5 Basic Boundaries and How to Maintain Them

June 1, 2021

This week we are featuring Maegon Miller as Mooditude’s Guest Blog Contributor! Maegon is a licensed therapist and self-care coach for female empaths. She teaches other empaths how to create boundaries and stand up for themselves while still getting their needs met. Maegon believes self-care is not a one size fits all kind of thing. That’s why she creates individualized plans that the hundreds of women she’s worked with have been able to adapt to a lifestyle in order to create more freedom in their business and life. 

Now, let’s continue with the blog through the eyes of Maegon herself...

The 5 Basic Boundaries and How to Maintain Them

The purpose of boundaries is to keep you and those around you emotionally and physically safe but those are not the only two types. There are also energetic, emotional, spiritual, and mental boundaries. If this sounds easier said than done that’s because it is. Setting a boundary (especially with loved ones) can be some of the most difficult work you’ll do. Getting a clear definition of how boundaries can benefit you in your life is a great start! Here, I’ll discuss the five types of boundaries, why you might be having trouble setting them, and how to maintain them for a more peaceful life. 

These 5 boundaries may sound something like:

Energetic- “Something feels off. My intuition is telling me that this environment may not be aligned with how I want to feel energetically.”

I can’t stress enough how important and powerful your intuition is.Some may refer to this feeling as their gut instinct or higher power. Whatever you call this feeling deep within, follow her.

One of the things I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) is that when I have gone against my intuition I paid for it in some way later. This feeling may be nagging or it could be quick and slight for you. This feeling is going to be different for everyone. Do you have trouble believing her? This is probably an indication that you don’t trust yourself. Maybe you’ve followed what everyone else in your life has told you to do and as a result you’ve stopped trusting yourself. Maybe while growing up the adults in your life didn’t allow you to exercise your free thinking, they inserted themselves, or wouldn’t validate your thoughts and feelings. If this is the case it wouldn’t surprise me if trusting your intuition is a scary process for you. It’ll take practice (work it like a muscle), compassion with yourself, and some positive reinforcement.

Emotional- “I don’t like the way I feel when I’m around you. I’ve noticed that you put me down and say hurtful things to me. I need to take some space from you for a little bit.”

A big part of setting healthy boundaries is knowing yourself. If you aren’t able to recognize what feels good and what doesn't, you'll have trouble respecting yourself and in turn asking others for what you need as well.

I have a friend that makes sure to ask permission before she shares something about herself that she is going through. I love this! I may not be in a good place emotionally where I’m able to effectively listen or give her advice if needed.Most importantly,  I may not be in an emotionally healthy place where I can be the container she needs at that time. This is something she needs to know before she starts sharing. This is a good example of how boundaries serve to protect both parties. Make sure that you ask the person if they are wanting your advice. Steer clear of giving unsolicited advice because that can cause a whole new set of problems. It’s also the other person’s responsibility to communicate to you what they need. If they are simply wanting to vent and get something off their chest without your input then that needs to be established before the conversation begins. 

Spiritual- “I am on my own spiritual journey and I’m in the process of learning things. I will reach out to you if I need any help or advice.”

Your spiritual journey is personal and not something that is to be infringed upon unless you ask for it. If you are new to spirituality it can feel overwhelming because there’s so much information out there. I would recommend you do your own research and feel what aligns with you, your personality, beliefs, and lifestyle. There are plenty of books, online resources, and coaches that can help you along this journey. However, you want to make sure that whomever is guiding you has your best intentions at heart and are trustworthy. 

There’s no guidelines, rules, or expectations of spirituality. Don’t feel pressure to conform to anyone else or what they think is best for you. Some examples of how you can create a sacred space for yourself include smudging, creating an altar, using crystals (in your pocket, purse, and around your home), lighting candles, and using essential oils. 

