Brendon Burchard

Creating Relationship Boundaries

Summary

Do you ever wonder how to protect yourself from being taken advantage of when it comes to your time, energy, or resources?

Are you interested in setting up more boundaries in your relationships, but not sure where to begin?

Here are 4 big ideas to support you:

1. Set boundaries early. If you know your boundaries, make sure to explicitly and directly communicate them to your partner early on. Don’t hint! Say it!

2. Never get upset when someone bounces into your boundary, ever. People are just living their own lives, often caught up in their thoughts or oblivious of others. Don’t get mad. Be calm. Stay centered. Communicate.

3. Set boundaries that help your relationship, not just you. Real relationships have their own set of boundaries. You should protect your time with your spouse or partner, as much as you try to protect your time against them or others. You should protect the respect you have for each other too. (Be sure to listen closely on that one).

4. Let go of boundaries! If you want to better boundaries, be more loving. When you bring more love into the relationship, the boundaries will dissolve or expand!

Watch the video above for the full lesson so that you can reach #highperformance and continue living #TheChargedLife!

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Complement with these previous posts:
How To Bring the Joy to Every Situation
When You Feel Lonely
How To Take Care of Yourself and Others
I Fall In Love Everyday 
Relationship Advice

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Charged Life with Brendon Burchard. Please note that this episode, like all TCL episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Charged Life has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of Youtube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

