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005. What are healthy boundaries and why do I need them?

What is the difference between healthy versus unhealthy boundaries? And why do I need healthy boundaries? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, today’s episode is for you. In this episode, I explain in detail what differentiates healthy from unhealthy boundaries and give you real-life examples of how to set healthy boundaries. I’ll also […]

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What are healthy boundaries and why do you need them?
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What is the difference between healthy versus unhealthy boundaries? And why do I need healthy boundaries? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, today’s episode is for you.

In this episode, I explain in detail what differentiates healthy from unhealthy boundaries and give you real-life examples of how to set healthy boundaries. I’ll also share why healthy boundaries are important and how you can set them properly.

Listen to the full episode here:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Nadja Hagen [00:00:14]:
Are you ready to go from am I good enough to is this good for me? Welcome to the self love sessions podcast. I’m your hostess, Natje Hagen, and I’m the self love coach for ambitious women recovering from people pleasing and starting to love the heck out of themselves. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. It sets the tone for all other relationships in your life and your overall quality of life. It’s worth cultivating. In the self love sessions podcast, I share nuggets of wisdom on setting healthy boundaries, prioritizing your needs without shame and guilt, and building relationships that enrich your whole dang life, starting with the one you have with yourself. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome to the 5th episode of the self love sessions podcast.

Nadja Hagen [00:01:18]:
Today, I want to answer the question, what are actually healthy boundaries, and why do I need them? You hear me talk about healthy boundaries over and over again. I talk about healthy boundaries in my podcast here. You see healthy boundaries written all over my digital home. And when you receive my weekly newsletter, you will also hear me talk a lot about healthy boundaries. But have you ever asked yourself what healthy boundaries actually are? And what differentiates them from unhealthy ones? I’m here today to answer this question and give you examples of healthy versus unhealthy boundaries. Sounds interesting? Good. Let’s dive into it. Healthy boundaries are balanced boundaries.

Nadja Hagen [00:02:11]:
So that means that you don’t set boundaries that are so rigid that you have no exception to your rules at all. But it also means that you do set boundaries and that you don’t have boundaries that are so loose that they don’t get perceived as boundaries at all. And it also means that you don’t set boundaries and let them be overstepped without any consequences. Healthy boundaries are balanced boundaries. Sounds complicated? Okay. Let me make it easier to digest. Healthy boundaries are determined by your personal values, your core beliefs and your priorities. Let me give you an example.

Nadja Hagen [00:02:59]:
If honesty is one of your core values and has a high priority to you, then you won’t be fine with someone stretching the shoes to accommodate current circumstances. If honesty is of a high priority to you or if honesty is one of your personal values, then you want to be faced with the truth and nothing but the truth.

There are people who do not have honesty as one of their core values and who do not prioritize honesty in a way in which you might prioritize it. So these people are totally okay with, let’s say, stretching the tooth a little bit to make it sound better, at least a little bit. And, you know, both ways are totally okay if you and the other person are on the same page. And that leads me to the second thing about boundaries. Boundaries are a set of rules to which we agree so that we encounter relationships that benefits both sides. Boundaries are like traffic lights.

Nadja Hagen [00:04:13]:
We all agree to stop when they are red, so nobody would get hurt in traffic and everyone would have a fair chance to move forward. If I need a red traffic light, this might delay my personal journey a little bit. But it also makes sure that I and all the other people involved in our traffic arrive safely at the destination. And that shows something which you might perceive as making things more complicated in the beginning. When you are new to the boundary setting game, then setting healthy and proper boundaries might feel as if things are getting more complicated than they were before. And this might be too. But at the same time, in the long run, they make things much easier. It is just a question of getting used to the new circumstances.

Nadja Hagen [00:05:11]:
Imagine you’re meeting with a person who has never had any proper boundaries and now they are setting some. So you are irritated in the first place. And that is totally human. That is totally normal. The same happens with the people around you when you start setting proper and healthy boundaries. It takes some time to adjust. There’s another important thing to boundaries. Boundaries are like the rules of the game.

