Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt.
This episode is part of a two-part series. Listen to part one >
In this two-part series, Jodi explains boundaries in great detail. She answers questions including:
- What are boundaries?
- Why do we need boundaries?
- What is the purpose of boundaries?
- How do I make boundaries?
- How do I share and hold boundaries?
- How do I model boundaries for others?
Jodi also explains why we ALL need boundaries both within ourselves and in our relationships with others. The Truth is, boundaries communicate (and translate into / become) deep feelings of self-love and honor for oneself. And honor and love for self very naturally leads to love and honor for others.
Episode 83: Boundaries—The Greatest Sign of Self-Love & Honor (Part 2 of 2)
Welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. We are so excited to introduce to you the opportunity for you to join us in a classroom setting where you will be taught the principles of connection. For those of you who have already joined us on the podcasts, and for those for you who have not, you are now ready to step into an extensive, hands-on, all-star classroom experience to better understand why you are experiencing and interpreting life the way that you do.
You will be introduced to the foundational principles of personal integrity, which are: how to live impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility, humility, vulnerability, openness, willingness, transparency, and boundaries.
This is a 12-week intensive course that consists of meeting one time a week for two hours. You will be given six workbooks. In each workbook, instruction will be given to you on core concepts of how to live your life from a position of emotional honesty, Reality, Truth, boundaries, validation, being able to recognize your distortions, and how choice plays a central role in all of your experiences and emotional outcomes.
Some of the concepts covered inside of the classroom include: what validation and vulnerability are and how to animate those principles your life; how to live in Truth rather than distortion; how to recognize your distraction and your controlling behavior in your relationships; and how to live a life of peace rather than pain. Powerful concepts that change lives, beginning with yours.
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Come and experience connection. Go to www.connexionsclassroom.com, and hit the “Go to Academy” button and sign up. I look forward to meeting you and connecting.
[00:02:48] Episode 83
Okay. Welcome back. We’ve been talking about how to create boundaries, and that boundaries are all about you.
So, let’s pick up talking about what boundaries require. What they require. Boundaries require a demand of emotionally honesty and personal responsibility. If you are going to set a boundary, you must be willing to be honest and responsible for yourself.
Boundaries require emotional honesty, which means knowing about your own thoughts, your fears, your expectations, your needs, your desires, anything about you. You’ve got to be honest about you.
Another requirement of a boundary is, it’s a really good way to help someone else realize what it is that they need to do in order to hold themselves accountable. One of the best ways to help others learn to meet their own needs is to give them an example of someone who does, so it’s like you’re going to model this for them.
Boundaries require that I’m 100 percent responsible for being honest and responsible.
Boundaries require emotionally honesty, which means being impeccably Truthful and free of manipulation, hidden agendas, and deceit.
Your ability to be emotionally honest is directly tied to your ability to set and hold boundaries. That’s very important. Your ability to be honest with yourself is tied directly to your ability to set and hold boundaries for yourself.
Healthy boundaries are the pathway to being personally responsible for your thoughts, your perceptions, feelings, choices, and the consequences that follow your choices. Healthy boundaries are the pathway to being connected.
[00:04:46] A Bill of Rights
Let’s talk about something called a bill of rights. A bill of rights. A bill of rights is a declaration about you. They are full of boundaries. You have a right to be heard, to be seen, to choose, you have a right to be vulnerable, you have rights as an individual. And so, this is an opportunity for you to create a standard for yourself.
And so, what I’d like you to do is, I want you to write on a sheet of paper “My Rights” at the top of the paper. And then, I want you to put in parentheses “Boundaries” next to “My Rights”. And then, across the other side of the paper, I want you to put “Who Will Support Me?” And then, next to that one, I want you to put, “Who Will Not Support Me?”
So, you have on the left side paper, “My Rights” and then “Boundaries” in parentheses. And then, a little bit over on the same line you have “Who Will Support Me?” And then, next to that, “Who Will Not Support me?”
So, you have a right to express your emotions and then when you think about who will support you, you write down like, “My mother will support me in expressing my emotions.”
Who will not support me? “My uncle Joe will not support me in expressing my emotions. He thinks they’re weak.”
You have a right to choose where you want to live. You have a right to make a curfew for yourself. You have a right to have the friends that you choose to have. You have a right to get a job. You have a right to maintain your home the way that you choose to maintain your home.
