Why It’s So Hard For Codependents To Set Boundaries
By Marlena Tillhon, MSc.
One of the hallmarks of healthy relating is open communication which includes setting boundaries.
This is something many codependents struggle with that further hampers their success in relationships.
While I have worked with many clients on improving their communication techniques, I have found that this is never effective if this one integral part is underdeveloped: being connected to yourself.
What I have experienced in my own life, which is echoed by my clients’ stories, is that a lot of the time I simply didn’t know what I wanted.
And even if I felt that something was off, I couldn’t have put it into words for lack of knowing what was going on for me.
Disconnection from self is a major boundary block.
It’s expecting yourself to act on information you never got.
So when I start to work with my clients on becoming more assertive and confident, I help them to first develop a stronger inner connection.
This involves figuring out how you’re feeling.
Learning what those feelings mean and are trying to tell you.
Discovering what you need.
Allowing yourself to sense what you want.
This is vital.
Without it, whatever you say will just be a stream of words without conviction or underlying meaning and purpose.
You won’t be speaking your truth, not your full truth.
Not a truth that is pulsating and alive.
And that’s what you need to feel vibrant in your relationships.
To feel like you matter.
It’s also the only way for you to figure out who you matter to.
Because that’s the other thing: by withholding your truth and not setting boundaries, you cannot give other people the information they need to show that they care about you.
And the right kinds of people will want to consider you and your wellbeing.
They will want to please you too.
They will want things to work for you too.
It’s a reciprocal connection.
But only if you allow it.
You may have craved it for years.
Someone to open up to. Someone to hear you. Someone to get you. Someone who wants to see you.
But now is the time you have to let it happen.
So connect to yourself more deeply than you ever have done before.
Ask yourself how you feel numerous times a day. Get really good at identifying how you feel and what may have led to that feeling.
Was it a thought? A memory? Someone stressing you out?
Then find out what you need based on that feeling.
This can be tricky when you are disconnected from yourself so some professional support usually comes in really handy here. Allow that in too. Expert support with someone who cares about you and is on your side.
Then start with the fun part: allow yourself to want things.
Lots of things!
The more you allow yourself to want things, the easier it will be for you to know when you don’t want something.
You also normalise getting what you want and feeling good about it.
Until you have resolved that connection block, it’s going to be near impossible for you to get what you want in your relationships because subconsciously you will sabotage it and energetically reject it.
The work you do on yourself, your inner work, is what will transform your relationship experiences.
It is your best strategy to get what you want from your relationship and to choose people who are aligned with that.
So focus on yourself.
Connect to yourself.
That’s when it gets easy for you to speak your truth and set boundaries with love.
That’s when you start to create relationships that actually work for you too.
Psychotherapist, Codependency Expert & Relationship Coach. Outgrow codependency by learning how to have a healthy relationship with yourself, healing old wounds, calming insecure attachment and developing healthy relationship skills so that you can finally create the relationship you long for and get the love you need. https://www.epiclove.me/revolution