We have to establish personal boundaries in our relationships to preserve our own emotional health and to protect the treasure God has in us. Learn to establish boundaries and draw the line with people who would cross your boundaries and put you in bondage!
How to Establish Emotional/Personal Boundaries:
1. Place boundaries around your heart.
2. Learn that it’s okay to say no.
3. Start being assertive.
4. Draw the line!
Each of us has personal, emotional, and physical boundaries that should not be invaded. Do you know your specific boundaries? Do you know how to respond when your boundary limits have been trampled? Do you know where to draw the line? To help identify your boundaries, pay attention when your emotions are intense, dark, shaming, or guilt-ridden in response to something someone has said or done to you… Your boundaries are being violated. The following responses will help you educate those in your life who are verbally and emotionally crossing the line! “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” (Proverbs 27:6)
- Inform – “Do you realize that you are speaking loudly?” “Do you know that you are saying things that are making me feel uncomfortable?”
- Identify – “Please lower your voice.” “Please stop using that kind of language.”
- Implore – “Stop insulting me with your words.”
- Insist – “You must stop speaking to me in that tone of voice.” “You may not continue to hurt me in this way.”
- Instruct – “I will no longer allow you to hurt me like this.” “I will no longer allow you to talk to me in this way.”
- Invite – “I am open to working this out when you can be reasonable.” “I am willing to go to counseling with you if you will agree.”
- Impact – “I am now leaving in order to protect myself.” “If you continue with this behaviour, I will consider all my options regarding our relationship.”
5. Appropriate God’s will for your life.
Some people can make you feel as though your personhood has been swallowed up by a very strong, controlling personality. Close the door on your fear of displeasing others by establishing boundaries. Begin to redefine your own, separate identity by daily choosing to live according to God’s will. “You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of son-ship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ ” (Romans 8:15)