Oh boundaries… one of my favorite topics to discuss with clients. I think that boundaries are foundational for our health. If we don’t have healthy boundaries, we cannot have healthy relationships with ourselves or others. Basically, boundaries are like an invisible fence. They show us what is me and what is not me, what things are within my fence of responsibility, and what things are outside of my fence of responsibility. 


I find that people tend to go one of two ways if they have unhealthy boundaries. First, the are irresponsible for their own property (trying to get others to take responsibility), or they become overly responsible for another person’s property (not allowing them to be responsible for their own “stuff” in life). With the second option, we feel like that is truly loving to another person. GUESS WHAT? It is not loving. It keeps the other person stuck in a cycle of irresponsibility, we don’t provide them the opportunity to become a fully functioning adult, and we become a codependent in their life. YUCK. What’s the most loving on the surface is not always the most loving in reality.

So what does that mean, and what is my “property”? The things that are in my property, that I am responsible for, are my thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and responsibilities I have been given (at my job, taking care of children, etc…). The other side of this coin is that I am not responsible for another person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or responsibilities they have committed to in life. 

For boundary stompers, people who can’t respect another’s “no”, people pleasers, and co-dependents, these ideas are incredibly difficult. In general, boundaries are difficult at different points for each of us. However, the truth remains that boundaries are the foundational blocks for relationships, and without them, the health of our relationships, and both people in that relationship, will suffer.

Now it’s your turn to share! We each struggle with boundaries at some point in life. What makes having healthy boundaries so difficult? What things fall into your property, and what things aren’t in your property (but you wish was in your property)?