Setting Boundaries: The Key for Healthy Relationships
Boundary setting can be essential to maintaining healthy relationships with both yourself and those around you. Boundaries can help you feel in control of your life, increase your self-esteem, and allow you to feel strong in who you are. Boundaries are an invisible force field around you and your feelings; put in place to protect you and establish a rule base for your relationships.
What Are Boundaries?
You can set both physical and emotional boundaries with the people in your life. Physical boundaries protect you person. This can be respecting your personal space, refraining from inappropriate touching, and building privacy.
Emotional boundaries protect your mind. These boundaries can help avoid co-dependence, taking the blame for other people’s thoughts or actions, and putting others first before yourself. Boundaries and made and maintained by you, so you have full control over what they are and how they should be enforced.
How to Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries with your friends and family can be a daunting task. You may worry that people may become upset by the newly set lines – probably because they benefitted when they didn’t exist. There are some tips you can follow that make the process easier.
Be Direct – Setting boundaries can be a foreign concept to you and those around you, so it is important that they know you are serious and take you seriously. It can be an uncomfortable conversation, but if you state your wants and needs and draw the line it can be extremely beneficial in the long run and allow stronger and healthier relationships to form.
Know Your Values – You are in control of your life and your boundaries. Take some time to self-reflect and acknowledge what is important to you. This is how you frame your boundaries. If you value independence and individual thought – have a boundary that allows for time to yourself and not letting other people’s thoughts or problems infringe upon your own happiness.
Find Support – Your friends and family are there to support you through thick and thin. If setting boundaries makes someone angry or lash out, maybe you need some space. Boundaries are for you more than anyone else, and they are there for your own growth. The people around you should respect your space – both physically and emotionally.
The Bottom Line
Boundaries are a tool that allow you to make the changes necessary to support your own growth and happiness. They do not have to be permanent, and it is okay if you change your boundaries as you change as a person. If the people around you care about your mental and physical well-being, they will respect your decision to set ground rules for your relationships and will likely be better for it too.
If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health and would like to talk to a licensed counselor about it, contact us today. Florida Counseling Centers has master’s level therapists that are here to help you live the happiest and healthiest life possible.