Personal boundaries are compulsory to build and maintain healthy relationships. And by boundaries, we don’t mean the physical ones used to keep people out. We mean the ones that aren’t visible to the eye, the boundaries that help us take care of ourselves.
Boundaries are essential for various reasons. For example, you might be concerned that they will make you seem unfriendly or aggressive, yet it is plausible to maintain them without upsetting those you care about.
Healthy boundaries determine who you are in relation to others. They also help you to know what the extents and limits are with others. Therefore setting healthy boundaries allows you to connect with yourself, your needs, and your emotions. It will enable you to feel safe, relax, and feel empowered to care for yourself.
But do not fret if you don’t know how to create and maintain good boundaries; we’re here to help you with that.
Here are eight ways to set good boundaries and uphold existing ones.
1. Enjoy some self-reflection
In order to effectively set and maintain boundaries, it is essential to understand why each particular boundary is essential for your emotional wellbeing. You have to know the benefits of the limits you set. Before establishing boundaries, set some time to analyze what’s happening to you.
2. Start small
If you’re someone who hasn’t set any boundaries, then adding more boundaries might seem like an overwhelming task. So take your time and build your boundaries slowly. Setting boundaries at a slow and comfortable pace even gives you time to reflect on them and adjust them according to your needs.
3. Set them early
When it comes to friendships and any kind of relationship, it is essential to establish boundaries at an earlier stage instead of setting them afterward. Then people know what you expect at the beginning itself. This will decrease future confusion, frustrations, and feelings of hurt.
4. Be consistent
If you ignore boundaries even after setting them, then the people around you will surely be left in confusion. This will also encourage new demands and expectations. Therefore you should be consistent with your boundaries if you want to maintain them.
5. Create a framework
Boundaries change according to the different types of relationships we have with people. So there’s no harm in establishing some basics you can use according to the situation. Try to squeeze in some alone time into your busy schedule too.
6. Feel free to add extras
There are some places in which boundaries are already established, for example, in our workplace. But you should know that these are minimum boundaries. So there’s no harm in adding more boundaries. On the contrary, it will improve your job performance as well.
7. Be aware of social media
Social media can be a huge obstacle when it comes to setting boundaries. It is because social media tends to blur our boundaries at times. According to research, most of us worry about our families and friends sharing personal information about us on social media platforms. Stop exposing yourself to social media that only seem to cause you nothing but distress.
8. Talk, talk, talk
Communication plays a significant role when setting boundaries and maintaining them. When someone oversteps your boundaries, you need to voice your concerns and communicate. This doesn’t fundamentally mean that you have to be confrontational. Use assertive communication when raising your concerns.
Great ways to start is by…
- Name your limits.
- Tune into your feelings.
- Be Direct.
- Practice Self-Awareness.
- Make self-care a priority.