I was driving home the other night and saw a car coming towards me from the other direction and it hit me ( an idea, not the car!) that the only thing between me and the car coming towards me was a thin, white line painted on the road.

That was it.

That little line, marked on the road was a clear boundary; this is my lane, that is your lane.

Boundaries are everywhere.

They mark the start and finish of our properties; either a fence or a hedge, this is mine, that is yours.

We have rules and regulations which act as boundaries for “good”behaviour; cars drive on the road, people walk on the footpath, red lights mean stop, green means go.

As parents we have boundaries for our children;  keep your elbows off the table ( for those that still eat at tables), say please and thank you, be home at 10 o’clock at night, no you can’t use my car! And, as children do, they push those boundaries. They ask for just a little bit more or they continually come home late just to see what exactly, pushing that boundary will mean as far as consequences go.

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What you allow, is what will continue

We have boundaries in our close relationships too. These are not often clearly defined.

That is actually not true. We teach people how to treat us in the first few months of a relationship and it is only later, when those boundaries have been pushed way out of shape, that we realise what our boundaries are.

When is a friend not a friend?

Let me give you an example. A client, lets call her Rosie ( all names have been changed to protect client confidentiality) came in to discuss a situation with a friend of hers. The friend, lets call her Jasmine, continually rang Rosie and would launch into her story; no preamble, no greeting just a blatant “can you do this for me? Now? and call me straight back when you’ve done it”

Not exactly a conversation and definitely no interest in what was going on in Rosie’s life. This had been going on for months and Rosie had happily helped her friend out, offering advice, listening to the money/boyfriend/ex husband woes. She had been a good friend. and now she had some issues of her own and was finding Jasmine’s demands exhausting and draining.

Finally she had enough and on one of those days that Jasmine was calling and texting and wanting more and more of her time Rosie drew a line in the sand. She stated a boundary “I am too tired to discuss this further and am going to bed shortly” Which prompted Jasmine to ring her straight back with an offhand “Yeah, yeah yeah, tired whatever can you…”

At which point Rosie hung up.

Jasmine rang straight back so Rosie hung up again.

Jasmine fired off a text asking if something was wrong with the phone line to which Rosie replied “No, I hung up. I’m going to bed. “

Now until this point Rosie had always been available for Jasmine. Always.

Needless to say this changed the whole relationship. In fact the relationship ended.

Rosie was just as much to blame for the boundary pushing that Jasmine expected because Rosie had always allowed it to happen.

When the dynamic changes, when you state a new boundary that hasn’t been at play in the relationship before, every thing will change.

Every thing.

Rosie had finally started valuing who she was and so she needed to surrounded her self with people who also saw her value.

What do you value about you?

If you haven’t defined your self worth then it is easy for others to dictate that to you. If you have repeatedly been told that you are worthless, useless, a nobody then you tend to believe those things and will bend over backwards to please others so that they can see your value. What you really need to work on, however, is defining your value for your self.

Determining your own self worth takes time. We are not used to figuring out how valuable we are. We are used to looking to outside influences to determine that for us. We looked to our parents to tell us how worthy we were and if that didn’t happen then we continually looked to other respected figures; teachers, coaches, priests, team leaders, to provide that for us. But only we can determine our true value. In reality we are valuable just for being here, for being born and bringing with us all our talents and abilities that are unique to us.

That is what we forget that we have inherent value merely by being alive.

You matter.

The world would be a completely different place without you in it. We are all pieces of one giant puzzle and all pieces go to make up the whole.

Establishing clear boundaries

(1) Define your worth. Do whatever it takes to determine that you are worthy of being treated well. EFT ( tapping)  is great for helping to clear away old beliefs. Contact me here 

(2) Decide. Decide what it is that you will put up with and what you won’t. Decide that you are worthy of respect. Decide that you are worthy.

(3) Do not tolerate being treated any other way. If someone disrespects you, no matter who they are, call them on it. Tell them, calmly, that this is not acceptable behaviour.

(4) Walk away. Some people will not change walk away from them. Yes, it sounds simple and I realise that it is not , in fact, simple but what you allow is what will continue. You have a choice – you can wither choose to value yourself or choose to be treated like a doormat. You. Get. To. Choose. You – no-one else.

So as the Lóreal slogan says “Because I’m worth it”

I ask you are you worth it? Are you worth being treated with respect?

I say YES, you are. Decide that you are then take action.

Liked this post? Check out Toxic People and how to avoid them

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