Boundaries- Mind the Gap
Tina walked into the office, sighed while mentioning; “it’s been one heck of a weekend” and lied down on the table. I proceeded to check her nervous system and it was clear that something significant had transpired over the weekend. 😮🔥
The ongoing pattern of muscular tension that had been present across Tina’s shoulders and upper back since she started care with me had significantly dissipated. 😃❤️✨
“Wow! Your entire nervous system feels different! What the heck happened?”, I asked.
“Well, I finally set a boundary with my mentor. She’d crossed the line with me one too many times and I let her know that I didn’t appreciate how she was treating me. Needless to say she didn’t take it well,” Tina explained. 🛑✋🎬
Speaking up for ourselves can be hard. Particularly for those of us that abhor confrontation. I’ve lived a few different places in the world and the tendency to avoid confrontation definitely seems to be a Minnesota quality. “Minnesota Nice” didn’t come from nowhere.
It’s uncomfortable. It could result in an argument or even worse, the end of a relationship, job, etc. 🔧 ⌛
Some people really hate being called out and those folks are usually in positions of significance in our lives. The relationship is important. It means something. Sometimes they can be bosses, mentors, spouses, colleagues, or even friends
Which is why it feels so crappy when they cross the line. Repeatedly. 🤢 😵🖤
So why does it matter? I mean, is setting a boundary really worth the consequences?
Consider what really happens when someone crosses the line with us with their words or actions. A violation happens. One can feel this violation in their body. 🚫⛔👎 Cindy crosses the line with Tina and Tina doesn’t speak up. Tina’s not ok with the communication and her body tenses up in response. Cindy repeatedly interacts with Tina in this way and Tina starts to build a permanent muscular wall in her body.
Think of this wall as armor. It’s a defense/survival mechanism. Tina’s posture starts to change as her body forms an internal muscular wall. Her shoulders start to round forward and her neck turns down. This is the posture of defense. 🛡️💪🧱
None of this occurs consciously. Tina is not conscious that her body has started to respond to Cindy's interactions in this way; as though she’s being physically attacked.
Hence the ongoing pattern of muscular tension that shows up across Tina’s shoulders and upper back. Tina starts to feel pain and physical discomfort from the build up and storing of all this tension. She’s also exhausted. Its work to be in a constant state of defense. 😧 🥴🔥
How can Tina shift this?
Awareness is the first step. Tina has to ackowledge to herself that she's not ok with the interaction. She needs to understand how this relationship dynamic is impacting her well being.🎗️😌 Once acknowledging this, Tina can establish a boundary. What does establishing a boundary require? First it requires one to gain a sense of self-worth. We must feel worthy of being treated with dignity and respect. We must understand that we teach people how to treat us. We must no longer respond as a victim.✨💪❤️ We must become aware of how the interaction is making us feel and no longer tolerate it. We must find our power. We must speak up.
And Tina did. And her body responded. She didn’t need internal armor anymore because she established an actual boundary with Cindy. And she found her power. And her muscles relaxed. And her posture changed. And she stood up straight. And she could breathe. 😮💨📶🛡️
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