Change your expat life
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries …
We all long for connection.
Part of what makes us human is our motivation for connection — to be a part of a tribe. We want to be a part of a group and feel that communal sense of belonging, support, and understanding.
But sometimes this longing can take a turn. Sometimes our intense desire to make and maintain that sense of connection can lead us down the path of people-pleasing. This is when we start to believe that we are in some way responsible for ensuring other people’s happiness and that, in turn, they will love and value us.
If you’re following along with the Love Your Expat Life Podcast this month, you know that we’re exploring the manuals we consciously or unconsciously develop to help us make sense of our relationships.
Identifying our personal boundaries and exploring how to articulate them in a way that serves us and our relationships is a very important part of this topic!
Boundaries aren’t intimacy traps
If you’ve ever worried about what will happen if you set a boundary with someone in your life, you know that boundary setting can be very difficult. In fact, for many people-pleasers, it can be so scary that they literally go through life trying not to set any personal boundaries that might upset the status quo.
One reason that boundaries can feel so terrifying is that they are often misunderstood. For example, they’re often confused with trying to manipulate another person’s behavior. It’s easy to see how this confusion might happen: clients regularly tell me that they don’t feel like they can set certain boundaries because they don’t feel like they have enough control over the other person’s actions to ensure the boundary will be honored. In other words, they worry that a boundary holds meaning if and only if the other person respects it.
But here’s the thing: it’s not healthy and not possible to try to control another person’s actions.
And that’s not what a boundary is.
Boundaries are about self-care. Boundaries are about what you want to allow in your life, not about how other people behave. Setting boundaries isn’t about getting other people to comply with them — it’s about identifying and establishing what you need for yourself, and committing 100% to honoring your boundaries for yourself.
Ready for the first step?
What if I told you that you could set positive, proactive boundaries for yourself that not only won’t imperil your relationships, they will deepen your sense of connection, trust, and intimacy?
Would you believe me if I said there’s a way you can set boundaries that are about honoring yourself rather than trying to control someone else’s behavior?
Join me on this week’s episode of the Love Your Expat Life Podcast to learn more — especially when it comes to how boundaries fit into the idea of unconditional love.
I’m excited to share on this topic with you. I truly believe in the potential for boundaries to set us free in our relationships — but only when we take the time to dig deep, understand what healthy boundaries really are, and set them with love, grace, and integrity.
See you there!
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