What are Boundaries?
“Boundaries” is a term that many people use when talking about relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and other individuals in their lives. Boundaries are established rules and limits that we set in order to have healthy connections with others. These boundaries allow us to speak up for ourselves and our own needs while protecting the relationship. Boundaries are all about respect and understanding. Our values come into play by determining what is most important to us and how these values shape our decisions in relationships. For example, if your top value is timeliness, a boundary may be that your friends and family needs to put in efforts to be on time for events. Know your boundaries before entering a situation. Use assertiveness, confidence, and respect when setting boundaries.
Types of Boundaries
Rigid – Not forming close relationships to avoid being hurt, does not share personal information, does not ask for help, has few close relationships
Porous – Accepts being mistreated or disrespected, overshares personal information, fears rejection, very dependent on others
Healthy – Respects their own values, shares an appropriate amount with others, communicates their needs, allows others to say “no” to them
These boundaries can be different depending on setting, people involved, and culture. Boundaries come in all types: physical, emotional, sexual, material, time, and intellectual. Again, all boundaries are based on respecting others’ needs and are violated when this is not followed through.
Ways to Say “No”
-I don’t want to do that.
-This is unacceptable.
-I changed my mind.
-I can’t do that for you.
How do you set and use boundaries in your personal relationships? Comment below!