A friend asked you to join a party. You didn’t want to as you planned to spend a quiet night reading and journaling.
But you said yes anyway, for your friend said she needed you to be there.
Now, you resent your decision. A night by yourself you’re missing out!
But you also dread breaking your promise. And you blame yourself for not being able to speak up.
Sound like you?
Are you an Empath that has weak boundaries? Empaths feel into others. As an Empath, you can tune into other people’s emotions and take on their energy. You are acutely aware of what others think and want, and you’re good at solving conflicts as you can see from different perspectives and accommodate everyone’s needs.
But the ability to feel others can cause trouble. You might prioritize others over yourself. You might have difficulty in saying “no.” You might spend a lot of time trying to know others and please them. And you might compromise your truth and integrity to meet others’ needs.
In other words, you might have weak boundaries as an Empath.
What are personal boundaries? Your boundaries define “where you end” and “where others begin.” They outline your likes and dislikes, give you the sense of self in relation to the rest of the Universe, and represent your personal truth.
For example, your favorite color is purple, and you believe authenticity is the way to happiness. Both pertain to your boundaries.
Lacking healthy boundaries can damage you as an Empath. Empaths tend to have weak boundaries as they are so aware of what’s going on for others and allow others’ “stuff” to override their thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.
You might not be aware that you are an Empath and suffer from weak boundaries, but you exhibit the traits below:
- You feel drained by negative emotions that don’t belong to you, such as after listening to your colleagues whining or talking with someone depressed;
- You feel unfulfilled as you tend to meet others’ needs before yours;
- You are exhausted as you take on others’ responsibilities;
- You feel resentment when the efforts you make for others aren’t appreciated;
- You tend to lose yourselves in relationships. By the Law of Attraction, as you vibrate at the frequency of “I’m here to help and please,” you attract narcissists who need others to feed their ego and end up suffering in a co-dependent relationship.
Setting healthy boundaries is imperative in pursuing happiness. Being an Empath is a precious gift, but the ability to feel others shouldn’t impede you from finding your bliss by following your truth.
To set healthy boundaries, you need to take heed of your feelings. There are physical, emotional, psychological and many other types of boundaries, but they all boil down to whether you know, acknowledge, and express your feelings in your interaction with others with regard to these areas.
Setting boundaries for an Empath can be scary, but it doesn’t have to hard. As you practice on and get in touch with your feelings and personal truth, you will marvel at the beautiful light sparked by your true self.
Let’s dive in these seven practical steps that can help you build healthy boundaries.
Step 1. Tune into Your Feelings
Feelings draw the lines of your boundaries. When you feel good, you’re maintaining healthy boundaries and following your truth. When you feel bad, your boundaries are violated.
Nevertheless, many of us never learn to pay attention to our feelings. We don’t know what we feel, or we don’t admit to it. We go about our days fulfilling others’ expectations without being aware of how we feel about them.
In other words, we don’t know it when our boundaries are overridden.
Keep a journal and write down your feelings throughout the day. What do you feel when your friend urges you to join a party while you have other plans? What do you feel when your boss dumps deadline on you at 6 pm?
Where you get triggered is where a boundary has to take place.
Step 2. Be Direct about Your Boundaries
When you need to communicate your boundaries, be direct. Say “no” assertively to something that you don’t want. Tell others with clarity how you feel about certain situations. Withdraw without hesitation from commitments that no longer serve your highest good.
Communicating your personal boundaries isn’t about controlling others’ behaviors when they’re around you. It’s about honoring your feelings and truth and get them across to others.
An “I’d like to …” rather than a “You should …”
No one can see your world through your lenses. If you remain silent, others won’t detect your feelings. Your boundaries matter to you. Respect them and don’t hesitate to voice them when needed.
The outer environment is a reflection of your inner being. When you respect your boundaries unapologetically, so will others.
Step 3. Stop the Auto “Yes”
As an Empath, you might be quick to respond with “yes” and take up responsibilities that don’t belong to you. On the one hand, it drains your energy and wears you out. On the other hand, in the cases where you overcommit and fail to deliver, you sabotage your reputation.
Refrain from saying “yes” hastily. Pause for a moment and create the space to think and mindfully decide. “Is this what I really want to do?” “Can I commit to the task and deliver results?”
Step 4. Use Discernment and Listen to Your Intuition
You might easily blend in energies from everything around, from interactions with other people to the books and newspaper that you read. These energies stay in your field and can egg you on to invalidate your feelings and question your truth.
Use discernment. Ask yourself whether the information ring true for you, regardless of its source.
Do I abandon my beliefs because someone else denounces them? Do I question my value because someone else doesn’t see it?
There’s a fine line between taking advice and letting others alter your truth. Use your intuition. Take what resonates with you and leave what doesn’t.
Step 5. Acknowledge Your Resistance to Setting Boundaries
If you have weak boundaries, the chances are that you grew up in a family where you had to repress your feelings. And expressing anger and other negative emotions would spell criticism and trouble for you.
As a result, you learn that setting your boundaries—what makes you feel good and feel bad—is not acceptable. Fear, anxiety, and the idea of rejection by others haunt you whenever you try to communicate your boundaries with others.
Don’t resist those emotions when they come up—there’s nothing wrong with you. Do the following:
- Pause for a moment and be present with yourself;
- Give yourself permission to feel them and let these fears and anxiety run through you;
- Affirm that you embrace them unconditionally;
See these emotions dissipate, and you will feel more prepared and free to voice your truth to others.
Step 6. Take Responsibility for Yourself
As an empath, if you ever want to set healthy boundaries and develop sustainable relationships with others, you need to focus on yourself—yourself only.
Take heed to what matters to you most in all areas of life, no matter how absurd they appear to others. No one sees what you see, experiences what you experience, and feels what you feel.
Your truth, desires, your likes and dislikes, and your priorities need only make sense to you.
In fact, as you strive to prioritize yourself and honor your boundaries, you sense of fulfillment increases and your capacity to tend to others’ needs expands.
Step 7. Stay Grounded
Grounding nurtures your connection with yourself and draws your attention back from others to yourself. So that you can maintain healthy boundaries and won’t be blown away by other people’s wind.
To ground yourself, you can:
- Use affirmations: a daily reminder that you are never subject to anyone else and are free to follow your truth, desires, and happiness;
- Stand/walk barefoot on the earth: nature is pure positive vibration and has a therapeutic power that can help you get centered and replenish you when you’re drained. Let the earth absorb the heavy emotions you take up from others and draw your focus back to the “here and now.”
Hone the skills of building healthy boundaries if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life, especially if you’re an Empath. Boundaries change over time, and you will need to reassess them now and then.
Enjoy the process and know that you have every right to honor what feels good to you and to pursue your happiness by following your truth.