Boundaries, How Do You Know When It's Time To Renegotiate Them?

Lately boundaries have been a theme that has been front and center for me and for other people I have been talking to. It seems like I have had a lot of opportunities to look at this as of late and I wanted to check in with you about it too. Boundaries are one of those things that never fully get finished or checked off the list; they are in constant flux and transition. I have found that as we grow and shift, so too do our boundaries with ourselves and with others.
It’s not the most fun topic to deal with as it usually means taking some time to really decide what is and isn’t working any longer. However it is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. This deep reflection forces us to look at the places and spaces where we have people or situations that are over (sometimes way over) the line; and gives us insight into what we will no longer allow in our lives. While this deep reflection time can sometimes be uncomfortable or even down right painful; it does create a huge shift when we’re able to make a clear decision about what is truly right for us. That moment when you know what is right for you and you can feel it in your bones; that moment is huge. It can feel like a giant weight has been lifted from you and like you are out from under excess tension, stress, and overwhelm.
I find this step to be one of the most powerful in the process of renegotiating boundaries. Some believe it is in the actual setting of a new boundary where the shift happens. However, I believe it is in the personal discovery and reconnection to our personal power where the magic truly happens. Most times when a boundary needs to be renegotiated it is because someone has been taking advantage of us or putting us into a challenging situation for a significant amount of time. Somewhere along the way, we make excuses for that person or we do the logical override on their behalf.

  • “Well… they have been having a really hard time lately so I will go ahead and do ______ for them again.”
  • “It’s okay, they didn’t mean it and how would I feel if someone didn’t give me the benefit of the doubt.”
  • “They are going to change the way that they deal with this situation it’s just not the right timing.”

These are only a few examples of the things we tell ourselves when we are knee deep in a situation that clearly needs some new boundaries. When this happens we simultaneously lose ourselves in this process and can even begin to feel disconnected from who we really are. However, when we are able to reconnect to what is truly right for us and understand that we are really done with the previous scenario we reconnect to the truth of who we are. That my friend is powerful! I believe it is in this reconnection that we gain enough clarity and strength to say enough is enough. It is then that we can draw a line in the sand and renegotiate the situation in a way that is balanced and healthy.
There is no one way or right way to renegotiate a boundary, there is only the way that is right for you in your particular situation. Once that boundary has been created the situation usually shifts immediately. Some people or situations will no longer be a part of your life while others will find their way into a more balanced place. While letting go of some people or situations may feel hard; at the end of the day your own sense of self and self respect is worth the letting go.
What I have found while receiving the opportunity to look at this within my own life is that holding a boundary that feels in integrity with myself is the most important thing even if it feels challenging. At the end of the day if you are saying no to behavior and dynamics that aren’t right for you; then you have moved into a space of integrity for yourself. That is all that matters.
If you feel like you need support to help you get clarity in a situation please ask for help. If something feels off to you and you find yourself in repeating patterns that make you feel like you should put someone else’s needs before your own then it may be time to do some renegotiating. Taking the time to shift things back into balance is definitely a worthwhile investment of your time. Trust me, you are worth it!