Setting Boundaries

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brown wooden fence to illustrate setting boundariesWhy is it so hard to set boundaries with other people?

This is something that I have struggled with most of my life.  For me, setting boundaries gets all mixed up with religious teachings about loving other people, societal values, and the general admonition to be nice.  Intellectually I know that one can set boundaries without being mean.  Emotionally, it usually still feels mean.  Try this tapping.

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (tapping karate chop point):  Even though I find it hard to set boundaries with other people, I deeply and completely accept myself and all of my feelings.  Even though I have found it hard to set boundaries with other people in the past, I accept myself and all of my feelings about this.  Even though I find it hard to set boundaries with other people, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and am looking forward to feeling better about this in the future.

 

Eyebrow…I find it hard to set boundaries with other peoplediagram of the tapping points

Side of Eye…I get all nervous

Under the Eye…And I feel it in the pit of my stomach

Under the Nose…And my jaw tightens up

Chin…Even worse, sometimes I stutter

Collarbone…When I do set boundaries, I’m usually very mad

Under the Arm…Then I’m more aggressive than assertive

Top of Head…Or a total basket case

Eyebrow…That’s not really setting boundaries with others

Side of Eye…That is just reacting

Under the Eye…I want to learn more about why it has been hard for me

Under the Nose…I think I’m afraid they won’t like me

Chin…There have been times when I’ve said no

Collarbone…And sometimes it works well

Under the Arm…And sometimes people react badly

Top of Head…I can’t really control other people’s reactions

Eyebrow…And by not setting boundaries, I’m attempting to feel like I’m in control

Side of Eye…But it is really false control

Under the Eye…Because my needs aren’t being met

Under the Nose…I’m looking forward to catching myself in this unhealthy pattern more often

Chin…So that I can observe it and change it

Collarbone…I am open to understanding my motivations in each situation

Under the Arm…I am open to learning new ways to set boundaries with other people

Top of Head…I am looking forward to respecting my own needs while still respecting other people.

 

This tapping sequence is just a jumping off point.  One way to take this further is to tap while telling the story about a specific time that you had trouble setting boundaries.  Include what happened, the thoughts in your head at the time if you remember, the feelings that were present during the event, the feelings that you have now when you think about the event, and even how you wished you might have handled it differently.  The more specific you get, the better the result.


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