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Feeling Angst? Consider Boundaries. They’re Not Just for Playground Games.

Wednesday, 26 October 2022 07:43

“Out on you!” and “Out of bounds!” were common refrains on the playground when I was a kid. As an adult, these sentiments appear at different times and in different ways, especially at work.

I haven’t always known this, but earlier his month, while participating in a retreat hosted by Marissa Badgley, Founder of Reloveution. It became clear that for me, not setting boundaries was at the root of some of the angst I’ve been feeling lately. 

Anne Katherine, the author of Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day, says boundaries are limits that protect energy, spirit, relationship health, and the pursuits of your heart. Your choices shape each day. When you violate your boundaries or let another break them, stuffing spills out of your life.”

More generally, the consequences of not setting healthy boundaries often include “stress, financial burdens, wasted time, and relationship issues, which can cause mental distress” (Prism Health North Texas, n.d.). In other words, a lack of healthy boundaries can negatively affect all aspects of someone’s life.

Whew. That’s A LOT right there! If you find yourself reading this and saying, “Yes!” or “Tell me more!” or “But how?” Marissa shared the following generic phrases, which can help when used proactively or in response to a request.

No, thank you.
I’m not comfortable with this.
I can’t or won’t do that.
This doesn’t work for me.
I’ve decided not to…
I’m drawing the line here.
I feel like this crosses a boundary.

Contributed by Heidi Ham, Chief Operating Officer, National AfterSchool Association