Here is what I usually hear from those who have little to no boundaries:
“I am afraid that if I have boundaries I may come across as a difficult partner who no one wants to be with. As a result none of my relationships will work and I’ll end up being alone and miserable for the rest of my life”.
Interesting, but I never hear these exact same words from those who DO have boundaries. Actually, they state just the opposite: they think that not having boundaries equals to having a miserable life. Amazing, huh?
If you are one of those who are afraid to have boundaries, then I understand exactly what it feels like:
~ You are afraid that if you say “No” they will leave you for good
~ You are afraid that making demands or speaking out will make things difficult
~ You do not want to be perceived as a Drama Queen (because you know you are not)
~ You do not want to be perceived as confrontational, as someone who does not go along, or as someone who has a ‘bad attitude’.
In essence, your fear is based on your own assumption of what other people’s perception of you would be should you have practiced boundaries.
Let me ask you this: what do you think of those who are not afraid to say “No”, who make reasonable demands, are not afraid to express their hurt feelings, refuse to walk on eggshells, and do not always go along? Would you dump someone like this or would you like/love/admire them more? Would you respect them more as well? I bet!
You may want to revisit your fears once again because, as you can clearly see now, they make no sense. Having boundaries makes you more desirable, more attractive, more beautiful, more happy, and more successful in relationships and life. Having boundaries will always mean more, not less. More boundaries = more self-love.
I do not think you are afraid of boundaries per se. Here is what you are actually afraid of:
~ You are afraid to make a change. Boundaries means removing certain people from your life and you may not feel comfortable about it.
~ You are afraid to have standards, because once again, having standards will mean conducting an inventory of your personal contacts, which means that some of them will eventually have to go.
~ You are afraid or are just not comfortable to admit your own contribution to a pathetic situation. Admitting to your own fault would mean to take action and you may not feel comfortable about it. You would rather be stuck in the ‘same old – same old’ dream land.
~ You are afraid to have boundaries because you do not want to be in charge. You would rather hold someone else responsible for your happiness. If something goes wrong it is never your fault, but always theirs.
Does it all make sense? Is it what you are really afraid of?
We need boundaries for self-protection. We need to decide what we will and will not tolerate, what we will and will not accept, and what makes us feel bad or what actions of other people hurt our feelings. Can you answer these questions to yourself? Do you know what your personal boundaries are? Have you ever thought about it at all??
You will be laughing but even jerks, narcissists, womanizers, and cheaters have boundaries. Just push that envelope too far and see what happens. You will be left in the dust with your head spinning faster than you could possibly imagine!
If you are still afraid or not sure about having boundaries or think that boundaries will make you miss out on something great, then take a look at what your love life is like now, without boundaries. Is it great? Are you happy with saying yes all the time? Are you happy pretending like everything is OK even if it is not? Are you tired of putting on a happy face every time your heart is crying? Does it hurt to smile when it hurts inside? Do you secretly hate them? Do you secretly wish you were stronger and more assertive? Do you feel like there is this huge pile of dynamite inside of you ready to explode at any moment all day every day? Is that what you want to feel like? Always, forever, and for eternity?
You will. If you have no boundaries.
Think of boundaries as a weeding out tool. Think of it as something that is good for you, something that represents your interests, and something that will make things work for you long term. If you want to feel happy and in agreement with yourself, then you have to have boundaries. Not having boundaries does not work.