Having Boundaries – for healthy relationships #standards

This is a series about authenticity, validation, self-belief and personal power.

Previously, I talked about deciding on your values. Always following and living according to those values means that you are living your truth.

Standards and boundaries

A part of living your truth is having clear standards, based on your values, for how you live your life and what you are willing to accept from others. Maintaining those standards means that you can live your truth in every single aspect of your life.

That is where boundaries come in. Boundaries are the tools you use to maintain and enforce your standards.

I now realise that, for most of my life, my boundaries have been as weak as a sheet of wet tissue paper. I tolerated and excused behaviour from certain people that I should have realised was very wrong.

Our boundaries should be like a solid town wall, built to protect us. There is one gate, guarded day and night, that we use to let the good things into our life (that match our values) and keep out the bad.

The purpose of boundaries

By having strong boundaries, you won’t tolerate or accept those things that don’t comply with your values. If someone else behaves in a way that doesn’t match your values, you can politely offer them the chance to uplevel, modify their behaviour and have a healthy relationship with you. If they don’t want to do that, then you can let them know that you won’t be dealing with them until things change.

By doing that, you will be living according to your truth – and that is an empowering and wonderful way to live.

If the person not complying with your values is someone very close to you, such as a family member, that means they can’t be a part of your life – at least for the time being. If they change their mind, you can then welcome them back into your life – but only so long as they comply with your standards. That means you will be having a healthy relationship with them.

That doesn’t mean you have to try to change the other person, because that is not your responsibility. It just means you will not tolerate their behaviour as part of your life.

Maintaining firm boundaries

Maintaining firm boundaries means that you are willing to have difficult conversations – and know how to go about them. You are able to let someone know that you are not willing to accept their behaviour, and invite them into a healthy relationship with you. If they want to argue, fight back, deny, talk in circles, and whatever else in response – then step back and give them a firm response. Tell them you understand that they don’t want to listen or have a healthy relationship with you – and that you can’t be together until they do.

Suppose you start to date someone, and you notice one or two things that aren’t in compliance with your standards. For instance, they don’t appear to be making an effort to really get to know you, they lose their temper, they describe their ex-wife as “crazy” or they do or say something that is hurtful. Those sorts of things are known as red flags, and any one of them should be enough for you to say, “I wish you happiness, but not with me.”

Never be tempted to argue or play games of your own when someone is treating you badly. That means you are being like them – stooping to their level – and also handing your power away. Stick to behaving in alignment with your own values, and detach yourself from that person. Tell them you won’t tolerate their behaviour, and that you can’t be with them.

I now hope that if I found any of my standards were not being met, I would be willing to politely end any relationship and move on. I would never accept less than I deserve and feel I had to make that relationship work out of some sort of desperation or neediness.

Have you thought about having firm boundaries? I’d love to hear about it.

Here are my previous articles in this series:


Validate Yourself – and Transform Your Life

Become Your Own Best Friend

Don’t Give Your Power Away

Your Values and Living Your Truth

#narcissist #boundaries #selflove #authenticity #mentalhealth


Thank you for stopping by. My name is Toni Pike, a multi-genre author who loves writing thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children.

I’m the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS. My latest release is for children aged 6-9: BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE.

I’m also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips.

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21 thoughts on “Having Boundaries – for healthy relationships #standards

  1. petespringerauthor

    I think the mistake that some people make is they ignore those red flags or believe they will somehow change a person for the better. I do believe that people can change, but they have to want that first. More often than not, the red flags are an accurate indication of what a person’s behavior is going to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Toni Pike Post author

      Hi Pete, I agree – if you notice red flags, then for your own health you need to set up boundaries. So many of us ignore that, thinking the other person will change. Thank you for your perspective. Toni

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. olganm

    Very true. Not everybody feels confident to do that, but eventually it ends up in hurt and bad feelings if one does not set the boundaries in their relationships and stick to them. Life is too short to spend it trying to find excuses for other’s behaviours or trying to adapt to others who won’t do the same for you. Thanks for the advice, Toni.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Toni Pike Post author

      Thanks, Olga – I’m so pleased you found it helpful. I agree – it ends up saving a lot of heartache, and the benefit is that it means we’re living by our own truth. Have a fabulous week. Toni x

      Like

      Reply

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