This is what you need to know about boundaries.
Boundaries are what shows others what we will and won’t accept and is based on our own personal experiences and values.
Who needs to set boundaries?
Everyone needs to set boundaries. Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and a healthy life.
Unfortunately, setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill not many have mastered. For a lot of people, this relationship necessity is still a challenge.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what boundaries are all about, read on find out exactly what you need to know:
1. Find out what your limits are
You cannot set boundaries if you don’t even know what your limits are. Identify your physical,mental and spiritual limits. What makes you feel uncomfortable? What causes you stress or impacts your wellbeing?
2. How are you feeling?
If you feel uncomfortable, resentful and you start to avoid interactions with a certain person these are indications that your boundaries have been violated. If you feel that you are being taken advantage of or not being appreciated it’s a clear sign that you’ve been overgiving or overextending yourself.
3. Don’t sugarcoat things
Be direct. The more clear you are with your communication, the easier it will be for others to honour and respect your needs. People are not mind readers and everyone’s boundaries do not look the same. People are not responsible for knowing what you need, you have to tell them.
4. Don’t be hard on yourself
It is common to feel guilty when trying to set boundaries, particularly if it’s new to you. This is completely normal and not a sign that you shouldn’t have set the boundary in the first place. Remind yourself that your needs are important to and you recognising that is an act of self love.
5. Be self aware
If you feel yourself going back to familiar behaviour or habits, start over. Give yourself grace and pick yourself up to keep trying. Every time you learn from these experiences and it will give you the tools to try something better next time. Don’t be afraid to start again.
6. Surround yourself with supportive people
Consider your relationships and where you spend your time. Are your relationships reciprocal? Is there healthy give and take? The healthiest relationships offer support and enhance your life in positive ways.
7. Learn to put yourself first
“Do not pour from an empty cup”. Cliche but true. You cannot take care of other people if you have not taken care of yourself first.The more we take care of ourselves the more we can take care of others.
8. Find an accountability partner
Anytime you feel yourself slacking, talk to an accountability partner. Read what you can on the topic. If you are struggling, seeing a therapist will help you to address the deeper issues preventing you from establishing healthier boundaries.
9. Be assertive.
You can be a kind person and still say no. Do not back down when someone crosses or violates your boundaries. Learn to stand up for yourself with clear and assertive communication.
10. Practice, practice, practice.
Like any other skill, you need to practice setting boundaries.The more you do it the easier it becomes.
To learn about all things boundaries you can download the free guide 5 Steps to Setting Boundaries or follow my page over on Instagram.
I’m Lizandra and am an online psychotherapist and coach working online and based in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. I help individuals and couple to have better relationships, through setting boundaries and letting go of unhelpful behaviours.
You can learn more about me here