Setting boundaries is a fundamental part of having a healthy life, both physically and emotionally. Boundaries are essential to living a healthy lifestyle. Allowing yourself to create clear and concise personal boundaries is a necessary part of life. It is also one of the most difficult things to do. Many people go their whole lives with out every setting boundaries. Not setting boundaries can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and eventually manifest into poor physical health. Knowing this would make it easy to set boundaries, unfortunately it is not.
I like to think of boundaries as our own little houses. Sounds simple, but to really understand how boundaries work think of it this way. We all have our own home, picture this home with an imaginary fence. There is a fence around a neighbor’s home. You know it is their property and it is being marked off by a fence. You don’t go inside this space because you have not been invited. Boundaries are like the fence. You do not enter unless it you have been given permission. It is the invisible line that should not be crossed.
How To Set Emotional Boundaries
Emotional boundaries are tough. There are different types of emotional boundaries, I am talking about the boundaries we create with family and friends. These boundaries are fundamental for good health and self respect. Many times we choose to loosen our boundaries with the people in our lives as a means to create better personal connection. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. By blurring the lines of what we expect and accept, we are exhibiting a lack of self respect for ourselves and others. We must define clear cut, guiding laws for ourselves. Here are a few ways to do that:
Say no, or yes. Depending on your stance on a subject, you are training the people around you to know what you will and won’t do. You must be prepared to accept a no from these same people. Boundaries go both ways. Be confident in your “no”. If you are being asked to do something that is against your belief system, or you simply don’t wish to indulge in something you are being asked to do; be secure in your decision.
Realize that your needs and desires are yours. Own them. We all have different needs. Our needs vary from those around us, whether we are close to them or not. Things that you need in your life my differ from family members. They raised you, but somewhere along the way, you grow and become the person you are to be. Sometimes this can be in contrast to other members of your family, and your friends for that matter. There is nothing wrong with living differently than the family paradigm.
Don’t feel guilty or selfish. You aren’t. You have a right to your feelings, just as others have a right to theirs. And never apologize for the boundary you are setting, have the courage of your conviction. It is difficult to set boundaries and if you are new to it, anxiety can prevent you from doing this. Regrettably, setting boundaries can be difficult when you are afraid of hurting the other person’s feelings.
Time Is On Your Side
Setting boundaries doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience, patience with yourself and patience with others. Change is difficult for people, when those people are family and friends, it is even more daunting. If you are “changing” the pattern on them because you never had boundaries with them, this can be a difficult situation. Reassure them that you love them and it isn’t personal, it is something you need to do for you to thrive. Realizing that establishing boundaries helps you to understand your needs better while giving others the opportunity to understand you as well.
Do you need to set some boundaries? If you find yourself ranting or complaining, resentful or angry? Chances are you need to set some boundaries. Decide what is right for you and begin the process. You will go along way towards creating a more healthy life for yourself and your relationships when you forge ahead with this process. Surround yourself with those that lift you up and garner their support anytime you feel yourself need reassurance. Boundaries is not a negative, it is one of the best things you can do for your own health. Try it. Here’s to building your own personal “fence”…..