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Here are some of the most common kinds of boundaries that people can use. Remember using boundaries is a natural and normal activity. The only reason most people don't do this naturally is because no one taught them how or gave them an example to follow.  

Boundaries shield you from other people’s negative energy or control. But they also work the other way, by helping you to contain your own energies that might be too strong for others. In an ideal situation, both parties have strong enough aware grown up boundaries to protect themselves and each other at the same time.

Visualising  a boundary - (a  safe place, an  animal, person or a structure)

Visualisation - creating a picture in your mind’s eye, is a strong and effective way of overcoming many of the “I can’t do it” or disempowering selves. In fact the “I can’t do it” feeling is often the result of a constantly repeated negative visualisation in which you see yourself failing or not having a strong enough boundary. All you need to do is replace it with a new positive image in which you succeed in protecting yourself. Visualisation works for almost everyone.

1. Visualise a ‘Safe Place’ and go there in your mind when you need to protect yourself. If necessary surround it with an electrified fence or steep mountains to keep unsafe people out and see yourself protected behind the barrier.

2. Visualise a castle with a moat, an island or a small planet that belongs only to you.

3. Visualise a strong protector person, a Guardian or a Warrior Woman/Man or a Protector animal. Use inner self dialogue to talk to them about how they can protect you best.

4. See yourself sitting on a throne or a very high chair above everyone else.

5. Visualise a strong shield that you or your warrior self can hold in front of you to deflect triggers and all the different kinds of negative energy listed at the top of this page. Visualise what  your shield would be made out of. What  substance would you choose to protect you the most effectively?

6. Giant deflector - You can use the same process to visualise a giant deflector.  This just diverts all the negative words and emotions as they come towards you. Alternatively visualise a giant cover that goes right over you. What substance would your deflector or cover be made out of?

6. The Magic Cartoon Boundary - You can practice this one by yourself right now to see how well it works.

Think back to a scene from your real life where someone was yelling at you or criticising you.

Visualise it now. Hear the words and the tone of voice.  Now imagine the voice of that angry critic in the scene changing until it sounds like the voice of your favourite cartoon character! Feel the difference!

You can continue if you want to and visualise them looking like a cartoon character as well. If it was a really bad memory for you, changing the scene to black and white instead of colour and from a moving to a still picture helps make the boundary stronger.

Creating actual or physical distance  - (do it quietly and gently)

Distance is a healthy boundary as long as it does not become a wall. That means you must still be able to communicate despite the distance. If you need to create physical distance do so quietly, never with drama.

1.  Move quietly away saying as you do so, “I need to move away from you a bit more to be comfortable.”

2. Standing up quietly without saying anything so that your eyes are higher than the other person’s is another good way to set a physical boundary.

3. Use your hands to set a limit in terms of distance or to shape an imaginary shield around you.

4. Exile or Pilgrimage - take a trip to anywhere  in the world where people who trigger you cannot get to you for a while but from where you can phone them. Do it quietly.

Using actual object or structure as a boundary

1. You can sit behind a desk or table top to create a boundary.

2. Moving into a single bed is another way of setting a physical boundary, as long as you do  so quietly and in a more aware more grown up way.

3. Closing a door can create the same kind of physical boundary.

Creating energy shields

1. Energetic Shields - created and charged by breath, eyes, mind and visualisation. Your breath or eye energy can become a powerful boundary. This boundary is based on the martial arts such as Akido but though much more gentle still works.

2. Force field - White or coloured light

Using words to set verbal boundaries

1. Saying ‘I don’t Think So’ instead of  ‘No’

2. Saying “I need time to think about that.”

3. Saying “I refuse to let you take my power”

4. Handing it Back - symbolically - saying ‘This is your pain / shame / guilt - I can’t carry it for you’

4. Using positive confrontations

Asking for ‘time  out’

1. ‘Time out’ involves a prior contract between two people. By previous agreement both are committed to honouring any ‘time out’ request by the other partner.

This means that when one person says “I need ten minutes ‘time out’” the other person agrees and accepts (automatically, immediately and without discussion) to stop arguing or pressuring or whatever they were doing for the next ten minutes.

The aim is to give both people time to calm their own inner selves down and re-establish their boundaries. It won’t work of course if one person wants to argue that ‘ten minutes’ is too long. Even if the ‘time out’ request is for only half a minute or a minute, that can work quite well for some people.

Both people need to be committed in advance to honouring the ‘time out’ arrangement.

The only exception is if the request for time out is unreasonably long (over an hour) suggesting that the request might be more about postponing the issue rather than a true request for time out. In this case the person being asked to agree might offer “I can’t give you two hours, I have to leave for work at eight-thirty. Can we start talking again in ten minutes?”

Functional more aware more grown up integrated selves

1. Self Awareness - the Great White Boundary - When it’s strong enough you need nothing more

2. Aware grown up Boundary  - Guardian, Reality Keeper  Moderator; Self Nurturer

3. Higher Power Support as a Boundary

Personal and impersonal energies and boundaries

Something else that affects boundaries is the degree of personal or impersonal energy involved in the exchange. These two very different energies can help or harm your ability to use boundaries as a health professional or facilitator or to enhance intimacy in a close relationship.

Personal Energy - weak or unstable boundaries

Personal energy has very little to offer in terms of boundary protection. So people with strong personal energy connect very easily, sometimes too easily with others. They make friends far more quickly than those with high impersonal energy, they are very popular and well liked.

The trouble for them comes if they do not also have strong impersonal energy (to create good boundaries) when they want to disconnect later.

The only protection available in place of boundaries is to call on protector selves that specialise in distancing, criticism, anger, shaming, blaming or aggression and which will set up walls as a substitute for boundaries or cause others to withdraw .

Create your own Personal boundary System

One of these will work for you

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