You have all of these rights. You have all of these abilities, all of these boundaries that you can keep for yourself. You have a right to be in a public place. You have a right to exercise your spirituality any way you want. You have a right to say no. You have a right to show up and follow your commitments. You have a right to keep your door open if you want and be safe. You have a right to eat the kind of food that you would choose.
These just go on. There are millions of rights that you have. And I want to remind you as you’re making this bill of rights for yourself, that every time you write down your right as a human being—your inalienable right as a human—you must make sure that you are willing to be responsible for that right, that the right does not have anything to do with somebody else. Like, you don’t have a right to go into somebody else’s house and eat their food, you don’t have that right. And you do have a right to eat food. You just have to be responsible for procuring your own food.
So, when you write this bill of rights down, make sure that everything that you have on there are things that you’re going to be responsible for maintaining, and creating, and following through with. These are about your rights, not “I have a right that you…” Or, “I have a right that they…” No.
Your bill of rights is not about they, or that, or it, or those, or he or she, it’s about you. People kind of get carried away with this bill of rights. They’ll write down like, I have a right for you to love me. It’s like, no you don’t have that right. We have a right to be loved, but you cannot demand that someone do it. So, if it’s just you that loves you, then that is adequate. That will be sufficient.
So, again, I want to say this again, very important: everything about boundaries is about you being honest—personally honest—with yourself, and you being rigorous in your responsibility.
[00:09:12] Bottom Lines
So, I want to spend some time talking about a concept called a bottom line. The difference between a bottom line and a boundary: bottom lines are boundaries, but boundaries may not be bottom lines.
I’m going to describe what the difference is. People make and set bottom lines because they want to track something about their life that they want to change. And so, I’ve had a lot of people ask me to clarify what the difference is between a bottom line and a boundary.
The difference between bottom lines and boundaries: Bottom lines are boundaries that you create that are non-negotiable because they are attached to a behavior or set of behaviors, or thoughts that you deem problematic, or bothersome, or troublesome. They’re showing up in your life in that way.
So, for example, you may want to stop chewing your nails. You consider this behavior one that is immature, anxiety provoking, and you want to change it. It’s an action that perpetuates the spreading of germs, so you don’t want to do that anymore. So, you need to bring consciousness into your system in regards to chewing your nails. You need to become aware of what you’re not currently aware of, so that you can change what it is that you’re doing.
So, you need that kind of information prior to chewing your nails, so you need to be alerted prior to chewing your nails. Once you chew your nails, it’s like “Oh shoot, I just engaged in something I don’t want to engage in anymore.” So, you need a bottom line prior to the action or behavior that you want to change.
So, you can think about what thoughts and behaviors you engage in prior to this action that you don’t want to be a part of.
Maybe you begin picking at your loose skin around your nails. So that might be a behavior that you engage in that tips you off that you’re getting ready to chew your nails. Or maybe you think thoughts of self-loathing like life is too hard or I can’t do this, or I’m never enough, or I try so hard and I always fall short.
Or maybe you become more nervous when you get around Tony, or Sarah, or what those people think about you. So, assess where you go in your head and what you choose to do prior to the behavior (of chewing your nails) that you want to change. And that’s where you’re going to place a bottom line. That’s where you’re going to place a boundary—your bottom line for yourself.
So, think about what goes on prior to the action that you want to change and that’s where you place the bottom line.
I have a habit of not emptying the dishwasher when the dishes are clean, and allowing dishes to build up in the sink. That is my behavior I want to change, so I make a bottom line that I don’t cross, and it says something like, I will not go to bed with dishes in the sink on Tuesday and Saturday nights. There’s your bottom line. Because I want to change the behavior of leaving dishes in the dishwasher, and change the behavior of leaving dishes in the sink, and so my bottom line says I won’t go to bed without emptying the sink and the dishwasher on Tuesday and Saturday nights. Your bottom lines are made just like your boundaries are made: specific, quantifiable, measurable, and factual.
That way, there is no way for you to not understand them, or someone else not to understand them.
So, “I will not go to bed with dishes in the sink on Tuesday and Saturday nights,” that’s very measurable. You don’t lay down and go to sleep on Tuesdays and Saturdays— everyone knows when Tuesdays and Saturdays are—unless the dishes in the sink are out and put in the dishwasher.
So, you want bottom lines that are very clearly stated, very measurable, so that you know exactly what you’re committing to.
