“Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us, they know exactly how it should be done.” –Rudy Francisco
Communicating healthy boundaries in your relationships is crucial in order to truly feel comfortable, develop trust within the partnership, and gain overall positive self-esteem. When talking about your boundaries, you need to be 100% clear about what works for you and what doesn’t. So often, we tend to focus on adjusting ourselves to meet the needs of others, and that can take away from being able to be ourselves and having our own needs met. Setting and enforcing healthy boundaries that reflect who you are and what you need in order to thrive in your relationships will enhance and strengthen your connection. And, if it doesn’t, then the relationship likely isn’t the best one for you to remain in.
Here are a few common Q & A’s that might help you better understand and build healthy communication and boundaries in your relationships:
Q: “How can I find out what my boundaries are?”
A: Make a list of things that work for you or make you happy in your relationships (with your partner, your children, your family members, your friends, co-workers, boss and peers). Then make a list of things that don’t work for you or don’t make you happy in your relationships. Finally, make a list of things that are deal-breakers or relationship killers.
Q: “How do I effectively communicate and set boundaries with my partner, without hurting their feelings or offending them?”
A: First, you cannot control how someone else will feel or react to you setting or enforcing a boundary. This isn’t about them, it’s about YOU. Be honest and be respectful when sharing your thoughts and feelings with your partner (or friend, or family member, or coworker, etc). It’s totally normal to take some time to gather up your thoughts and feelings, and it’s important to not avoid the conversation. Again, you’re not able to prevent someone from feeling angry, hurt or afraid when you share a boundary with them. However, if you good intentions and you speak your truth, you simply can’t go wrong. If they are the right match for you, they will respect your boundaries and limits, and you will respect theirs. To build a true connection with another person, you must first be true to yourself.
Q: “I’ve been with my partner for so long and it feels like he/she still doesn’t get it. I’m assuming he/she’s happy with the way things are, and I do love him/her so I don’t want to rock the boat. But I feel like he/she should just know me by now. Any advice?”
A: It can be extremely frustrating and damaging to yourself as well as the relationship when boundaries are crossed or ignored. However, one important piece I always have to remind my clients is, never assume or guess your partner’s feelings. Making assumptions can create a lot of misunderstandings in a relationship. You may feel like you know your partner very well and that you feel you’re entitled to assume what they want or need without asking them, but it’s always best to ask rather than assume. Your partner may be assuming you’re 100% satisfied in the relationship. Your best bet is to talk openly with him. Put it all on the table. Take responsibility for your actions. Instead of immediately blaming them for the situation or how you’re feeling, take a step back and think about the choices you’ve made and see if they may have contributed to the situation. Be honest. With your partner as well as yourself!
Q: “I’ve recently set a boundary with someone very close to me. Now I’m nervous to follow through. How can I stop second guessing myself?”
A: Setting boundaries and not following through on them lets the other person think it’s okay for them to continue to overstep your boundaries. You shouldn’t make any exceptions to your own boundaries without careful consideration, because you just might find yourself compromising things that are deal-breakers for you. Staying true to yourself and your limits is the BEST thing you can do for yourself and the person you are in relationship with. It may not feel this way at the time, but I promise you, it’s what you want and deserve. Trust your gut feeling. It’s there for a reason.
Q: “I have communicated my boundaries to a family member on several occasions and they still refuse to be respectful of my feelings and what I’ve asked of them. I know they are family, but it feels so disrespectful. What can I do?”
A: This is so hard. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Dealing with family can be extremely challenging. Here’s the thing. Family or not – you have to know when it’s time to move on. You can only communicate your feelings about how you wish to be treated in the relationship, in the most clear and honest way possible. But you cannot be responsible for the other persons feelings or reactions or disregard to those boundaries. Everyone single one of us has the right to be treated with sacred worth, respect and fairness. If the person you’re in relationship with can’t respect the personal boundaries you have set, then it may be time to end the relationship altogether.
Communication, setting and establishing healthy boundaries doesn’t come easy. It takes thought, intention, effort, time, practice and a whole lot of self respect. Remember, as difficult and challenging as this process may be, if you trust yourself, trust your gut, trust the process, stay open, honest, and true to yourself, it will get easier and you will manifest the relationships you ultimately desire and deserve. ♥️
An International Bestselling Author and Lifestyle and Leadership Coach, Tris Thorp is one of today’s leading experts in the field of emotional healing. Having spent the last decade traveling the world, being trained by and sharing the stage with Dr. Deepak Chopra in the field of consciousness and mindfulness-based practices, Tris has a real gift for integrating the ancient spiritual teachings with modern-day mindfulness to help people all over the world let go of their past and create an empowered new future.
During her tenure at the Chopra Center, Tris apprenticed under the Chopra Center’s co-founder Dr. David Simon, co-facilitating the Healing the Heart and Emotional Freedom workshops alongside him. Prior to his passing in 2012, Dr. Simon appointed Tris as the person to carry on his teachings in the field of emotional healing. In addition, Tris was fortunate to be mentored by the late Debbie Ford prior to her passing in 2013, which is where she continued her extensive studies of the unconscious mind and concepts of the persona and shadow. After the loss of her two beloved teachers and mentors, Tris went on to become certified through the Ford Institute as a coach specializing in shadow work and reconciling mental and emotional issues stemming from past experiences. She continues to share the gifts of emotional healing and facilitating this work in the footsteps of her former mentors.
Tris is the International bestselling author of Healing Your Heart: Rewrite Your Story with Awareness and Intention. A guide book to understanding your emotions, how we create our story and workable tools and techniques to heal from the past, Healing Your Heart guides you through the process of forgiving yourself and others, setting and enforcing boundaries and consciously communicating your needs in a loving and effective way so you can be who you’re meant to be, do the things you want to do and have all that you deserve to have in this life.
Tris is also the co-author of bestseller Mental and Emotional Release® with Dr. Matt James. Written in a language both professionals and non-professionals can understand, Mental and Emotional Release® offers real life case studies, an overview of MER and its foundation, step by step scripts to follow, and clinical efficacy studies comparing MER to other therapies.
Clearly in her dharma, Tris’s passion and dedication to gently guide people on their inward journey through emotional healing is evident in her work as a Lead Trainer/Facilitator with The Empowerment Partnership. She teaches various classes on personal empowerment, emotional healing and higher states of consciousness at iNLP Master Practitioner Training, the Empowering Your LifeÒ weekend and at the Huna trainings on the Big Island of Hawaii – ancient energy healing and spiritual shamanism of ancient Hawaii.
Tris Thorp is Board Certified by the Association of Integrative Psychology as a Trainer of NLP, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, and Mental and Emotional Release®, a Certified Reiki Master, and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. She is certified by Dr. Deepak Chopra in Primordial Sound Meditation, Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga.
Tris is devoted to inspiring and empowering others to cultivate and maintain mindfulness-based lifestyle practices that lead to greater clarity, purpose and fulfillment. Through one-on-one coaching, online programs and live events, Tris specializes in helping people to fully release negative emotions, limiting beliefs and unconscious patterns, enabling them to make quantum leaps into the life they are truly meant to be living.