When we first start holding our boundaries, it can be challenging. This is mostly true for those of us with an anxious attachment style. We are used to not having boundaries and doing whatever needs to be done to establish the intimacy we so desperately crave. Once we become aware of this pattern (lack of boundaries) and figure out the root specific to each of us and begin to reprogram, we can start to set boundaries for ourselves. However, it still might feel challenging to hold these boundaries for yourself so what to do?
Add training wheels!
Training wheels aren’t just for learning to ride your bike! You can use them to assist you in holding your boundaries too! For example, if you want to make sure you don’t rush into the physical when first dating someone you can be sure the first few (3-4) dates are all during the day and doing some sort of activity. If you’re still finding yourself tempted to “go watch a movie” at a new partners house aka hook up after a day date, book plans after your date that you have to keep with one of your best friends. This way you’ll have an out in two hours and won’t even have the temptation to go to one of your houses and take your clothes off. I personally used this training wheel for myself for years until I felt like I could handle the boundary without any assistance.
I often here clients say that they feel weak if they use their roommates as an excuse for not inviting someone over they don’t actually want to invite over. It’s not weak! It’s VERY smart. It’s providing training wheels until you grow enough in your worth that you can say “NO” with confidence and no guilt. Just like training wheels gave us the confidence to ride a bike without them, ensuring we knew we could balance and not fall off, boundary training wheels do the same. They ensure you have your balance, you’re checking in yourself and what you really need and are acting from a place of high self worth.
Try them out and let me know how they help!
If you’re having trouble with boundaries in your relationships, I look forward to connecting over a session!
Top photo: Dylan