An Empaths guide to setting boundaries

As an empath, brought up in dysfunctional family environments, setting healthy boundaries can often feel a difficult task. In this post we discuss the importance of working on all things self prior to boundary setting to ensure you shift your ‘norm’ in order to put more healthy boundaries in place for yourself.


After the break up of my last relationship, yet another boomerang relationship of back and forth, usually I would have jumped back onto the dating sites for some sort of validation. To know that I’m still desired, still loveable.


For whatever reason, it had become a habit. I’d be in a long-term relationship and then as soon as the relationship ended, out my phone would come and boom, I’d jump back on to the dating sites, quicker than you could say “ do you really want to sign up again?”.


The problem was that the types of people that I was meeting and attracting were quite similar in their characters. I saw a pattern emerging. Sound familiar?


This time was different though. This time I chose to do something different. As Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I wanted to take some time to actually discover what it was in me that was drawing in this pattern, these personalities, these experiences.


In my own work I’ve learned that whatever we see a pattern, things we are seeing on the outside, shows us a reflection of something that is being brought to our own awareness in ourselves. It is the universal energies way of showing you that whether there is a pattern, there’s something to discover within you. There was one common denominator in all of those relationships, and that was me!


Energetically, vibrationally, I was drawing in similar characters just in different meat suits, so I wanted to take that time to find out exactly what it was in me that needed healing for me to draw in somebody very different next time.

So I put myself on an eight-month man-ban, why eight months? I wanted a length of time that was substantial enough for me to dig deep. I made a commitment to myself to stick to it. Not a half-hearted ‘Oh let’s give it a ‘TRY’. It was a ‘I’m doing this whatever, however uncomfortable it gets!” and in order to stick to it I specifically gave myself a date when it ended. A goal to work towards.


Why is it important to commit to yourself?


When I was in a long term relationship, as I’m sure many empaths can relate, I would try everything to make sure they worked for a number of reasons:

  • Fear of upsetting someone
  • I didn’t want to fail
  • To avoid the feelings of abandonment & loss
  • People pleasing to avoid someone not liking me, loving me
  • My tenacious personality of not wanting to give up


Regardless of how people treated me, regardless of their behaviour, their actions. Rather than pay attention to the signs, my boundary setting was so blurred that I would try everything, absolutely everything before I threw in the towel.


I wanted to find out exactly why I was accepting behaviours that didn’t align with my own and what it was that needed acknowledging and healing in me. So I buckled up, put my big girl pants on and went on my eight month journey.


Setting Boundaries and working on Self is not Selfish


Where better place to start the journey than with the SELF, working on all things self. Many times as empaths, especially if you’re an emapth parent, we’ve adopted an idea that spending time, money, care on ourselves, saying no, is a selfish act. As others need your time, care, money, energy etc. However just as they explain on the aeroplane whilst in flight, if the plane goes down, ‘Put your mask on first before helping others’.


Self care, Self love, Self worth, Self-worth, Self-inquiry, Self-reflection, all of these things I intuitively knew, could bring me the answers to the healing what was obviously needed in order for me to draw in a different type of personality in the future.


Prior to setting boundaries, Self Love & Self Care is needed


Now when I say self-love and self-care I don’t mean having a bubble bath. I mean finding out how you want to be loved, because I don’t think I actually knew how I wanted to be loved. I’d adopted an idea from my own upbringing of what love was. However, it was a pretty dysfunctional idea from my upbringing.


Find out exactly what it is that you want to be loved that align with your values. When you know it yourself then not only can you give that to another person but you can also know what to allow, choose and accept into your life by resetting your thermostat.


Self-care is not about painting your toenails. Of course those things make you feel nice but self-care is about finding and rediscovering what it is that lights your soul.

  • What it is that beings you Joy?
  • What makes you smile/laugh?
  • What lights your soul?
  • What makes you feel connected to the true you?


In order to find this out I chose to try different things that used to light me up when I was younger, when the creativity, joy and passion was burning brightly with no restraints.

  • Roller skating
  • Dancing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Art


So that I could really start to work out what it was that lights my soul and makes me feel alive. What it was that brings me joy because when you’re focused on somebody else all the time you kind of let yourself be the last one that you think about.


Self Worth

Then obviously we come to a biggie, self-worth! Now self-worth for me was finding my boundaries. What was acceptable? Many things we experienced as children, form our view of the world, our expectations and our levels of acceptance.


In my own childhood growing up, I saw from my own parents a boomerang relationship, leaving, getting back together. Arguments, levels of violence, secrecy and all of this being accepted. So for me I had to reset those boundaries, finding out what was truly acceptable for me. What I choose to allow because ultimately people will treat you the way that you allow them to treat you.


Self Discovery, Self Inquiry & Self Reflection


These three areas are the umbrella over all of the areas above. In order to start this journey, we first need awareness. Without this, we will spend our time blaming rather than looking within. When we live a life of blaming we are avoiding the fundamental callings we are being shown to grow.


You cannot see what is needed within when you are spending all your time and energy focusing out.


Is it uncomfortable, yes, absolutely, I’m not going to pretend otherwise. However nothing amazing was ever achieved by staying in your comfort zone.


Does it take courage to do this work, yes but some of the most rewarding work you can do is to invest in yourself.


Only then will you draw in something very different next time.


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