A buzz word I keep hearing these days is “boundaries”, but what exactly are boundaries and why are they necessary?
Boundaries are personal limits or rules that you set to determine what is okay and what is not okay in relationships. There are many types of boundaries including:
Everyone has different personal boundaries. What one person is comfortable with, another person may not be. Our personal boundaries are shaped by experiences including how you were raised, your culture, and the society you live in.
Unhealthy boundaries can be too strict and rigid, or too open and flexible. A person with rigid boundaries may have a hard time developing close relationships, despite a desire for closeness. For example, Shyanne refuses to go out with colleagues after work because she wants to keep work and home life separate, but then feels left out and lonely when her colleagues leave together on Friday. A person with boundaries that are too flexible may let others get too close too quickly, despite a desire for more distance. For example, Darren’s girlfriend has been at his house for 3 nights in a row and even though he keeps telling her she can stay, he really wishes he had time alone.
Healthy boundaries are important to protect our own well-being and to foster healthy relationships. Healthy boundaries keep us close to others while protecting us from being taken advantage of by others. A person with healthy boundaries:
Knowing, setting, and communicating your boundaries can feel difficult. It takes determination and practice to build boundaries into your relationships, especially if setting boundaries is new to you.
The first step is discovering what your personal boundaries are. Here are some questions that will help you reflect on your boundaries:
Learn more about how to set and communicate your personal boundaries to friends, family, coworkers, and more. Book your session today.
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