Healthy Boundaries in Relationships
A healthy relationship is what you need to enjoy this world, and setting all kinds of boundaries can make it a memorable one. All types of relationships need boundaries to function well in our world. Humans have tolerance and also limits. And if no rules are guiding us in keeping boundaries, who knows how the world will be. These boundaries are needed in offices, schools, churches, and everywhere humans interact with each other. It is essential to follow these boundaries as they help us grow and give each additional peace of mind. Healthy boundaries are what defines a good relationship and growing bond with other people. Boundaries lead to a nation's rules, and breaking them is an offense that could land you in prison. Same way, every person has a limit which crossing they could make you lose their friendship.
How to Set Boundaries in a Relationship?
Setting healthy boundaries is critical to forming a healthy relationship and ensuring a less dramatic life. When there are no boundaries, it opens room for a lot of offensive things. There are physical and emotional boundaries. And each is subjective to every person, and some people love to cuddle and cherish public displays of affection while others find it offensive. Setting boundaries requires that you know yourself and what you want and what you can't tolerate. Commit to putting yourself first because you can't help anybody when you need help. There are tons of boundaries to set to have a healthy relationship with everyone around you, and some of them are
- Teach yourself to say no to stuff you don't want to do or don't have time to do; this way, you will not disappoint them.
- Only say Yes! If you feel you can deliver or provide assistance without being forced or pressured.
- Learn to say thank you without any shame, regret, or ego.
- Don't be too committed to other people's lives and protect your time and space.
- Don't feel embarrassed when asking for help or guidance; we all need help.
- Speak up whenever you feel someone is crossing the line or infringing your rights.
- Share personal information about others with their consent as they should with yours.
- Take responsibility for your action and apologize when you crossed a line.
How to Set Boundaries with Family Members?
Setting boundaries with family members, especially with siblings, can be complex, but tips can help maintain a healthy relationship with a family member. Always put in mind that boundaries can be changed, and if you feel uncomfortable with your boundaries, it's time to let them go. People will take time to adjust to your new rules, but your siblings might take forever. Here are some tips
- Open-minded: open communication is the key to a healthy relationship, and you have to communicate with your family members about your new rules. Especially your siblings, they love being around you, and if you are pushy without telling them about your new set boundaries, they will think you hate them. A stubborn sibling would make it worst by constantly breaking those boundaries. Avoid explosive confrontation and set the meeting when they ever everyone is free.
- Be ready to compromise: your new boundaries might not go down well with your parents. And so long you live with them, you have to compromise and meet them halfway.
- No is a complete sentence that you shouldn't be afraid to use around your family members,
- Be sure you are comfortable with your new set of rules.
- Set consequences for breaking your boundaries, especially on your siblings or cousins.
- Use family members who cherish and value you to set boundaries with the rest of the family. Get your parents to involve and make them set your boundaries so your siblings can respect them.
- Don't be harsh with your boundaries, but be firm with it
- Be realistic with your rules.
How to Set Boundaries with Your Friends?
Friendship is one of those things in this world that requires boundaries. Boundaries in friendships help to keep the relationship healthy and safe. It helps stay true to yourself and your friends. Experts have revealed that friendship without limits gives room for bitterness and hatred, so here are tips for a healthy friendship relationship:
- Respect each other's time: time is of high value and can't be replaced, so if your friend makes time for you, don't cancel at the last minute and vice versa. Value their time, and they should value yours.
- Fulfil each other's needs: wants and needs are two different things; while wants can be neglected, you will need them to be a crying shoulder. A friend that can't be in your time of need doesn't respect your boundaries.
- Please don't allow them to use you: most friends would only contact you when they need you for their benefits. These are the kind of friends you have to tell that if they can't look out for you, you won't look out for them. Friendship should be balanced, not 50/50 but no party should feel used.
- What you tell them: what a friend knows about you means how close you are and if they don't tell you everything that happens in their life, respect their decision. And sometimes, a friend might want to pry into your life; you can respectfully tell them, "I'm fine, you don't need not worry." Be honest and let them know you don't want to talk about it.
