No matter how well we build up our boundaries, how much attention we give them, nurture them and are well aware of them, there will be times where we’ll have our guard down and let others in. And because of the way life works, boundaries will be breached and broken, trust will be betrayed, feelings will be hurt and we will feel like we have been left boundary less. Sometimes we let others in too close and our misjudgment breaks our boundaries or sometimes others work their way slowly and unbeknownst to us they begin to chip away at the boundaries.
Either way having our boundaries broken leaves us a little exposed to the elements, feeling defenceless, and on top of it all hurt and betrayed. So how can we equip ourselves to deal with situations like these? The hurt won’t go away and we will still need to pick ourselves up, but situations like these can help us learn a lot about ourselves and they force us to recognise that only we are responsible for ourselves and it is our duty to safeguard our well being.
Broken boundaries will need to be rebuilt but with the experience of the hurt we can be better equipped to build better ones. We don’t need to push others further away, our boundaries don’t need to be impenetrable and so high that others won’t attempt to come near us. We just need to be able to deal with ourselves and in turn deal with others better. Here are my five ways in which we can begin to rebuild broken boundaries:
Don’t lose hope.
What is broken, can be rebuilt. Just because you’ve been hurt by someone does not mean that they can continue to do so. Not unless you allow them to. And no matter how exposed or silly you may feel you always need to remember that this feeling shall pass and if someone has wronged you then the blame falls on them not you.
You may feel exposed and vulnerable and even foolish to have let your guard down but always remember even in the hurt the lesson learnt is far greater than what’s to pass and maybe the wisdom gained is the greater reward for future experiences.
Take it in your stride.
Just because you left your boundaries unguarded does not mean you did something wrong. It just means that maybe certain limits were not clear to others, or for any reason they were given the opportunity to take advantage and they did. This does not mean we shouldn’t let anyone within our boundaries ever again or that we should always be vary of those close to us as trust and respect are very important aspects of every relationship.
We cannot judge everyone by the actions of a few, we should however place most of the trust, respect, loyalty and honour within ourselves. So that if we feel they are being misused we acknowledge that and take precautions and try and put a stop to it for ourselves.
Reestablish your grounds.
Make sure your emotions have been communicated clearly. It’s not ok for others to hurt you and it’s also not ok for them to be unaware of the hurt they have caused. It is up to you to let them know and while doing so you are rebuilding the foundations of your boundaries. You are establishing what you will not allow. Sometimes it can be hard confronting others and talking about the hurt they cause, if this is the case then you could always send a message.
There was a time when I had to do that, because face to face was not possible, so before sending I read the message again and then again just to make sure the tone was set correctly. I made sure I was only discussing the points I needed to, I made clear how I felt and made no other assumptions on anyone else’s behalf. Writing things down allows you to think through your points and focus what you need to get across rather than venting out your frustrations, so that the conversation remains directed at the point you are trying to make, which is you and your hurt.
Refocus on you.
You need to acknowledged the hurt and communicate that to yourself and others, that is because not only is it important to address the hurt but to understand why you were hurt. What the hurt and the breach of your boundary taught you about yourself. For example one reason why my boundaries have been broken was because I was too eager to please, I saw others as I would see myself and before giving the understanding of our relationship a chance I already assumed too much. When I did end up getting hurt I realised that part of that hurt was my fault, I should have taken a step back and allowed the relationship to evolve into what it was, rather than what I had imagined it to be.
Relearn to rebuild.
So how could I rebuild a boundary broken by the same person? Well I took a step back, way back. It is important to understand that others can only take advantage of you if you fully submit to them, and previously I had done just that, requests and favours were indirectly said and criticisms heavily laced by innuendos. And I embraced it all, indirect requests were fulfilled without being asked and innuendos were taken to heart and changes made almost immediately.
Until I was directly hurt by all of this I had never understood that relationships are a two way channel and you only know where you stand by being shown by others. I had addressed the issues but also learnt the lesson. I did not break any relations but had become more aware of how I approached the relationship. I didn’t respond the same way I was approached (my mother raised me better than that) but until I am spoken to directly I do not discuss nor act on anyone else’s behalf and only then do I let my opinions be known.
Does this mean the relationship will go back to the way it was? I certainly hope not, and that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing, I won’t be taken advantage of again the same way (or I’ll make every effort not to) and I’m good with that.
These are just a few points I found helpful to keep myself and my boundaries in check. It does not mean that my boundaries are impenetrable nor should they be, it just means I am more alert to those I allow within my walls and if my boundaries are being breached I am fully aware and capable of taking necessary actions to make sure that I am looking out for myself and my wellbeing. What other points do you think are important when rebuilding your boundaries?
Remembering always to Love. Reflect. Heal
Brown Girl R xXx