So, bottom lines are boundaries, and they’re non-negotiable. Now, when I say non-negotiable, it means you don’t bend them. You don’t go, “Well, I’m really tired on Tuesday.” Or, “I had a long day today.” Or, “I had a party I had to go to tonight so I’m going to make an exception.”
You don’t do that. If it’s Tuesday or Saturday night, then you’re up doing the dishes, no matter what. You don’t fudge on that stuff. Your bottom lines are there to help discipline you to change the behavior that is causing you so much problem in your life.
So, people with addictions use bottom lines all the time because what it does is it raises consciousness around the acting-out behavior. Whether I’m an alcoholic, or I’m a work addict, or an exercise addict, or a food addict, or a sex addict, bottom lines are beautiful for people who have addictions, because there’s so much unconsciousness around the addictive behavior, and what I need is to become more aware of what it is I’m doing. So, bottom lines are a beautiful strategy to raise consciousness prior to going into the acting-out or destructive behavior.
And you don’t have to have an addiction to use a bottom line. All of us can place bottom lines in our lives around any kind of behavior that you want to change. I know a gentleman who scratches his head, he calls it picking at his head. When he gets nervous, he goes up and scratches his head. He has many bottom lines around scratching his head, so he knows who he interacts with typically that he has a higher propensity of scratching his head around, and he’ll raise his consciousness, like hey, I’m going to be interacting with Sarah in 10 minutes and so I need to get really centered before I go interact with her, because I oftentimes go into distortion when I get around her. Or I go into trying to rescue her which causes me to feel anxious, so I start picking at my head.
So, bottom lines are lines or boundaries that wake me up to my behavior that I’ve stated to myself that I want to change.
Bottom line: go to bed at 10:30 on Saturday through Thursday. And 11:30 Friday and Saturday because I’m tired of being tired every day. That’s a bottom line. Go to bed at those times. And the reason I’m doing it is I want to change the fact that I’m being tired of being tired, like I’m not getting enough rest.
Another bottom line: only go to the pantry one time when I’m making meals at breakfast and dinner time. There’s your bottom line. Get all the things and items out that I need to, so that I’m not grazing in the pantry during the day. So, the acting out behavior that I want to change is that I graze in the pantry every day. And so I made a bottom line: only go to the pantry one time and get everything out for breakfast and dinner.
So, I know when I’m having breakfast and I know when I’m having dinner, there’s your quantifiable-ness. And only going one time and gathering everything from the pantry one time. So, if I don’t get something from the pantry, then I don’t go back in there.
Another bottom line that’s connected to an acting out behavior: I smoke and I want to stop, there’s my acting out behavior, so the bottom line is I will call Susan at 8AM and I will call Chris at 11AM, and I’ll call John at 3PM, and my uncle Ben at 7PM,and gather support and check in with them. Very quantifiable. Very measurable.
Here’s another one. I want to stop yelling at my kids. That’s my acting out behavior. So, bottom lines are these: when I experience the anger or control come up in me, I will—here’s the measurable part—go into my room and take a time-out for 10 minutes. I will share with the children what I have a problem with and let them know I’m doing things to change.
Here’s another bottom line: I will call Rebecca for support to understand my trigger and process with her. I will give myself 24 hours maximum to understand my distortion and find the Truth.
Here’s a bottom line: I will listen to the Truth Declaration podcast one time a week to better understand how to reframe into Truth. So, the bottom lines in I want to stop yelling at my kids are, I will go into my room and take a timeout for 10 minutes. Another bottom line is I will call Rebecca for support and understand my trigger. Another bottom line is I will listen to the Truth Declaration podcast one time a week to understand how to reframe distortion back into Truth.
Here’s another acting-out behavior: I don’t get up when my alarm rings. There’s the acting-out behavior, that’s what I want to change. Bottom line: I will place two alarms across the room, and when they go off in the morning, I will turn them off within 30 seconds. There’s my bottom line: I’ve got 30 seconds to turn those things off.
Then, I’ll identify what behaviors and thoughts I want to change in language—identify the behaviors and thoughts you want to change and then speak it to yourself, and be specific; don’t say, “I want to change that.” The word that is not clear or specific. Say, “I want to keep my room clean and orderly.” Don’t say, “I want to change that.” Be specific about what you want to change and then be specific on your bottom lines.
