Building Better Boundaries

“Boundaries are a function of self-respect and self-love.”

Brené Brown

I’m an oversharer. 

Whether I’m in the midst of friends or in front of a potential love interest, once an oversharing opportunity arises, I simply can’t turn back.

Moments of silence make me feel uncomfortable. I perceive a void, an underlying pressure and feel responsible for creating some sort of response. A moment of candour which soon enough I come to regret.

To my excuse, it seems that we all have an innate tendency to mirror the levels of intimacy presented by others, so when someone confides personal information, we feel obliged to reciprocate. 

However, every time such a situation occurs, I feel I had been seduced into the illusion of intimacy and participated in the violation of my own boundaries. A people-pleaser constantly seeking approval and acceptance of others.

What unavoidably follows is a moral hangover from a behaviour that undermines my integrity, leads to a loss of self-respect and, most likely, the respect of people around me. 

At the root of personal boundary issues is fear of intimacy, vulnerability and self-disclosure. The fear we won’t be appreciated, that we aren’t good enough just as we are. We let go of our integrity in the attempt to salvage the crumbs of love and acceptance.

Dr. Brené Brown talks about oversharing as a form of self-sabotage people use when they believe they’re not worthy. By oversharing and having the other person slink away never to hang out or talk to us again, we reaffirm the negative belief.

Which means that setting healthy boundaries is a necessary step towards a healthy improvement of any relationship, as well as our own levels of happiness.

I leave you with this short video by Dr. Brown herself, who describes the connection between boundaries, empathy and compassion based on her research on whole-hearted living.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Marine Guilbault says:

    Woaw, it sounds so familiar… Very nice article and references ! I’ll surely check on Dr Brown’s work 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you, Marine! Happy to hear I’m not alone in my little struggles. As for Dr Brown, you might want to start by watching some of her YouTube videos – they’re shirt but really inspiring.

      Like

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