Communicating our limits

Published 24/06/2021

There’s not a single jot of ease that comes with creating boundaries and holding them which is why so many of us might succumb to the wonkiness of before. When things have always been a certain way and then we try to change that, we’re going against the tide, creating new habits, having to communicate differently and be willing to not meet other people’s expectations of us.

Whilst these new boundaries of ours have often been a long time coming yet they’ll probably come as a surprise to those who benefitted from us having none.

When you think about it, it’s quite brutal. The going ‘against’, the awkwardness that we could feel in expressing the why’s, the choosing of our needs when that mightn’t be something we’ve ever done and the steadfastness needed when we might get wheedled and needled to change our minds.

In the same way a sea defence needs to be strong enough to withhold the stormiest seas, the walls of our home fortified enough to withstand any weather fronts, we need to find the inner strength to hold tight on the boundaries that we’ve deemed to be the healthy ones, ones for us, the ones that clearly and openly communicate our limits.

The very act of making a change depletes our cognitive functions and when you add the repeated communication and assertion required to remain firm, you can see why this stuff gets tricky.

This is where self-care comes into play:

  • creating space to re-fortify and recalibrate
  • choosing different modes of communication when people aren’t hearing you
  • being willing to upstand the consequences when people continue to obliterate your boundaries
  • giving yourself space from the people / things which you feel you’re coming up against
  • having a list to hand of your ‘why’s to remind yourself when it gets tiring
  • remembering the ‘gain’ from having these boundaries whether that be more personal time, more inner peace, healthier relationships, being treated with more respect
  • making sure you’re prioritising resources for the things that top you up energetically, cognitively, emotionally, physically, etc

It *is* an ever-encroaching world which demands that we do this and do that. It can be easy to get swept away by those demands and to feel as though we don’t have any control over our days and ways. Our lack of boundaries often suit someone or something more than they work for us. In fact, our lack of boundaries actively work against who we are – going against the very grain of our identities, values and limits – it’s no wonder we feel so lost, diluted, unsure, and adrift when you think about it. You’re not here to suit everyone and their dogs, you’re here to do what’s right and best for you and, in turn, teaching so many others how to do the same by leading the way.

How you go about your days and ways should be a reflection on who you truly are, what you really need, and the things which properly bliss you up.

Kim Fry
UKSA Welfare Officer