Nadja Hagen [00:05:40]:
They differ from one context to another. Football, as an example, has a different set of rules than poker has. But what all boundaries have in common is that they create a safe ground for encounters. Healthy boundaries are not only balanced, they are also aligned with your personal values and priorities. With balanced, I mean that they are not rigid and they are not porous. They are in the healthy middle. There is no exact point where you can meet the middle. It’s a moving target, you could say.

Nadja Hagen [00:06:20]:
So it needs constant observation and adjustment. I said boundaries are aligned with your values and priorities. If I come back to my example of pure honesty. If honesty is a core value for you, then you don’t want to be faced with the stretched truth. This might hurt your feelings. You might feel disrespected and lied to. Whereas a person who doesn’t value honesty this high might be totally okay with this. And this is exactly what I mean when I say healthy boundaries are aligned with your values and priorities.

Nadja Hagen [00:07:03]:
Balance boundaries leave enough room so you can adapt to current circumstances. Let me give you an example. You might have your own personal rule of not lending money to friends because you don’t want to mix money and friendship. That’s totally okay. Now imagine you are meeting your best friend and she has been always reliable and trustworthy. And you’re meeting in a restaurant and she accidentally forgot her purse. Your rule is to not lend money to friends. But in this scenario, you might consider helping her out and lending her money nonetheless.

Nadja Hagen [00:07:46]:
And this is exactly what I mean when I say that balanced boundaries give you room to adapt to current circumstances. If you would stick to your rule to not mix money and friendship, you would just leave your friend hanging. And maybe, I don’t know, the one who runs faster wins. I don’t know. In this case, lending her money might be the right thing to do. Even though you have a rule of not mixing both. This was an example where a boundary represents a personal belief of yours. We already had an example where a boundary represents a core value of yours.

Nadja Hagen [00:08:30]:
That was the example with honesty and a stretched tooth. Now I want to give you an example where a boundary works for or either against your priorities. If spending time with your kids has a high priority for you, then your boss making you work over hours regularly goes against your priorities. And in this case, a boundary is necessary and needed. Because what happens when you go against your own priorities? It makes you feel awful because you are stepping on your own toes. You are not reliable for yourself. You are not acting in integrity with your own priorities. And quite often your priorities are derived from your core values.

Nadja Hagen [00:09:25]:
So in the example of your boss making you work over hours, this goes against your priorities if spending time with your kids has a higher priority to you than making more money or getting a promotion. And in this scenario, when you experience this, you might feel resentment for not speaking up or anger for acting against your own values and priorities. You have probably already experienced a situation like that. So you know how uncomfortable this truly feels. These three examples demonstrate how you set boundaries that are aligned for you. And by aligned, I mean they are aligned with your beliefs, with your core values, and with your priorities. These are boundaries behind which you can fully stand. And these are boundaries that you can set and feeling very good while doing so.

Nadja Hagen [00:10:28]:
Because these boundaries are worth it to you. And if you have learned to communicate them in a kind and clear way, then setting them works for you and for the life you want to create. These boundaries are aligned with who you are at your core. Let me summarize what are healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries are balanced boundaries. They leave enough room for you to adapt to current circumstances. They are not rigid and they are not parose and they are definitely not non existent. And healthy boundaries are aligned with your core values, your beliefs, and your priorities.

Nadja Hagen [00:11:14]:
This is what I mean when I refer to healthy boundaries. Balanced and aligned boundaries. In the next episode I want to share with you the signs that you lack proper boundaries. Because something I know for sure from my own experience and working with 100 of clients is that not having proper boundaries always impacts us negatively. I sincerely hope that you learned in today’s episode what healthy boundaries are and that you can take this knowledge and apply it to your own life. Thank you for tuning in, and I talk to you in the next episode. Thank you for listening to today’s episode. If you found this valuable, please give a 5 star rating and tell other women that this show is worth listening to.

Nadja Hagen [00:12:18]:
I talk to you in the next episode.

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I'm Nadja, your new self-love friend.

As a recovered people-pleaser, I know how frustrated you feel when you care for everyone else but yourself. I've learned to set healthy boundaries and prioritize myself to create the life I want to live (not one where I comply with other people's guidelines). I'll show you exactly how to build YOUR life - the way you want to live it (and yes, boundaries play a huge role in that!) Start living unapologetically and totally YOU.

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