Here’s a bottom line for I want to keep my room clean and orderly: I will never throw anything on the ground. I will always hang up my clothes or put them in the laundry basket. Those are bottom lines.
Another bottom line: I won’t leave my room without the bed being made, I will dust my room one time a week, I will vacuum every Saturday at 8AM. All of those are bottom lines to support you to keep your room clean, which used to be your acting-out behavior.
So, you don’t change your bottom lines, you only add to them. You don’t want to make bottom lines and have them support you to change undesirable behavior, and once the undesirable behavior stops, then you drop the very boundary or bottom lines that were the supports in creating those changed behaviors.
The goal is to use these bottom lines to scaffold your life—that’s a good image. Put scaffolding around your life until you build the walls of character inside a lifestyle of healthy, positive, self-respectful, and honest choices where you show up in appropriate, and orderly, and loving choices towards yourself, that reinforce additional self-respect and responsible choices.
When you do that, you will create a man and a woman of integrity. A woman and a man of emotional and physical strength and love for self, love for God and love for others. Boundaries are the gateway into creating such a creature.
[00:21:15] Truths About Boundaries
I want to share one more piece about boundaries. These are Truths about boundaries.
Boundaries are the foundation of safety and trust in relationships. So, whether you are having safety and trust inside a relationship with yourself, or another person, or with God or your Higher Power, boundaries are the foundational principle of creating safety and trust.
Another boundary Truth: a lack of boundaries is a symptom of a lack of personal honesty, personal responsibility, and humility. Setting and maintaining boundaries is the calisthenics of these three essential character strengths.
Each person is a separate being with different emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, social, and all other experiences, so all of us are different, all of us are unique. Now, when I say different and unique, it just means they’re having different experiences. But the one thing that is constant in all of us is that inside those experiences, inside that “uniqueness”, we are the same in that we all need to set and maintain boundaries.
Boundary Truth: it is your responsibility to learn what works and doesn’t work for you in your relationships, starting with your relationship with yourself.
So, when it says you are responsible to learn what works and doesn’t work, what that means is, you are responsible to know yourself. You’ve got to know what you agree with, what you don’t agree with, what is true for you, what is not true for you. It’s your responsibility to learn about yourself.
Boundary Truth: it is your responsibility to communicate and maintain boundaries with those whom you hope and desire to connect with. So, it is also your responsibility to communicate and maintain boundaries with everyone; even if you don’t want to connect with them, you are responsible to share your boundaries with people.
Boundary Truth: boundaries must first be understood before they can be shared. The first step to creating boundaries is to learn about you.
Boundary Truth: boundaries change over time as you develop greater understanding of your own distorted thoughts and false beliefs and the need to reframe them into Truth. So, as you develop understanding of your responsibility for your own safety inside all or yourself relationships, boundaries can change, boundaries can flex.
Now, I want to go back to bottom lines. Bottom lines don’t change. Bottom lines stay there because those are the things that are actually creating the foundation for you to stand on—that changed behavior that is unbecoming to you.
Bottom lines are boundaries, but boundaries are not all bottom lines. If you just have a boundary and it’s not a bottom line, your boundaries can change, and I hope that at some point they do change ,because you could be incredibly immature and the hope is that you mature and you start changing your boundaries because you start becoming more awake and aware to other people. You start having more empathy for people.
And so, I might have a boundary that says don’t ever come in my room when the door’s shut, and as I mature, I might say, “You know what? You’re welcome to knock and see if I’m available.” So, I can flex some of those boundaries.
Another flex might be starting from a place of immaturity which says don’t ever use my stuff. And if I start maturing and I have a relationship where I feel safe with someone, I would say them, “You know what? You’re welcome to borrow my things. I absolutely feel safe with you and I trust you that you will take care of it, and if something happens with the item that you’re borrowing, that you will replace it and fix it if need be.”
So, boundaries can be flexed, bottom lines are not meant to be flexed, they’re meant to be held. Held.
That is a lot of information about boundaries. Again, boundaries are the sign of incredible self-love, self-respect, and honor. And as all of us practice learning about ourselves, understanding about ourselves, my hope for all of us is that we will practice articulating clear and well-defined boundaries, and that we’ll be able to share those with every one that we interact with, and specifically the relationships where we want more intimacy, because that is the only way to be able to connect with another person, is being able to be impeccably honest, be responsible for yourself, and share you with another through this beautiful gift of boundaries.
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