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How to Set Respectful Boundaries

Updated: Feb 26, 2023



When I used to work as a Human Resources professional one of the tasks entrusted with us was defining clear roles for all positions, setting responsibilities, duties and tasks to ensure seamless and effective performance. In the ideal scenario there would be no duplication of work, no tasks unattended, and at the end of the day timelines are met and jobs are done. It helped define each one's area of work.


Yet, such is not the case. I have seen bosses breathe down the team's back, sending them to anxiety and frustration. Sometimes people do not take the initiative to efficiently execute their work.


This had nothing to do with the guidelines for performance. It has to do with the individual, and it starts from home. This overstepping of boundaries starts in families and is seen among friends and neighbors to name a few instances. Some are aware and seek solutions, some have accepted it as normal, and some suffer consequences.


In this blog let us look at

Creating healthy and respectful aura



Who crossed the line first?


The scepter of power often rests with the head of the family and has been a dominating force. In some families, fear was mistaken for respect and domination was mistaken for power. It had been carried down for generations.


We resorted to obedience, pleasing behaviors and conformity. In turn, we dominated others who allowed us to minimize them, often children, domestic helpers and subordinates. This results in power struggles and conflicts which most people take as normal.


When parents decide for adult children and the adult children do not break away from this pattern it leads to conflicts and resentments. Neither of the parties know clearly what they personally want. They do not know how to value each other.


When you are not valued, you tend to act out the same way to others. When everyone decides for the other, lines of acceptance and respect are blurred. Blame games, disowning, complaints, submissiveness, conflicts and sulking are all symptoms of not owning one's life and unconsciously making choices for others or letting others make our choices.


When someone crosses our boundaries, we must remember that we have been a willing party to it. True power emanates from the heart and sees the equalness of everything and everyone.


Why have boundaries?



As we awaken to our inner presence, we begin to see the need to honour ourselves. It is an essential component of soul individuation and growth. This process of setting healthy boundaries helps to


  • overcome our limited perception and identify ourselves deeply

  • understand where others end and where we start

  • understand and accept our differences and thus establish our individuality and uniqueness.

  • live life in fulfillment of the journey that we really want


We come from a boundaryless realm where the soul is free, light and wise. Setting boundaries is a valuable tool to recognize and reclaim our power.


Creating a healthy and respectful aura


Boundaries in relationships are not walls that you put up or distances that you create but energetic aura of respect that you establish to honour yourself and others. If you find yourself in a tangle with one or many people, then these tips may help.


1. Prioritize yourself!


Our likes and dislikes are often entangled with the people around us. It can be our family members or our friends. With social media ruling our daily lives, we are also influenced by a greater external world.


In order to prioritize yourself you need to know your needs and desires. Take time to list down the things that you like to do, the conversations that you like to have, the kind of people that you like to talk to, the places you like to go, your qualities, skills and so on. Ask softly and listen to yourself.


  • How many of these things are influenced by others?

  • Notice the things you do with excitement.

  • What are the things you don't really like, but you have to do?

  • How many things do you do because it's your duty to do it?

  • Which of these are speaking to your heart?

  • How many things do you do for yourself?

  • What do you like to do but are not doing?

  • How do you like to be treated?

  • What kind of conversations and topics warm your heart?


Reinvent yourself regularly by building a comfortable companionship with yourself.


2. Establish a physical space


Find a comfortable space in your home which is yours and only yours. It can be a room, a corner or a chair as per your availability. Decorate it your way and personalize it. Use this space for pursuits that are meaningful to you.


Spend time every day in your sacred space. This special place in your home becomes your power spot and helps you to reconnect with yourself easily.


You could read, write, sing, dance, create artwork, or run your personal office from this happy space. The choice is yours. You may even find a home for yourself, if that is where your heart is leading you to.


Do I hear you saying, 'but my children will soon take the space, my family won't like it, how can I do such a thing?' If questions like these come up then you surely have given your power to them.


Give yourself permission to enjoy your own little nook in your home. Encourage others to also find their power spots.


3. Quiet your mind


Spend a few minutes every day to enter your inner sanctuary. Tasting the still waters of your mind brings a sense of ease and flow throughout the day.


Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and rest in the lightness of the inflow and outflow. Fifteen minutes a day is a good time to give yourself undivided attention. It's your time with yourself.


Cherish it and let the life-giving energy nourish and strengthen you in divine ways.


4. Create your own style


You can take guidance from others, but do not seek approval for the way you want to live your life. We cannot do everything alone nor are we islands. Yet, boundaries help to identify our needs and desires.


To make connections that are fulfilling we have to first commit to ourselves and connect with our inner spirit. As we accept the presence that feels real and seek assistance from this inner presence, we grow our faith in ourselves, and it translates to our worth and value.


It then becomes natural to choose and follow our heart's direction. We are now empowered our trust in the creative life force that resides in us.


There is great happiness in recognizing and utilizing our own wisdom and to rely on our own strength. We can acknowledge, nurture and work with our potential and use our goodness as an umbrella to dissolve any inadequacies and shortcomings. Thus we become a catalyst to our own growth.


