While some people have boundaries and are therefore able to stand their ground, there are other people who don’t. For them, having boundaries is a challenge and this could relate to a certain area of their life or every area.
Standing their ground may be something they do at times, but it could also be something they never do. And as boundaries are vital and not something that one can live without, they are going to suffer.
So as they are so important when it comes to one’s ability to survive and to thrive, it can be hard to comprehend why one wouldn’t have them. Clearly something is not right and the sooner something is done about it the better.
However, just because someone is in this position and has boundaries missing in certain areas or no boundaries whatsoever, it doesn’t mean they aware of the fact that their life could be different.
Being walked over and saying yes when they should be saying no or vice versa, could be something they have come to accept. This is then what is normal and as this is the case, there is very little chance that anything will change.
If they come across people who have boundaries, they might come to the conclusion that it’s because they are different in some way; with them having something that one doesn’t have. And if one has never had boundaries and comes across other people who have them, this outlook can appear to be accurate.
One can then feel like a victim and end up putting other people on a pedestal. But while it can seem as though the people who have boundaries are inherently different to the people who don’t have them, this is nothing more than an illusion.
On The Inside
The difference between someone who has boundaries and someone who doesn’t is the internal meaning that they have around setting them. When one has boundaries and has no problem standing their ground, it is going to be because they feel safe doing so.
So during moments when they need to say no for instance, they are generally not going to feel uncomfortable. They are also going to be focused on protecting themselves, and not on whether other people will approve of their actions.
Their wellbeing will be what matters and this is what should be normal; simply because this is what is healthy. To put other people first, while compromising oneself, is far from healthy and will only cause one to suffer needlessly.
No else can know what one is or is not comfortable with, this is something they have to define. Other people can do something and one can feel compromised, even when this was not the other person’s intention. What is acceptable to one person won’t necessarily be acceptable to another.
So as no one else can define ones boundaries and they can only do this themselves, they are going to have problems when they don’t feel comfortable having them. Other people could come onto their space internationally or they could do it without the intention of harming them and the yet the outcome can still be the same.
Their attention is going to be primarily placed on other people and on doing what they can to gain their acceptance and approval. This means that other people’s wellbeing will be more important than their own. To put themselves first could also cause them to feel guilty.
If they were to put themselves first and to do what is in their best interests, they might believe that they will be rejected, abandoned and/or harmed in some way. And not only can they believe this, it can also be what they have experienced on numerous occasions.
Having boundaries is then something that they have come to associate as being unsafe. But while pleasing others is what feels safe, it is not in their best interests; with one’s survival being put at risk.
If one feels that their survival would be at risk I they were to have boundaries, it is clear that something is not right. Deep down will be the need for one to stand their ground and on top of this is the need to please others.
These two outlooks are going to create conflict and this is to be expected. Being walked over is not natural and this means that something has happened in this person life to make them this way.
And while this could be due to what has happened to them during their adult years, it is likely to be the result what took place in their childhood. The ideal would have been for ones caregivers to respect their boundaries. As they allowed them to say no and to listen to their own needs and wants, one would have come to the understanding that it was safe for them to have them.
They wouldn’t have been rejected or abandoned when they stood their ground, and this means that their survival wouldn’t be under threat. However, the upbringing of someone who hasn’t got boundaries is likely to have been very different.
Their boundaries wouldn’t have been respected, and therefore their own needs and wants would have been denied and ignored. So standing ones ground would have felt safe, what would have felt safe was doing what others wanted. If they were to set their boundaries, they might have been rejected, abandoned, or abused in some way. And to be abandoned at such as young age would have felt like death.
Time has then changed, but one can still feel as though they did as a child. Saying no is then something that causes one to feel apprehensive and as if their survival is under threat.
In order for one to feel safe having boundaries, they will need to let go off the associations they have formed. These associations can be a combination of beliefs and trapped emotions. So as one changes their beliefs and releases the trapped emotions from their body, they will gradually begin to feel safe having boundaries.
This can be done with the assistance of therapist, healer or some kind of coach. Reading up on this area and questioning what one believes will also help.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.