How do you know you are integrating the boundary work you are doing? You will notice over time, it starts to be less hard. You won’t have to refer to your core values constantly or to practice your assertive voice. You want feel as though this stuff is so new and unfamiliar. You are beginning to rewire!
Look for these markers:
You don’t get so defensive. This will happen a lot in the beginning of your boundary practice. You are working through your old dysfunctional behaviors at first, and you you are trying to kindly and clearly state your limits with confidence. You will find when someone comes to you for more clarity, it is easy to get defensive because they don’t see all the behind the scenes work you are doing! Over time this will happen less and less. Why? Because you are learning to trust yourself and you also have a strong understanding of the core values you are guarding. You are no longer asking for others approval or acceptance.
You no longer expect others to read your mind. This stems from a victim mentality. We use to expect others to know what we want or what we need, and when they don’t (because you never shared with them) we get upset with them for it. We then live within the relationship annoyed, irritated, angry, resentful, anxious and exhausted. Instead, you will get to the point where you know that loving others well comes with having kind, honest and clear conversations regarding your needs and wants. These are little love notes you share with those around you!
You don’t get offended when others set a limit with you. In the past, this use to really hurt you. You will drown in shame, replay the conversation, or doubt yourself and the relationship. The thoughts would go and go and go, leaving you depleted, insecure and anxious. But not anymore! You now applaud others when they set a limit with you! You welcome it! You know how hard it is to kindly and clearly set a limit, and so you celebrate them! You also take it as a compliment, because it truly is motivated by a desire to be closer to you. They don’t want to be confused, disconnected or misleading. WOW!
Obviously there are more markers, but these are a few to look out for as your progress in your boundary practice.