All healthy relationships require boundaries. They serve as guidelines, outlining acceptable and unacceptable behaviours for others. Interestingly, both bullies and victims tend to have weak personal boundaries, leaving them prone to co-dependent relationships.
To strengthen your personal boundaries:
• Take responsibility. Ultimately, you know what you need and want. Do not allow others to decide this for you. They may disagree with your choices – that’s okay. Be firm. They are responsible for their own feelings and reactions towards them.
• Express yourself. Do not hide your feelings of anger or resentment. If something displeases you, say so. This will teach others how you prefer to be treated.
• Say no. Being a good person does not require saying yes to every request for help. Establish your priorities. Any guilt you may feel about disappointing someone is not worth waiving your boundaries and sacrificing your integrity.
So, stop trying to please others at your own expense. Remember, “whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have” (Unknown).
Jessica Van Dusen is an e-learning developer for BizXcel with a passion for fitness. She adds her creative flair and eye for detail to all the projects she works on.