Have I ever mentioned how much I love talking about boundaries? In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I delve into how and why we find ourselves on a slippery slope with our boundaries. We turn a blind eye to or straight-up don’t notice something, and if we don’t get grounded or halt at some point, we ride that slope to somewhere that we don’t want to go.

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Some nuggets from the episode:

  • The boundaries you do or don’t have create the context for the subsequent level of boundaries. For example, my friend’s hypothesis was that the guy she’d ‘met’ online was certain type of person and that as as a result of how they were interacting, she felt comfortable enough that she chose to sext even though it would have emotional consequences.
  • When we ignore opportunities to have boundaries, it puts us on a slippery slope. Same for when we interact in a situation that, on some level, we are aware that boundaries are being crossed. We’re basically running a red light.
  • If we base our life on what we can get away with, we’re never going to be our optimal self at any given point. We’ll coast and get away with what we can. This is our comfort zone. 

If you know that you struggle with the emotional consequences of sexual intimacy (physical or sexting), don’t do these until you can. Stay grounded. Have the boundaries that you need. 

  • Reality check: if you barely know somebody and you haven’t met yet but they’re kicking off at you and making all sorts of accusations, and basically expressing some paranoia and insecurity, you can have the compassion to recognise that person’s humanness. But… you can also have compassion for yourself and them to recognise something isn’t quite right here.
  • Boundaries are an expression of our self-esteem as well as our preferences, principles and priorities. 
  • How we manage our boundaries affects our bandwidth: our capacity to be, do and have the things, relationships and opportunities that reflect who we are.
  • Our presentness to ourselves and life affects whether we’re on (or get on to) a slippery slope. 
  • Some of the things that we enter onto a slippery slope with are things that we perceive to be innocuous or that we do recognise as an issue but claim that it’s small. 

Code amber: stop, look, listen and proceed with caution. All things will become clear if we’re grounded enough to acknowledge the signal. 

  • We behave as if expectations create obligations and something for a ‘good person’ to live up to. Our attitude is that if someone is a good person, they will live up to our expectations (realistic or not). 
  • We tend to look at boundaries as situation or person specific instead of life and us specific. It’s as if everything is isolated – it isn’t. 
  • So many people have a slipper slope at work. They’ve expanded so much of their work into their personal time that it can result in the equivalent of cutting their salary in half. The stress of the slippery slope of our boundaries at work can also create a knock-on effect. We might, for example, drink or eat too much to escape the feelings of low self-worth and the stress.

Acknowledge:

1. What is the slippery slope that I travelled on in this relationship/situation?

2. What was the context, so what’s the baggage behind it?

Rewind your mental tape and think back to your first interaction and notice the things that you missed or ignored before.

Links mentioned

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