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6 Tips for Setting Healthy Boundaries

“If someone throws a fit because you set boundaries it’s that much more evidence that the boundary was needed.”

This is a quote that I love, I mean I genuinely genuinely love this quote. So if someone you love, someone you know, someone in your life gets upset and throws a fit because you set a boundary I want you to know that that experience is more evidence, is more proof, that the boundary that you just set with them was needed. Because if I set a boundary with someone who is healthy and understands, they say, “you know what, I understand, I get it.” But if I set a boundary with someone who just fights back or gets upset or this and that it’s like, “Yo, that’s exactly why I got to set that boundary with you.”

I’m going to give you some tips, now that we’ve kind of identified all this stuff. Tips for setting healthy boundaries.

1. Set Your Limits

Now, the limits are different for everybody in this talk. We all have different thresholds for boundaries and you just have to set what yours are. You got to set your emotional limits, your financial limits, your time limits, your conversational limits, your content limits. You got to set all those limits. And once you set them, like we were talking earlier, you got to make sure that you uphold them and enforce them. If you don’t there’s no point for them. It’s like having borders on countries, like those little lines on a map but it doesn’t mean anything. You’ve seen that, the problems that arise all over the world for that kind of stuff. Everyone has their own world and you got to make sure that you have a limit of where you start and someone else, where you stop and someone else starts. Set your limits, identify your feelings, because when you set your limits you’re going to start to feel some things. Like I said earlier, you’re going to feel some fear, you’re going to feel some guilt, you’re going to feel some shame. Identify those, it’s okay. You’re a human being, you can have feelings. What we want to do is we don’t want to feel those bad feelings so we don’t set boundaries and there you are again, getting the same repeated life experiences over and over again. Not why they keep doing it but why do I keep allowing it? Remember that.

2. Consider the past, the present and the future

Wow, what a way to go about setting boundaries. You don’t have to go find some imaginary information and some imaginary book that tells you what type of boundary to set. No, look at your own life, look at your life experience with that person. Consider – I don’t say just exclusively – consider the past, what have you done before, what’s worked, what’s not worked, what’s helped you feel better, what’s helped them get better. Consider it all, the past. Consider the present, do you have the same financial means you had in the past? Do you have the same emotional bandwidth you had in the past? Do you have the same energy you had in the past? Consider the present. You’re a human being going through a human experience in the present moment. And then consider the future. Can I continue to live the way the past was? Can I continue to handle the past? Can I continue to go through all that stuff? So consider the past, the present and the future please, that’s where all the information is. You don’t need someone to tell you. You don’t need someone to tell you what to do – consider the past, the present and the future, and all the information you need to know is there, it’s all there.

3. Direct Communication

Be authentic. So remember the following. What is not expressed in life does not exist. So if you don’t directly communicate your boundaries with who it is that you’re setting your boundaries with you didn’t set your boundaries. “Well, they should know what my boundaries are.” No, they shouldn’t. I mean, who the heck says that? They should be a mind reader and know what they are? “Well, they just need to know that I can’t do this anymore.” Like who are you talking about? I’ve had parents – it’s so funny dude. I’ll be in the room, the parent is there, and the loved one is there that’s struggling with addiction, and the parent tells me that they don’t even talk directly to them. They already know what my boundaries are. I’m like, “Do you know what their boundaries are?” He’s like, “I have no idea.” “Well, they should know what my boundaries are.” People are so afraid of direct conversations and assertive conversations because of fear of what they’re going to do. So man, be authentic, be true to yourself, to thine own self be true, is what they’ve been teaching us in this thing called life. What is not expressed does not exist. Just because it exists inside your mind does not mean it exists inside of somebody else’s mind, nor their world. Express it directly. And if you’re not good at communication maybe that’s a sign for you, not them, to improve on your communication skills. Why not use boundary setting as a way for self-improvement?

4. Honor Yourself

Yes my friends, you are the most important person in your life. You might say, “whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, I mean my children, they’re my everything, they’re my world.” Okay, you are the most important person in your life. I’m so happy to hear that you have children in your life that mean that much to you but if you don’t honor yourself, set boundaries and take care of yourself, you are not the best version of yourself for those children. You are not the person that you want those children to see you as. Some people say their partner, their spouse, significant other is the most important person in my life, I die for them. Okay how about you live for you? So you have a chance to be there for them? How about we don’t start putting ourselves second and sacrificing ourself for the betterment of another human being? A lot of people in specific caretaking roles do that. They sacrifice their whole life for others. They give every ounce they have for other people. They neglect themselves and at the end of it it’s a very sad ending, man. I mean you guys know my parents – I don’t know if they’re here right now but I love them dearly. Cool people, good people. You can ask a 100 people about my parents and 100 people will say they’re good people. I put myself first. You might say what a selfish man! No, I put myself first so I could show up the best version of a son I can for them. The intention is important.

5. Make Self-care a Priority

We’re not going to get too much into it because I have 4,000 talks on self-care but when you’re setting boundaries you got to do self-care because here’s what happens. Let’s say you set a boundary with someone and you tell them they’re no longer allowed to do X Y and Z. They’re going to freak the hell out. You’re going to feel guilty, you’re gonna feel ashamed, you’re gonna feel like a bad person, you’re gonna feel like a bad mom, a bad dad, a bad friend. And then you’re going to be stuck with that emotional experience if you don’t apply some self-care and do some stuff to help your emotions in that moment, the odds of you going back on your boundaries, the odds of you going back on your word, the odds of you just giving in, becomes very high. Not why do they keep doing it but why do I keep allowing it?

6. Seek Support

I just worked with somebody last week and she needed some support with setting boundaries. She said, “I just don’t know what to say,” and I said, “Well, what kind of boundaries you want to have?” And she named off like 77 things. I’m like, “Well, there it is.” See, it’s not that they don’t know what to say. They’re just afraid that if I say it something bad’s going to happen. It’s such a fear-based approach. I went ahead and wrote down six or seven boundaries pretty much exactly as she told me and she’s like, “Oh thank you so much!” I can say seeking support sometimes give you the permission to do something that you know you need to do but you don’t have the psychological emotional muscles to do it. That’s okay, but eventually you want to be able to set boundaries authentically from yourself, knowing that there’s no way that you’re going to say this thing that’s going to go bad. If you’re true to yourself and know your intentions and your motives.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.