It’s not easy to maintain and set healthy boundaries in life. If you’d asked me a couple of years ago what that meant, I wouldn’t have a clue. Boundaries are so important to keep and set in any type of relationships you have with people. It protects you at the first instance, from things that might hurt or bother you.
In todays post, I will begin by sharing what boundaries are, and then I’ll go into how you can maintain and set those healthy boundaries in your life.
WHAT ARE BOUNDARIES?
When trying to figure out what to write and explain about what boundaries are, I thought id take the the internet. There were so many wonderful explanations on what boundaries are. In particular I really liked this one that I found.
“Boundaries keep relationships balanced and healthy and help friends know what is OK and not OK to do or say.”https://socialself.com/blog/
A boundary is something you can choose to put into place in all of your relationships in life. It helps other people become aware of what you do and don’t like. An example of this could be, maybe one of your friends makes fun of one of your insecurities, not realising it has an effect on your mental health. You can choose to tell them how it makes you feel, and ask them to stop. Thats setting a boundary.
Or, if you’re in a relationship and you’re uncomfortable with some behaviours your partner has been showing recently. Talking it out and sharing how it makes you feel and how you’d appreciate them stopping is also setting a boundary.
The best case scenario here is that the person you’re choosing to set the boundary with, welcomes this with open arms. The worst case scenario is that they continue to do it. What do you do then? You may ask. Well thats where it gets a bit tricky. We aren’t responsible for other peoples actions, nor can we control them. If this person continues to do something or continues to act a certain way, then you still have the power to not let it effect you directly. Cutting people off, or re-setting that boundary is something you may have to do several times.
Communication is the number one most important rule to remember when wanting to maintain and set healthy boundaries in your life. How will they know you want to set a boundary with them, if you don’t communicate it to them? Its always important to share how you feel with people, but even more important to do that when you’re wanting a boundary to be set.
Boundaries are set to protect yourself and your wellbeing. So, communication is key. If you set a boundary and it continuously keeps happening, you will need to keep communicating this to the other person until they understand.
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MAKE THEM SMALL BUT SET THEM EARLY
Boundaries don’t need to be big and elaborate. They can be easily achievable and not seem like a big deal. Which is why it’s important to set them as early as possible.
If you’re finding that people are coming over to your house unannounced often, and you don’t like it. Let them know from the first instance, tell them that it makes you feel uncomfortable. Waiting for it to happen a few times can be a mistake, because they may question why you didn’t raise your upset about it the first time it happened.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Being consistent in expressing how you feel about something is a great way to maintain and set healthy boundaries with others. Reminding them that their behaviour is not acceptable, or you don’t wish to talk about a certain subject can be a good reminder. Sometimes people forget, and need a gentle reminder of what your boundaries are.
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IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT OTHERS THINK
I won’t lie, setting healthy boundaries with others does come with its challenges. People might not like that there are now ‘rules’ in place. But, you have to throw everybody else’s options out of the window because these boundaries are for you. If they aren’t happy with your boundary, then you should consider if they were meant to be in your life in the first place.
Any good friend or partner would understand that these boundaries are in place for a reason. They may not like it at first, but alot of the time they get used to it.
Have you ever had issues trying to maintain and set healthy boundaries in your life? What has been your experience?
Boundary setting can be a challenge, it’s not something that will just happen overnight. But being consistent, communicating your feelings and setting your boundaries early on are the key to success.