Examples of Boundaries in a Relationship
Boundaries can be emotional or physical, and it's subjective to different people. Examples of common physical and emotional boundaries you see in our society include:
- I love kissing and holding your hands but not in public
- I'm comfortable with chatting and texting, but calls are not my thing
- I still need some time for myself
- I prefer spending weekends with my family
- Whatever I tell you is meant for you alone, except I say otherwise
- I am not ready for sex, but kissing and touching are fine by me.
- We can follow each other on social media, but please don't chat with me
- I don't like being startled when I'm napping
- I don't particularly appreciate sharing my lunch
- You can use my phone but don't read my messages
Setting Boundaries via Communication
Communication is vital in every relationship, and talking about each other's boundaries can help couples, friends, families, or colleagues have a healthy relationship. Don't assume they will know the boundaries after talking with you for a month. Boundary rules are delicate matters that need to be communicated and can be done whenever you want. If you are afraid that your dating partner would react to your boundaries, then it's a warning sign that the relationship would be unhealthy. Keep an open mind when communicating with your partner or friend when discussing your boundaries. It might take time to adjust and adapt to your rules and let them know when they cross. Gently tell them they have crossed the line, and they will adapt if they truly value you.
Healthy and Toxic Boundaries
Healthy boundaries are designed to make one happy and feel safe and all the extra good feelings, while unhealthy boundaries make you feel like you are in prison. And it can go both ways. This is why communication and being open-minded are important when setting boundaries. It wouldn't be nice if your partner wants you to cut off your opposite-sex friends because he or she "is a jealous type." Even among other relationships with friends and families, one has to be careful with the boundaries they come up with. Boundaries are meant to create a peaceful and healthy relationship; it is not meant to be harsh or make another person feel like you hate them.
How to Create Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are essential for a peaceful and healthy relationship with others. Many people don't know how to set healthy boundaries, and they end up creating harsh boundaries that make people run away from them. Healthy boundaries tell you what you can tolerate as a person and give you peace of mind. These are tips on creating good boundaries
- Recognize your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual limits and write them down. These are things that make you feel uncomfortable or you can hardly tolerate.
- Identify what makes you feel resentment and discomfort. Does a person impose their values on you? And you feel like you can't keep up with their expectation.
- Be direct with your boundaries, as some people can have a hard time understanding them. You can be candid with your dating partner and tell him/her that you need space and time for yourself.
- Boundaries are difficult to follow, especially if you have to say no to a close friend or family member for the first time. You might even guilt about some boundaries for the first time, but it is all about your self-respect.
- Sometimes you might fail to meet up with your boundaries and find yourself breaking your rules without even knowing. You can always adjust and ask what you did that makes you feel this way?
- Seek support from counsellors, friends, family members or coaches. Setting boundaries is not a secret and shouldn't be harsh or brutal for you to follow. Healthy boundaries should be sweet and easy to follow.
- Boundaries can be complex, especially when you are new to them. Starting small can help you build confidence and fulfilment and then move up to create more borders.
Boundaries Violations in Relationships
Relationships are easy to maintain if the boundaries are clear to each party. But sometimes, we violate other people's boundaries without realizing it. And this can lead to trust issues or stress. As a person, we must understand what is appropriate for the limit line. It is common to violate boundaries we are unaware of.
Examples of Boundaries You are not Aware You are Violating
These boundaries are so common we sometimes don't realize we are breaking them. They include
- Underplaying someone's excitement: this is a ubiquitous boundary line that we cross without even knowing. Many had no idea it was even a boundary. Downplaying your friend's excitement is violating their boundaries.
- Not giving need enough space: your friend, partner, or family member needs time for themselves, and so do you because we all need time to grow and find ourselves.
- Using or taking their stuff without permission: it doesn't matter how close you are to the person; always ask before taking their stuff.
- A negative comment on their physical appearance: can lead to depression or the person hiding from you.