Many of us struggle with wanting to be “nice” and we try to “deny ourselves” to meet everyone else’s needs. This often leads to wearing ourselves out, not asserting our thoughts and opinions, and taking more responsibility for others’ actions and feelings than we should. Can you set boundaries, not take on everyone else’s problems, and still be a “nice person”? If you often find that you are tormenting yourself because of someone else’s situation or reaction, you may need to develop some healthy boundaries.
There is freedom in learning “what is me” and “what is not me”. While we are certainly responsible to others, we are not responsible for others. Boundaries are like fences. It is important to learn what belongs in your yard (your responsibilities and emotions) and what should belong in someone else’s yard. Of course, sometimes we need help carrying burdens that are too heavy, so we also need a gate so that we can accept help from others or extend it.
A lack of boundaries often brings uncertainty and chaos. Healthy boundaries bring harmony to your life and your relationships. Do you have healthy boundaries? Do you struggle with knowing what healthy boundaries even look like? If you need help figuring this out, please contact The Refuge Center at 615-771-1155 to set up an appointment with a counselor.
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend