People with AuDHD need to learn to set boundaries to prevent overwhelm, preserve their energy and prevent others from taking advantage of them.
Its empowering to live life knowing where you stand on how you want to experience life. From the intimate to the random encounter with a stranger.
Feeling confident enough to stand up for what you believe in and being prepared to walk away is a sign you respect yourself, know yourself, and are decisive about what you will and will not accept into your life. What gives you that experience of empowerment – boundaries.
Sometimes People Push-Back
People will usually push-back if your boundary puts them at a disadvantage (e.g. they can’t manipulate you anymore or take out their frustration by snapping at you). Its great when boundaries are win-win, they won’t always be.
Boundaries around physical touch for example (e.g. hug versus handshake). With my sensitivity to light touch – it can become very dysregulating if someone touches me while they talk. I tell them, “I know you don’t know this, but light touches cause me to become distracted and I want to be able to really listen to what you’re saying. So it would work a lot better if we could avoid touching while talking.”
Learn how to establish boundaries and stand by them regardless of push-back from others, and be consistent with them (versus flaky). You’ll find your boundaries being honored more often than not.
Consistency and Clarity Are ‘Attractive’
Your relationships will get so much better, especially when your boundaries are clear and consistent. Boundaries around how you will and will not speak to each other is a good place to start.
Some relationships may end, or become more distant (its worth it), when you set these boundaries. While other relationships become healthier and more fulfilling to be in.
You may find you’re calmer in social situations, because you surround yourself with people who know and accept your boundaries. You’ll likely ‘attract’ new people into your life as well because they observe you setting boundaries in a calm, respectful way.
You’ll also notice that your self-awareness deepens as you explore what you need psychologically, emotionally, physically etc. I’ve established boundaries around my eating habits (preferring fruits, veggies and lean meats), how to best communicate with me (in writing, with clear action steps), and how I talk to myself (kindness instead of criticism).
Put People-Pleasing in the Past
I’m not as consistently kind to myself as I’d like to be, but I’m getting there. Working to make it the norm and self-criticism the exception. Sure I’ve slipped a bunch of times – but I got right back on the horse. I’ve got so much material on boundaries it only makes sense to collect it all into a workbook. Maybe early next year.
For you indecisive people-pleasers (been there, done that), its easier to make decisions when you’re clear on your boundaries. When people can’t talk you out of them to suit themselves. No more hemming and hawing because your agenda isn’t about making everyone happy – its about protecting your energy and integrity.
Protecting your energy for the most important relationships in your life, makes you more focused and a force for good as you work to create healthier and more fulfilling relationships for everyone with the pleasure of knowing you.
The bottom line
Living with AuDHD makes protecting your energy a top priority because you need to be able to listen, focus and regulate your emotions when you socialize with friends or romanticize with your partner and that requires a lot of energy.
Learning to say, “No” to others and “Yes” to the people you want to focus on is necessary to do and doesn’t need to feel like a rejection to anyone. But that’s a longer discussion for the future.
Til then, thanks for being you.