I know firsthand after my own experience that establishing or setting new personal boundaries are extremely powerful and important especially after a divorce or relationship break up for several reasons. Firstly they serve as barriers to protect your self-esteem. They are also tools for establishing limits with others and communicating that you won’t tolerate certain behaviours. Those without personal boundaries commonly end up in less than ideal situations and relationships. This is the same whether you are divorced or not.
Without setting boundaries or limits, you become a victim to the whims of those around you. Personal boundaries are about respecting yourself and demanding respect from others.
Zina, so how on earth do I set boundaries, where do I start?
I just knew you’d ask so here some tips to help you establish new healthy personal boundaries especially after a divorce or break up:
Tips to establishing new boundaries after divorce or a break up
- Value yourself. You have the ability to set your own boundaries as you see fit. Few people will treat you better than you demand, so take responsibility for taking care of yourself. Unfortunately, no one else is going to take responsibility for your well-being.
- Define yourself. Decide who you are, what you want to be, and how you deserve to be treated. What are you willing to accept from others? What are you no longer willing to accept?
- If you don’t define yourself, the rest of the world will do it for you. And you won’t like it.
- Place a priority on yourself. Others are important, but they’re not any more important than you. If you take care of yourself first, you’re in a better position to take care of others. Running yourself ragged for others really isn’t helping anyone. You’ll be a better parent, spouse, and employee if you take good care of yourself.
- Consider where you need to set limits in your life. Maybe you need to put an end to volunteering to work Saturdays or stop accepting emotional abuse from your boyfriend. Maybe you’re just too willing to loan money to people that never pay you back.
- You get in life what you’re willing to tolerate. What are you no longer willing to tolerate?
- Make your boundaries firm and clear. Make your boundaries reasonable, but clear to others. If others know where you stand on certain issues, there’s less chance for confusion or miscommunication. It’s possible to have boundaries that are too strict.
- If you’re alone and overly self-sufficient, you’re probably suffering from overly strict personal boundaries.
- Be flexible. You don’t have to follow a rule 100% of the time. Decide who and what you want to let in and what’s best to keep out. Studies have shown that people with some flexibility in their personal boundaries tend to have to best combination of happiness and success. Being too rigid can be just as problematic as being too lax.
- Learn to say no when needed. Boundaries are limits on what you’ll accept from others. Avoid falling victim to the tendency to make everyone else happy. Healthy boundaries and being a little selfish go hand-in-hand. Try saying “no” to someone today. The world won’t come to an end.
- Communicate openly. When people cross your boundaries, it’s up to you to inform them. Many times, this is as simple as refusing a request. You may be required to provide more explanation in other instances.
- Others are unable to give you what you want if you don’t provide feedback.
Having boundaries is an exercise in caring for and respecting yourself. You have the right to expect a certain level of respect and consideration from others.
If your lack of personal boundaries is creating challenges for you, now is the time to start taking better care of yourself. Adequate boundaries are not only good for your self-esteem and general mental health, but for all other aspects of your life. You also put yourself in a better position to care for your friends and family.
Whatever you do, take the process in your stride, it is all part of your Believe and Live Again recovery, bounce back and transition journey from being a “we” to becoming a “me”.
If you would like to have an informal chat about it, don't hesitate to get in touch on: +44 208 938 3672 and myself or a member of my team will gladly schedule a Complimentary Believe and Live Again Coaching Discovery session or a no-obligation 30 minute "Forgive and Let Go" consultation and together, we could be embarking upon the Believe and Live Again 5 R's journey to heal your heart, outgrow your challenges and let go of the past so that your glorious future can finally emerge.
Once again, I invite you to contact me or schedule a time to talk, call: +44 (0) 208 938 3672 (24 hours) or click on the pink "Contact" at the bottom right hand side of this page and this will take you into my "Let's Talk" contact form. Kindly complete the form and you will get a call back.
In the meantime, until next time, Keep Smiling, Keep Strong and Keep Believing.
Best Wishes and God's Blessings
Zina Arinze helps female professionals, business women, entrepreneurs and women of faith, swiftly recover from the grief and trauma of domestic abuse as well as the stigma of divorce, separation or relationship breakdown by giving them clarity for their radiant future so that they are able to transition their mindsets from “we” to “me”, reconnect to their positive of self, regain their feminine power and walk in the healing restorative power of God. A lawyer by training and armed with an MBA, Zina has over 15 years in IT Project Management Consultancy, Training and Capacity Building for both the Public and Private Sectors, she very passionate about building lasting relationships and encouraging the discovery, development and deployment of hidden talents.