This time of year, people are thinking about their relationships. One of most common questions we get is, “Brendon, how do we set more boundaries in our relationships?” How can we prevent people from taking advantage of our time, our energy, our effort, or our money?
In this post, I’ll specifically provide strategies for setting healthy boundaries in healthy relationships.
Here are 4 big ideas to support you in setting up healthy boundaries in your relationship:
#1. Set your boundaries early. If you know your boundaries, make sure to communicate them to your partner early on. This will help prevent your partner from crashing into those boundaries and messing up. Most people don’t know their boundaries, so they subsequently just flip off at their partner. They get mad at them and don’t realize that their partner is clueless.
No one will ever know your boundaries until you explicitly say, “Hey, this is a boundary for me.” Here’s what happens especially when people are new or young in a relationship. They try to set little hints. Their partner does something, and they say in response, “Oh honey, I wish you wouldn’t do that.” And that’s all they say.
That is not enough. Men, by the way, are thick in the head. They need explicit, direct communication. If you set little hints or little traps, they’re not going to figure it out ever. Not five years into the marriage, and not ten years into the marriage. Boundaries need explicit communication. You need to say, “Hey, you know what? This is a real boundary for me. I’m not able to do that. I don’t like that. This thing is really important to me.”
If you don’t explicitly say it, your partner will never understand it or try to respect it. So, if you are with someone who is disrespecting you or not understanding you, is it because you haven’t been explicit with them about your boundaries? That’s a good starting point.
I recommend that you sit down and think about the person you’re in love with right now. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • What are my real boundaries?
  • What don’t I want to talk about?
  • What don’t I like that they do?
  • What do I not want to compromise on?
  • Where do I not want to feel like I’m too vulnerable?
  • Or where do I want to open up?
You need to know your boundaries. If you don’t, don’t ever expect your partner to know what they are, and never get mad at them when they bump into those boundaries.
#2 Never get upset when someone bounces into your boundary, ever. When someone bounces into your boundary, either a) they don’t know it or b) they’re going through the motions in their own life. They’re not thinking about your boundary. This is really important. No one is thinking about your boundaries.
When they bump into it, don’t get mad. Anger is a useless emotion in this circumstance. Would you get mad at an oblivious child? Well, most adults are obliviously going through their day automatically. When you’re going through your life automatically without full vibrancy and presence, you are going to do some dumb stuff. So, don’t get mad.
Once that happens, though, remember to turn back to explicit communication about your boundaries. An example of something you can say is “Hey, I’d really like this. Could you pay attention to that?”
  • Here are some additional questions to ask yourself.
  • Do you know your partner’s boundaries?
  • If so, what are those boundaries?
  • What boundaries make them too vulnerable?
  • Have you asked the questions to try and figure out what your partner wants, desires, or needs?
  • Have you been focused on thinking about your own space and needs?
A lot of people make the mistake of wanting so much for people to respect them without understanding others or giving others respect. It’s very easy to get selfish in relationships, especially if you’ve been hurt. I understand that.
But sometimes, when we’ve been hurt, we want to set up a boundary to make everybody fall in line with us without understanding them, and that can cause trouble.
#3 Set boundaries that help your relationship, not just you.
The boundary is no longer you, and the boundary is no longer them. The boundary is the two of you together.
So, it’s a different boundary. You need to open up your boundaries to the relationship. That means, you need to change your personal preferences, pet peeves and everything else, and open to the realization that your partner has theirs, too.
Your boundaries as a couple should always be expanding between the two of you. Your trust should expand between the two of you. Your love should expand between the two of you. Your faith in each other and confidence in each other should expand between the two of you. Boundaries are never set. In a relationship, you should be pushing your partner to be more vulnerable on your fifth date than you were on your first date. Continue to grow and open up that boundary. It’s so important.
If all the boundaries you have are to protect yourself, you’re not setting boundaries for the relationship. You’re just being a single person in a silo in a relationship.
Real relationships have boundaries for themselves.
What do I mean by that?
You should protect your time with your spouse, your lover, your partner, as much as you try to protect your time against them or against others. You should protect the respect that the two of you have. When people try to poke holes at your lover and criticize them, you don’t allow that. You don’t speak ill of the person that you’re in love with. If you’re in love with them, that relationship is healthy.
If your partner is abusive or doing something bad, tell lots of people and get out of that situation. But if you are in love and this is a good relationship, then practice listening. It’s important that you respect the relationship boundaries, and that you don’t speak ill or bad of the other person. It’s important that you don’t take potshots at them, and that you respect the two of you together. This is as important as your preferences, as their preferences, as your career, and as their career.
The relationship itself deserves protection and your boundary around it to love on it and to protect it. Your job is to protect the relationship more than protecting your ego.
#4 Let go of all these boundaries you set up. So, expand your own definition of boundaries and that will lead you to this last piece: how can you now let go of all these boundaries you set up? There’s a freedom in a relationship after a period of time once the boundaries have been knocked down more. Where are you allowing people in more?
If you really want to set boundaries in life, be more loving. It will push the boundaries away.
The bigger those boundaries get, the more they become useless. Why are you trying to protect yourself so much? Think about that. After a period of time in a relationship, why try to protect yourself so much? Open up again. Open up those boundaries.
Again, if you are in a relationship where there is abuse, including mental, physical, or emotional abuse, then you need to exit that relationship. Your job isn’t to change the other person. Seek support from your friends, family or local community programs. There’s plenty of services in your local community. The abuse doesn’t just end; they’re not going to suddenly remember not to be abusive. That’s where they’re at and you can’t change it. So, set that boundary clear and clean.
But if you are in a positive relationship, then love more in that relationship, be more vulnerable, and let that relationship open up.
The reality is that most people are trying to protect themselves too much in life because they got hurt.
I had to learn that lesson, too. I had a terrible breakup when I was a young man that caused me and led me into depression and ultimately suicidal thoughts, and I did what we all do. I didn’t want to get hurt anymore. So, I built up boundaries. I put up walls. I put on a mask.I was trying to keep out the bad people, but at the cost of letting in good people. Sometimes, regarding our own boundaries, in our own efforts to protect ourselves, we block out the very things that we so desperately desire.
So, you might actually realize that you didn’t need more boundaries; rather, you needed to let a few of them go. Be vulnerable. Be open. Be open to the universe. Be open to your spouse, your lover, your partner again, and you will feel a different kind of energy enter that relationship that you will sense is a big part of The Charged Life.