5. Say YES to yourself first


Many people find it difficult to say no to others. I was there too, not long ago. After many cycles of bumpy people pleasing rides, I finally found the easy way.


Practice saying YES to yourself first. As you discover more of yourself, saying yes becomes a loving gesture to yourself. When your inner connection is stronger, you are more content and less drained of energy.


Do you look for validation or appreciation for your tasks? Are you inspired to do the things you do for others? Are there things that you can delegate, simplify, modify or do away with?


Do things when you are inspired, and not compelled. There are no brownie points for giving in to submissiveness and the bitter aftertaste such actions have.


In saying no to another you are helping yourself to empty out unwanted experiences from your energy field. Perhaps it awakens the other person too. Two cannot play a game if you don't want to. In choosing not to play another person's game, you are breaking the pattern.


The less you take on others' lives, the more space you have for yourself emotionally. The more inspired actions you do, the more eagerly and enthusiastically you can let people into your space.


6. Celebrate Yourself


Make yourself the most important person in your life and the hero/heroine of your story. You don't have to beat down others for this.


Stand up for your convictions and make more choices for yourself. You can start simple at home, like choosing to have the food you prefer or new clothes you like. This way you let others know your preferences. Be nicer to yourself and listen to yourself more. Decide for yourself more, without doubting or taking another's help.


Make many decisions for yourself every day and do not hesitate to acknowledge them as you do. Follow up with actions wherever necessary.


As you pump up your decision-making ability you will know yourself more clearly and feel stronger and confident.


7. Practice non-defensive communication


Telling the other person how you feel and what you want in a calm, clear and centered manner brings great results. You can practice the best words without blaming and from a loving perspective. Suggest rather than command. Share your feelings rather than complain or defend. Keep it as short as possible. Speak in a comfortable way. Breathe gently as you listen to the other side.


Listen calmly even if they are blaming or criticizing you. Keep telling yourself 'it's okay, that's what they are feeling. Let them be and let me be. I am what I think about myself, not what they feel'. If the dialogue is not progressing calmly, end the conversation gracefully. Soothe yourself back to feeling good and move on to something that is fun to do.


If they don't respond it is fine, you have brought softness to a volatile or aggressive situation. Next time you will know better where you stand. As life progresses, you notice that your conversations are more enjoyable with a comfortable exchange of energy that leaves you feeling more in charge of your situation.


8. Notice your position


To have your boundaries respected, you must respect theirs too. Oftentimes people who feel upset about others' behaviour are actually in the other person's energy field. If you have invited them to your space and complain, it is reflecting your helplessness.


As you gain more awareness about your wants and priorities, it becomes easier to step back from feeling upset about others. Each person has a different approach to life and it may or may not be good for you. Your comfort with your attitude is the basis for whose suggestions to take and how far you take it. Honouring yourself in your attitude to yourself creates the change.


9. Walk away with Loving Detachment


As you quiet your mind, your emotions begin to show up. Own them gently, because they are yours. It is a habit with many people to either suppress them, avoid them or throw their emotions at others.


Learn to dissolve your emotions in your energy field by breathing gently. It is not for another to process your unresolved issues and insecurities.


When others throw their stuff at you, learn to step back and not respond. Remind yourself that it takes two to tango. Stay silent and process your underlying emotions. This way, you dissipate the hold of your emotions layer by layer.


Arguments, opinions and defense only aggravate the power struggle. Simply turn your attention to something interesting so that you don't invest your mind space in altercations.


Relationships belong to a mutually loving space. If only one side is honoured, know how long to stay and when to walk away. Remember that you are turning away because you value yourself and are worthy of receiving what you want. Feel the freedom to take time for yourself.


Flexible boundaries



You see, the need for boundaries comes because we allowed others into our personal decision-making space, and we stepped into others' personal space. When we see what we do not want, we can define what we want more clearly. In our hearts we can thank those who crossed our lines of respect because it helped us to understand ourselves more deeply. After all, whose life are we living?


True boundaries are energetically built with one's own emotional capacity. Being courageous in one's love creates a cocoon around you that only love can enter. At first you recognize people and behaviors that are out of sync with you and can step away.


As your heart energy strengthens, you notice that only harmonious and resonant experiences are coming your way. Things and people that once bothered and irritated you, no longer shake you now. The need for boundaries now fades away because you have created an aura of respect and acceptance.


 

About Anuja


In her coaching and mentoring sessions, Anuja applies two approaches that bring results. "We are spiritual beings on a human experience. We create our life with our thoughts. " She believes that we are guided by an unseen energy (or energies)

Her work across ethnicities, gender and age encourages people find their inner happiness, zest for life, creative thinking and tap their unlimited potential. Past Life Regression, Inner Child Work, Breathwork and Tapping are some of the techniques she practices.

She facilitates workshops on various life topics and gets invited to varied platforms. Apart from coaching, training and blogging, she is also passionate about cooking and travelling. She is currently writing her first book.




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