Boundary Setting for Empaths.
Your Guide for Transformation – Part 1
Having great boundaries is the #1 way to feel confident, secure and comfortable as a sensitive person.
You landed here because either you’re new to the terms empath and HSP, or you already know you are sensitive. Regardless you’re feeling distracted, derailed or depleted every day. Usually because interacting with others is completely draining you. If you want to know why and are ready to figure it out, then read on to learn how define your boundaries and then set them in a way that works for you!
Once you learn to say no, you will immediately experience the benefits of treating yourself with respect.
And that’s major. You’re going to feel lighter in your heart, find that you have more energy and very likely you will be excited to set more boundaries.
This is the first in a 3 part Transformative Guide for Boundary Setting I’ve written specifically for empaths and highly sensitive people. It’s a detailed article written as a guide to help you do some introspective personal boundaries work and create lasting change.
If you’re not quite ready for that, try this quick list instead: 5 Ways to Say No as an Empath
Really it’s a no-brainer!
Friends, co-workers, neighbours – even strangers will flock to you because you’re an excellent listener. You make eye contact and let people feel heard. And that’s amazing! Yet on the flip side, if you don’t have effective boundaries in place, your deep compassion and the fact that you really care for others will continually land you in hot water.
Why? Because left unchecked your innate desire to nurture and help people will overshadow or bypass your own self love and care needs. And you deserve better than that.
If you’re new to this, you might find it takes a little bit of courage or creates a small amount of discomfort at first. But you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t ready to do some work to make a deep and lasting change.
Don’t worry, it won’t be as hard as you think!
In Part 1 I’m going to share a method that will help you pinpoint exactly where you need boundaries. Then in Part 2 we will look at ways to get prepared before you have any communication. It’s all about take the fear and anxiety away. And lastly, in part 3 I’m going to give you simple actionable steps to set boundaries that actually work for you – in your life and on your terms.
You’ve already taken the first step just by looking for information.
So let’s keep that going and start by downloading your free boundary setting worksheet!
PART 1 – Defining your Personal Boundaries as an Empath
Start by grabbing a pen and paper OR print out the free worksheet.
Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for at least 20 minutes or more. If you’re not using the worksheet make 3 sections on your paper: Positive, Neutral, Negative.
Take a moment and think where you feel really confident in yourself and abilities.
Start listing EVERYthing in the Positive section -grab extra paper if you need. It can be as detailed as you wish or a simple bullet point list. Let the ideas flow and see if you can cover big categories like family, career, social relationships, friendships, finances and body image. I’ll bet you have a dynamite smile or fabulous hair – don’t forget to include that. 🙂
Even if you only manage to get down a couple of things I want you to give yourself a big hug right now. Seriously, do it! Hug yourself and squeeze your upper arms because this actually helps your body release serotonin and dopamine and will reinforce how great you are doing.
Next, put the things that came up that you didn’t think were quite right for positives.
Interactions that didn’t make you feel super confident yet didn’t elicit enough of a deep emotional response to be negative. Such as being assigned a new work task that pushes you out of your comfort zone slightly, but you know you can do it once you try.
Negative Time to do the complete opposite!
We all have a tipping point with boundaries where we start to feel tired, overwhelmed or negative emotions come up. As you do this exercise, there will likely be familiar feelings of tension, discomfort or irritation. These sense memories are part of remembering when you couldn’t or didn’t express how you really felt In a particular situation.
This is totally normal for you as an empath and highly sensitive person! You may experience anxiety, frustration, resentment, impatience or even anger. It is your internal heart space and energetic system alerting you to where your boundaries are being crossed. And it is an extremely valuable tool for you in the future when you encounter these emotions again.
So don’t shun or wish away the feels – get familiar with them.
Now back to the worksheet. Try to imagine the scenarios in your life where you have encountered these feelings before. Then note them in the Negative section.
Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to be gentle on yourself here
It may be smooth sailing or little choppy, but the key is to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up. Breathe deeply and try not to be hard on yourself or others when it gets tough.
Instead of judging your responses, note what’s happening on the 2nd page of the worksheet and move on to the next feeling or scenario.
HOW ARE YOU DOING?
I know this can be a challenge, yet as you do this exercise you are going to experience an energetic and emotional shift.
See if you can just let it flow and write everything down. When you intuitively feel done, take a self care break for 10-15mins.
On coming back, have a look at your notes. For each scenario or intense emotion, see if you can pinpoint that place in your mind where your energy started to shift from confidence and fulfilling your heartspace . . . to a neutral or negative space. Said another way; points where your mind took over your heart and you didn’t feel good anymore. If you remember earlier,
Even though its challenging, think about that scenario, person, place or thing.
Allow yourself to sit in that energy for a moment then make a note of it in the Tipping Points section.
This is the point where you need to put up a Boundary!
And once you do, you will prevent repeating those scenarios in the negative column from happening again.
Now that you how, when and what you are triggered by (remember – that feeling of resentment that creeps in), its time to set your boundaries! But first you’ll need some prep time and the upcoming Part 2 of the series is all about why, how and when to preparing yourself in setting boundaries.
Setting boundaries as an empath and highly sensitive person goes beyond empath protection or coping strategies.
The reason this works and creates lasting transformation is because it comes from your heart.
Congratulate yourself for having done this work! You now know deep inside what is actually triggering you into feeling resentful, angry, exhausted or a host of other negative and energetically draining emotions. And you have the beginning steps to implementing your boundaries and sticking to them.
Once you learn to say no, you will immediately experience the benefits of treating yourself with respect. You’re going to feel lighter in your heart, find that you have more energy and very likely you will be excited to set more boundaries!
I can’t wait to hear from you about the changes you’ll see.
And dont forget to check out the Quotes about Boundaries page too.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
COMMENT BELOW AND TELL ME
- Where are you challenged in creating or holding your boundaries?
- Do you have a favourite technique that I didn’t cover?
Please share so others can benefit.