3 Ways to Maintain Good Boundaries

Boundaries are invisible limits that inform people what behavior you will and will not tolerate in your relationship. These parameters are healthy not only for yourself but others. When someone has a negative reaction to a compassionate limit, it reveals more about their character, than yours. Since empaths are natural people pleasers, they often have a difficult time creating limits and sticking to them.

You deserve to be treated respectfully. In order for boundaries to be effective, you need to be clear about what you want, know your values and voice these assertively.  You may want to read this blog; How to Stop Being Controlled and Get Empowered to learn more about your personal rights. 

Now you have communicated your boundaries, the real work begins. This is where you walk your talk. Some people will test your limits, to see if you will hold the line firm. Here are three ways to make your boundaries stick:

1.) Call upon a Higher Power for a Boost 

When a sensitive person speaks up, he or she can feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Each time you feel tested, either by yourself or someone else, one affirmation you can say is, “God/Divine, give me the strength to value myself.” There is no shame in reaching up for help. Remember, with God/The Divine everything is possible.

2.) Feel All the Emotions but Don’t Act on Them

When you set a boundary, you may feel confused and begin to second guess yourself. Was I too harsh? Maybe it is too much? Did I hurt their feelings? Guilt can sabotage you, if you let it. Process all of these feelings, in your journal or with a counselor, in order to release any unnecessary emotional burdens you carry. Think about how much the other party is considering your feelings at this point. Is he or she offering you the same energetic consideration?

3.) Self-care is Essential

Improve your mental, physical and spiritual health. You give a lot to others, make sure you give to yourself. Have a luxurious cup of tea or do an activity you enjoy. Another aspect of self-care is limiting your time with those you set boundaries with. In order to protect your energy, make an honest assessment and take a hard look at your life. What is your need to stay or be around this type of energy? Take steps to be around this person less and less. You may find my book, I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers, beneficial for you.

Here is an additional resource: My presentation about boundaries on SkinCare Talk Radio: Boundaries, Difficult People & COVID-19

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my You Tube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

3 Ways to Clear Emotional Burdens for Good

3 Ways to Clear Emotional Burdens for Good (1)

 

For most of my life, I felt burdened by responsibility. Being an empath, I was born sensitive to other people’s feelings and moods. When I saw someone struggling, I felt their struggle and dived in to help. In addition to this, I was taught as a child I could make my stepfather happy by changing my behavior.

This tuning into others’ moods created an unhealthy sense of responsibility in me. As I grew up, I was depleted of energy and became ill because I gave too much. I began to set boundaries refusing to do for others what they could do for themselves. Despite withdrawing physical support, I continued to carry an emotional support.

Even though, I was mindful of what I invested my physical time in, I caught myself putting energy into thinking about others too much. I worried, prayed and tried to come up with a solution for them. I knew I was caring too much when this emotional burden expressed itself as digestive disorders, sleep problems and a tension in my shoulders and upper back.

Here is how I cleared this emotional responsibility and you can too:

1. Be aware and acknowledge– Recognize this responsibility is not mine to carry. I began to see some of the frustration I felt was the other party who was upset when I didn’t do their work for them or give them the emotional attention they wanted. Once I became aware of this, I chose to let it go.

2. Accept others who lack integrity for who they are. Integrity means a lot to me. It is about keeping your word, following through and doing what you say. This energy builds trust in relationships. The healthy empath has integrity and can see through the facade to the true character of a person.

I am not saying people who lack integrity can’t change. When you see a pattern which represents a lack of integrity, pay attention and change your behavior. This lack of integrity energy is more intense in the world now because there are a lot of people not doing their spiritual work. This is not a judgment but rather a fact. I have made a personal decision to no longer take on their energy at an emotional level because the cost is too high for me.

3. Don’t contribute and allow for space– You have to learn how to let go of control and trust the process. Remember, this is not your problem to fix. Every person is capable of finding his or her own solution. You can offer counseling, guidance and then set your boundaries.

Do less physically and emotionally in relationships no matter how uncomfortable it is for you. Often this is easier said than done. Keep practicing. This can mean not stepping in to remind a capable adult to follow through. A missed call or late appointment can happen to anyone. The first time, I assume something went wrong which was out of the person’s control. After the 2nd and 3rd time, it is a pattern and a part of the person’s character. To continue to remind and rescue others, robs them of learning how to have integrity and drains you of precious energy.

To wrap it all up

Do an honest assessment. Are you a part of the problem or the solution? Enabling and doing for others what they can do for themselves stops your and their spiritual growth. Sometimes there is no solution if the other person refuses to change. You can find peace for yourself. In the end, you are only responsible for yourself and your own energy.

Here is another blog about caring too much which can help you:

What helpers like you need to know about burnout

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for empaths and artists. She works with professionals who often get drained from their helping efforts, giving them the tools to recharge and replenish their energy. Get her FREE gift 8 Simple Things You Can Do That Release Chaos Now! at http://www.lisahutchison.net