Boundary is not a dirty word, contrary to what many self-proclaimed
people pleasers believe. For them, it conjures up visions of loved ones
harshly stating what they will or will no longer tolerate from them.
HOW boundaries are delivered is key. If they are delivered with
fear from the other well-meaning person, because they aren’t
quite confident in themselves, then we naturally won’t receive
them well. We’ll find ourselves wanting to defend ourselves and go
into self-protection mode.
If someone approaches us with love in their heart, knowing
that our relationship is no longer working harmoniously, and
they truly want to improve it (thus the need for the honest
communication), then it’s a whole other story.
A healthy boundary is a gift to ourselves when we realize we are
worth taking care of physically, emotionally, mentally and
spiritually because we are a whole, lovable being.
It’s a gift to ourselves when we realize a lot of energy goes into
protecting ourselves from others, and we no longer want to do that.
What Healthy boundaries are NOT:
1) Too thin-skinned where we let everyone else dictate our thoughts,
words and actions because we haven’t discovered who we really are
and what we value…yet. Having a healthy self identity hasn’t come
naturally for us.
2) Too thick-skinned and rigid where we won’t allow ourselves to be
vulnerable and sensitive in our relationships, won’t allow intimacy due
to self-protection tactics.
As people pleasers, we regularly vacillate between the thin-skinned and
rigid boundaries. For example, let’s say you typically have a hard time
saying no to others’ requests of your time. You take over-responsibility
for your kids’ happiness and choices.
You are often worn out from taking on everybody’s energy and problems.
All of these are indications of thin-skinned boundaries because at a root
cause level you don’t feel comfortable advocating for your needs/wants.
You also engage self-protection strategies, maybe even on the same day as
the thin-skinned boundary days. You demonstrate this by isolating and not
asking others for help because you don’t want to “put them out or trouble
them.” AND you don’t ask because they may say no, and then you’d feel hurt
Additionally, you don’t share your most intimate thoughts and feelings
with others because on a deep level you don’t trust people with your
heart. This holding back behavior is intended to protect your heart from
Below is a simple formula to create healthy-skinned boundaries. Though
it is simple, it is not easy to implement and that’s where Morgan and I
ASK for what you want/don’t want
BE intentional with your energy/focus
CARE for yourself first
DARE to be authentically kind
By adopting the above 4 core practices/values, you will be well on your
way to letting go of what others think of you and creating boundaries that
Angie & Morgan
PS: Morgan and I will be creating a 4 part video course in which we explore
the ABCD’s of healthy boundary creation. Be on the lookout for that.
PSS: We will be offering a 2 day zoom event on January 22 and 23, 2021
all about this topic, “Let go of what they think: set boundaries that
bless you!” Mark your calendar now for 9am – 5:30pm CT both days.