Setting the right boundaries is key if building and maintaining healthy relationships is your goal.
It is hard to gauge the right set of boundaries; for instance, rigid boundaries might keep others at a distance, make you avoid close relationships, or enhance detachment from partners. While more loose boundaries might please others for fear of rejection, overshare personal information with others and find it difficult to say 'no.'
Well, a healthy boundary enables you to accept when others say 'no,' share personal information appropriately and value your own opinions. Follow the below tips to set healthy boundaries.
Knowing yourself better makes it possible to know what works well and what doesn't for you. You also know why setting boundaries is important and if they will benefit you. However, you might not know what works well for you; hence, evaluate yourself.
Take some time off and dig deeper within yourself. Ask yourself what is happening to you and if you feel uncomfortable. Try and come up with reasons why you feel that way.
Spend time and find out what is happening to you, and you will be at a better place to set healthy boundaries that work for you.
Set your boundaries as early as possible
You might find it difficult to introduce boundaries, especially in a pre-existing relationship. So the first step for any relationship is setting the required boundaries.
Setting expectations and boundaries, in the beginning, clarify where everyone stands and what is anticipated. This way, feelings of frustration, confusion, and hurt are lessened. However, don't let these boundaries slide because they may encourage new expectations from those around you; try and keep them consistent.
Do not be afraid of telling others when they have overstepped your set boundaries. Not communicating during these times might mean you don't care about your belief and actual threshold. Remember, while raising your concerns, don't be confrontational; talk.
The goal is to highlight their behavior while asserting your threshold gently. When communicating using social media, take note not to overshare either. At the same time, some family members might post personal photos and videos that you don't want to be shared; apply the same approach. Communicate where they are overstepping your boundaries.
Know your limits
Knowing your limits entails defining your physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual boundaries with other people. Your limits differ with different types of people, such as friends, workmates, family, or intimate partners.
Start by examining prior experiences where you felt anger, frustration, or resentment with an individual; they may have overstretched your limits. Try creating a boundary chat if you are still in the dark and don't know your limits. This chart outlines each boundary per each relationship category, and for each category, fill it up with boundary criteria.
For instance, you might feel uncomfortable when a colleague asks about your personal life, or you might feel comfortable when friends ask you about your childhood trauma.
Take small steps
The idea of simultaneously introducing more boundaries is overwhelming- hence, introduce them gradually. Taking small steps allows you to set your boundaries at a more comfortable pace. It also provides ample time to reflect on whether the boundary works well for you or not.
Boundaries are vital for any relationship, for different reasons, and might look different to everyone. You might fear sounding unfriendly or confrontational when upholding your boundaries threshold; however, it is possible to confront your loved ones without upsetting them. Please don't feel guilty about setting your boundaries or upholding them.