What is a Boundary/How to Set and Maintain Boundaries
A boundary is a guideline or rule you set with someone else to identify reasonable and safe ways for others to interact and behave with you, and how you will respond should they pass those limits.
The last part of that definition is very important and something people often forget. And how you will respond should they pass those limits.
Your boundaries do come with some responsibilities on yourself to maintain them – if someone breaks your boundaries they should have been made aware beforehand of what will happen and you should follow through on maintaining that. It can be very hard, but it’s integral to self-preservation.
Some examples of ineffective/effective boundaries:
- Ineffective/Not a boundary: You cannot speak to me in that tone.
- Effective/A boundary: If you keep speaking to me like that I’m going to leave the room.
- Ineffective/Not a boundary: You cannot call me after business hours.
- Effective/A boundary: I will not answer my phone after 5pm.
Boundaries are not about controlling others, they are about protecting your own space and taking control over yourself.
Time and Space Truly do Heal all Wounds
If you find yourself wrapped up in something dramatic, it can feel like the most important thing in the world at the moment. In reality, though, 99 times out of 100 if you just walk away and give it time, after a while you simply won’t care anymore. You’ll forget about why you cared so much in the first place and you’ll be able to focus on other more important things, be healthier, and move on. In the midst of it do what you can to find distractions, focus your energy elsewhere, and remember that the quicker that you can let go of your attachment to the situation, the sooner it’ll be in the past and the sooner it’ll stop dragging you down and being as all-consuming. Time will allow you to let go and stop caring – at least as much – no matter how much that feels impossible in the moment.
Step away for a day (or an hour even) – sometimes things feel so urgent – but responding in the moment you’ll say or do things that you’ll regret later. Step away from the situation and return to it later once you’ve actually gone away and done other things and gotten your mind off of it and then come back to it with a fresh perspective. Make sure you go away from it for long enough that you actually stop thinking about it and do an activity that takes your attention so you no longer are focused on it anymore. When you come back you can decide if your initial instinct was the one you’d like to continue with or if you’d like to proceed a different way.
Take time for self care
Make sure to take space from whatever is going on to take care of yourself. Focus on things that bring you joy, relaxation, and peace of mind. These can be hobbies, spending time with supportive people (and doing things/talking about things other than the drama), exercise, meditation, etc.
Make sure to reach out to your support system. Surround yourself with those who understand you – family, friends, and/or trusted professionals Talk to them and take into account their advice and guidance.
Gossip often only escalates drama and causes more stress. Try to refrain from talking about others aside from when you are processing with your support system about how a situation or person made you feel or trying to problem-solve. If it’s not productive and it feels gossip-y, chances are it’s unhelpful and likely will only cause harm.
Remember priorities – what really matters?
This is especially relevant to community-related social media gossip and drama. DID is a trauma disorder that comes from childhood trauma. This childhood trauma is most often abuse at the hands of adults. These are incredibly, seriously, horrifically severe subjects and so much deeper than a ‘he said she said’ online gossip war, no matter how important those can feel in the moment. Once you recontextualize that in your mind, it can make it a lot easier to step away from the drama and to let other people continue if they will but to disengage and to focus on yourself and to what matters to you.