In today’s episode, I return to our focus on the foundations of good boundary work, after taking a slight detour last week to talk about women and boundaries. You’ll learn four signs that you might need to set a boundary: feeling anger, resentment (or victim anger), out-of-control, overwhelmed, or getting feedback from other people that you’re overstepping limits or are a chronic boundary pusher. Recognizing these four signs, and assessing whether you want to set a boundary, is a great beginning to developing healthy, effective boundaries in every part of your life.
Biggest Takeaways from Episode #5:
- You can’t control other people by creating boundaries for them, but you can create boundaries for yourself around you respond.
- My favorite definition of resentment comes from Pia Mellody: victim anger. When you feel resentful, it’s important to ask whether your boundaries have been violated. If not, then you’re not actually a victim. Taking on victimhood as an identity is disempowering and a losing strategy both individually and in relationships.
- When you want to make a change, it’s helpful to do so incrementally instead of trying to make a big change all at once.
- If you’re closer to the boundary-less end of the continuum between boundary-less or walled off, pay extra attention to whether or not you’re respecting others’ boundaries. For example, touching other people without their permission—even in a casual way that feels natural to you—may be perceived as a boundary violation by a person who doesn’t like to be touched by acquaintances or strangers, or is a trauma survivor and highly sensitive to unwanted touch.
Highlights from Episode #5:
- One of the barriers to good boundary work is when you don’t recognize the need to set a boundary. There are four signs that you probably need to set a boundary. [01:33]
- The first sign that you may need to set a boundary is feeling anger. [03:29]
- Feeling resentment, which is anger coupled with the perception of being a victim, is the second sign that you may need to set a boundary. [08:22]
- There are times when you are a victim of someone else’s behavior, but it’s dangerous to wear victimhood as a badge of honor or take it on as an identity. [11:55]
- Feeling overwhelmed or out-of-control is the third sign that you may need to set a boundary. [16:04]
- The fourth and final sign that you may need to set a boundary is when you repeatedly get feedback from other people that you’re overstepping a limit. This is especially relevant with regard to unwanted physical touch. [18:50]
- A recap of the four signs that you might need to set a boundary[23:09]
Links and Resources:
- Vicki Tidwell Palmer
- Moving Beyond Betrayal by Vicki Tidwell Palmer
- Pia Mellody
- 5-Step Boundary Solution Clarifier