Personal conflicts are never easy to deal with, particularly when family members or friends are involved. You can feel powerless and guilty for even being in a situation of conflict. But, conflicts are a fact of life and sometimes, we need open-hearted boundaries to deal with them.
There often tends to be a sense of guilt involved in personal conflicts. Where you can feel like you are doing something “wrong”, perhaps for wanting to see less of somebody, or for not wanting to be involved in something where there is an expectation for you to be. And, this is only natural.
We are social animals and the bonds that we have with those we love can create such feelings of guilt. Particularly, when strong expectations are at play. Expectations that create a sense of obligation to act in a certain way. However, repeatedly entering into interactions that cause you or the other person distress has a cost. A cost to your mental wellbeing, and to there’s. Is ‘obligation’ really worth that pain?
Sometimes, it becomes necessary to set boundaries.
Setting open-hearted boundaries is not about cutting-off ties in anger or animosity. Rather, it is about setting healthy limits from a place of compassion. Compassion for both yourself and the other.
It is about acknowledging the hurt that the nature of the relationship is causing, and how unhealthy that may be for all involved. What makes setting boundaries difficult is that the other person may not always agree or understand. This is when open-heartedness becomes even more important.
Remember, you can set always clear boundaries from a place of peace in your heart. It is a choice that you make.
Harsha is an executive and life coach based in London. He supports people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives. Find out more about Harsha’s work