealthy boundaries, and it will greatly affect our daily lives. Like much of self-parenting, this is harder to learn in adulthood, but necessary and definitely worth the work.
Since I am also a therapist who hands out materials on boundaries to my clients, here are links to two articles I frequently use with clients. Others may also find them useful:
- In-depth discussion on what boundaries are and some things you may be experiencing: Try Michelle Farris: “Why You Don’t Set Boundaries.“
- For those who already know they need more practice setting boundaries, a simple and practical piece from Margarita Tartakovsky: “10 Ways to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries.”
Like any skill, boundary setting takes repeated practice over time. We may see how we’re “supposed to” do it right away, but that doesn’t mean we will be able to implement it right away. Throw away that perfectionistic expectation. But you can start experiencing relief right away from even small changes! Read the articles and see what parts apply to your experience. Start small, keep working on it, and develop the habit of treating your boundaries as being important! ❤