Mental- “I’m feeling a little drained. I think I need some space for the day”

Is there anyone in your life that after you get off the phone with them or after spending time with them you feel especially drained or emotionally exhausted? That is probably a good indication that you need to be intentional about taking space, limiting time, or possibly cutting ties with them altogether. This includes family. 

Setting mental boundaries can come in several different forms. Some people’s energy is negative and they might not even be aware of it. Although you enjoy spending time with them in order to protect your own energy, space needs to be created. There’s no need to over explain yourself, just start creating some form of distance. It’s not your job to control the actions of other people so if that person is negative or draining give them some time to see that for themselves. If they are a person you’re close with and you can have candid conversations with then be honest with how they come off and how it affects those around them. 

Gaslighting is a concept that seems to have become more popular over the last year. We’ve probably all experienced a form of this but didn’t know what the term was for it until recently. According to Medical News Today, gaslighting is “a form of psychological abuse where a person or group makes someone question their sanity, perception of reality, or memories.” Since you can’t control if a person is willing to acknowledge the pain they’ve caused you or take accountability for what they’ve done then this may be another time when you create some distance from them. Gaslighting can leave us feeling anxious, confused, and questioning our own reality at times. Know that someone not taking accountability for their actions is not a reflection of you and instead about them. 

Physical- “At times I enjoy being by myself. I’m going to go on a walk (fill in with any activity)  by myself today but maybe we can go together next time.” 

Social anxiety is a real thing for many people, so being in close contact or in a large crowd can become overwhelming. That means that even going to a grocery store can prove to be a large and daunting task. Help yourself by wearing headphones while you shop, ask someone to go with you, shop early in the morning or during times where there won’t be crowds, and my favorite order online and go pick it up...better yet have it delivered to your home. 

In romantic relationships it’s healthy for each of you to have physical space from each other. This means each of you maintaining the hobbies you came into the relationship with or finding new ones you can each do alone is imperative. If your partner (or you) have difficulty feeling comfortable engaging in your own hobbies alone there may be an insecurity there that needs to be explored. Remember, one of the reasons your partner fell in love with you and vice versa was because of who you were and things you enjoyed before you two became a couple. Don’t let a relationship or children be the reason you don’t make time for yourself. 

Quick (yet important tips) to remember:

  1. You are not responsible for other people’s emotions and you can’t control how they perceive what you say. Sometimes you can say something in the most respectful way possible and the other person will still take it offensively. That’s not your stuff to take on.
  2. Creating boundaries protects both you and the other person. It is not mean or selfish, it’s necessary to keep your own sense of sanity and peace.
  3. Build up your intuition by practicing following her even when you’re feeling uncomfortable or anxious.
  4. Feeling anxious doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making the wrong decision about something. Give yourself some time in silence to process your emotions then make a decision.
  5. Setting boundaries doesn't just apply to strangers. They apply to everyone in your life. That includes co-workers, colleagues, significant others, children, and family. No one is exempt from creating boundaries with. If you’re unsure about this, refer back to #1 of these tips. 
  6. Don’t feel pressured to respond back right away when someone asks you to do something or invites you someplace. An easy yet effective response is, “let me check my calendar and get back to you.” This applies both in-person and through text. 
  7. Social media is another place to create strong boundaries. This includes muting, blocking, or removing people that do not make you feel good or you find you comparing yourself to.
  8. Make your words match your actions. We teach people how to treat us and if your words and actions aren’t congruent people won’t take you or the boundaries you set serious. 

What areas do you tend to have trouble setting boundaries? In my 90-minute Self-Care Audit I’ll work with you individually to create an easy game plan so you can stop feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and guilty. You’ll even get fill-in-the-blank boundary templates that I use on a regular basis when I’m in a pinch and don’t know how to respond to a request. Learn more about my signature program at www.maegonrenee.com and snag the free Self-Care Guide HERE.

Any questions or comments? Please feel free to email  at hello@maegonrenee.com. I’d love to hear from you. Don’t forget to share this article with people in your life! 

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