Determining Your Boundary Lines …

What Kind of Boundaries do You have?

HEALTHY BOUNDARIES:
•You can say no or yes, and you respect others’ when they say no.
• You have a strong sense of identity. You respect yourself.
• You expect reciprocity in a relationship and share responsibility.
• You know when the problem is yours or if it belongs to someone else.
• You share personal information in a relationship based on trust.
• You don’t tolerate abuse or disrespect.
• You know and clearly communicate your wants, needs and feelings.
• You are committed to and responsible for exploring and nurturing your full potential.
• You are responsible for your happiness and fulfillment, and encourage it in others.
• You value your opinions and feelings as much as others.
• You know your limits and allow others to define theirs.
• You are able to ask for help when you need it.
• You don’t compromise your values or integrity to avoid rejection.
COLLAPSED BOUNDARIES:
• Fear of rejection or abandonment prevents you from saying no.
• Your identity consists of what you think others want you to be.
• You tend to be either overly responsible and controlling or passive and dependent.
• You take on others’ problems as your own.
• You share personal information prematurely, before establishing trust.
• You have a high tolerance for abuse or being treated with disrespect.
• Your wants/ needs /feelings are secondary to others and are sometimes determined by others.
• You ignore your inner voice and allow others’ expectations to define your potential.
• You tend to feel responsible for and / or rely on others’ for happiness and fulfillment.
• You tend to over-identify with the feelings of others.
• You rely on others opinions, feelings and ideas more than you do your own.
• You allow others to define your limits or attempt to define limits for others.
• You compromise your values and beliefs in order to please others or to avoid conflict.
RIGID BOUNDARIES:
• You are likely to say no if the request involves close interaction.
• You avoid intimacy (pick fights, stay too busy, etc.)
• You fear abandonment OR engulfment, so you avoid closeness.
• You rarely share personal information.
• You have difficulty identifying wants, needs, feelings.
• You have few close relationships, and even with a partner you tend to lead separate lives.
• You rarely ask for help.
• You do not allow yourself to connect with other people and their problems.How do I change?Developing healthy boundaries will lead to improved self-esteem, better relationships and greater success in life and work.It is a process and will take time and practice with a supportive coach or accountability partner(s) to help you determine the balance that will allow you to give of yourself out of freedom as opposed to fear of the reactions of others.Helpful suggestions in the process:

1. Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings. Record the feelings you have around setting boundaries and in situations where you didn’t set them.

2. Recognize that if you are uncertain about committing to a particular activity that it is okay to say no. If you determine that you can, it is easier to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ than vice versa.

3. Learn to treasure and protect the things that you value, such as your desires, thoughts and feelings.

4. Pray for the courage to be transformed to a new way of thinking. When we change our beliefs around a particular thing, we can change our thoughts, feelings and behavior.

5. Work with a mentor to receive the support, encouragement and accountability you will need to incorporate a healthy structure for boundaries.

Sheri Geyer is a Master Certified Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Writer, Wife & Mom

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