Setting Healthy Boundaries
It can be difficult to know what boundaries you need to set in your life. They are essential to having healthy relationships, but what does having healthy boundaries even look like and how do you make it sustainable without pushing people away? Healthy boundaries comes down to truly knowing and understanding what your limits are. That comes with time and building a relationship with yourself to truly understand your own boundaries. Where do you start and how do you know what your own limits and boundaries are?
1. Assess your limits.
You won’t be able to set healthy boundaries, if you don’t first understand your limits. Identify your limits including physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual, and time limits. Think about what you can tolerate and accept as well as where you become stressed and uncomfortable.
2. Be direct with people.
Many people that you interact with will be different from you especially in their communication styles. That is why it is important to be direct with people and not assume that they know what your limits are. You are the one responsible for setting boundaries and it is not someone else’s responsibility to know what you need or when.
3. Recognize it is okay, healthy even, to set boundaries. Give yourself permission.
You may fear the other person’s response or that someone may leave you and abandon you for setting these boundaries. You may feel guilt for speaking up and saying no especially if you have previously set an expectation that you would accept something beyond your limits. Boundaries show healthy self-respect; respect that you show the world that you deserve. You need those boundaries so that you can remain whole to continue to give your full self to those relationships. Give yourself to set boundaries and work on maintaining them.
Boundaries are set by recognizing your feelings and honoring them. What feelings are coming up for you when you do or don’t set a boundary? Are you uncomfortable? What do you or could you have had control over?
5. Seek support.
It can be difficult on your own to figure out your own boundaries or what is a healthy boundary and what feels like too much. It can really help to have support. That can be done through support groups, therapy, friends, or sometimes family.
6. Learn to be assertive.
Setting boundaries is difficult, but you have to also follow through with them. This usually isn’t easy for you or for the other person. You are the one responsible for setting and holding those boundaries and being assertive in your communication lets them know where those boundaries are and also when they have crossed those boundaries. You want to learn to be respectful of the other person without being aggressive in your communication which can be a hard balance to find.
7. Start with small boundaries.
It takes practice. Starting with a small boundary that is with someone safe for you can be a good place to start. You have to build your success and try not to take on something too overwhelming to start. It takes a lot of courage, vulnerability, and patience with yourself and with others. It is a skill that takes time and hard work.
8. Boundaries are not set in stone.
It is important not to draw your boundaries in permanent ink. We are always growing and evolving and because of that it is important to allow our boundaries to be reassessed occasionally.
9. Get Help.
It is important to have people that you trust to help you and support you. If you find it difficult to open up to others around you or if you need an outside perspective, it may be time to reach out for therapy.
If you are searching for a therapist or counselor you can learn more about tips to starting therapy here or use a directory service where you can narrow your search based on types of therapy, insurance, location, etc.. Counselor directories to get started can include https://www.therapyden.com/ or mental health match.
If you are interested in connecting directly with Mindful Solutions you can reach out via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (619-353-5139), or book your free 30 minute consultation on our website!
*Although I am a therapist by profession, I am not YOUR therapist. This article is for informational and educational purposes only, does not replace therapy and does not establish any kind of therapist-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information. To see more information about our disclamer(s): https://www.mindfulsolutionscorp.com/disclaimers