Why I'm Setting Boundaries In A Project That's All About Building Connections
My search for meaningful connection
Some might wonder why my theme for this month is about setting boundaries. Surely that goes against what I’m trying to achieve in connecting with others? Won’t those boundaries simply create further barriers between myself and others?
The simple answer is that I want to find meaningful connections.
My focus will be on the quality of those connections rather than the quantity. It feels important that the connections I make are real and genuine, and that they are two-way. So in order to achieve this it makes sense that I look at setting some healthy boundaries.
More specifically, there are three key reasons for doing this:
1. The image of a forty-year-old childless woman who doesn’t have her own family is that she has all the spare time in the world and can be called upon whenever needed. Because if she doesn’t have a family then what else could she possibly be doing? I often find myself having to fit my life around other people’s and to move things around in my diary because my activities aren’t seen as important as others. This can lead to me feeling frustrated and resentful which is never a good foundation for a healthy relationship. So in order to maintain great relationships I believe that it is better for both parties if I not only have helpful boundaries so that I don’t put my own activities at the bottom of the list all the time, but am open about them so that others don’t feel I’m being unnecessarily difficult and can understand where I’m coming from. And if they don’t understand, then that would be a fairly big indication that my connection with them isn’t the meaningful one that I hoped it would be and that I should focus on those that are.
2. I’ve always been somewhat of a people-pleaser, very often saying ‘yes’ to things that I shouldn’t say yes to, simply because I don’t want to let other people down or because I worry that if I say no then I might be rejected or excluded from things in the future. I’m sure many of us can relate to that, whether in a similar situation or not. In creating healthy boundaries my aim is to better balance my own needs with those of others, not completely ignoring the needs of others, but where I feel I can I will stop agreeing to be part of something that doesn’t make me happy.
3. I can so easily fill my life with all sorts of activities, many of which I only do as a distraction from other things, rather than doing them because they move me forward and help me grow. I have set myself physical challenges that I know I’m going to find really tough and that I don’t always enjoy, just so that I can feel a sense of achievement that is otherwise lacking in my life. So this month’s theme gives me an opportunity to focus on those things that help get me to where I want to be, that I have a real passion for and with which I have a genuine sense of connection. I am aiming to work on my own internal feedback to create more of what works for me and less of what doesn’t.