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How to create healthy boundaries

How to create healthy boundaries

Written by
Lewis Orr
Jul 9, 2021

What are boundaries and why do we need them?

The term “boundaries” is thrown around a lot in the media these days. We hear it in the context of commands or criticism: “respect my boundaries”, or “he’s got no boundaries”, etc. But let's be clear, we are not discussing geographical boundaries. We are talking here about individual boundaries, which can be encompassed in a mental, emotional, and physical form. What are boundaries? Consider boundaries as the limits of what you deem acceptable behaviour towards yourself or others. That is, when we say “you just crossed a line” we mean someone's behaviour has gone from the type which doesn’t cause emotional harm to that which causes emotional harm.  This explains why boundaries are important, especially in relationships. When establishing the terms of our emotional wellbeing, we ensure that no member of the relationship emotionally suffers. At a deeper level, by compromising our boundaries we create a toxic relationship, where responsibility and power are not shared well. Boundaries clarify individuals in a relationship so that everyone involved can enjoy rights and agency; they are individuals with equal power. Examples of boundaries you might hear mentioned include:

Examples of boundaries

Digital I’m fine with following each other on social media, but not with sharing passwords

Physical I’m fine with kissing and holding hands, but not in public

Social I must spend a certain amount of time with friends and family on the weekends

Three ways to create boundaries

Boundaries determine who we are and what we want. If our boundaries have been crossed, we most likely have compromised on what we want. The blindingly obvious result is that when we do not set worthwhile boundaries, we can cause ourselves “stress, financial burdens, wasted time, and relationship issues” to name a few examples . How do we overcome this issue? There are three ways below:

1. Extract the difference between what you say and what you mean

We try to conceal our true feelings because we are scared of the way we think the rest of the world will react. As we do so, we forget that nearly everyone does not care, and those who matter care about what you want. Get clear on what your boundaries are and start small. Set a boundary with a trusted friend or relative who you can trust will likely continue to accept and love you either way. Taking a small risk is easier than tackling the scarier options in your life.

2. Thank your friends and family when they set their own boundaries

Celebrate the establishment of boundaries. When you set and follow your own, you will understand the importance of your friends and families boundaries.

3. Consider how your life will be different

Think of how much richer your days will be following what you want. This time on earth is not a dress rehearsal! We must try not to expend what time we have abiding by the whims of those around us. We must do what we want (within reason), assisting our family and community to that end. Never lose sight of where you want to go in life and what you truly want.

How to create healthy boundaries

July 9, 2021

What are boundaries and why do we need them?

The term “boundaries” is thrown around a lot in the media these days. We hear it in the context of commands or criticism: “respect my boundaries”, or “he’s got no boundaries”, etc. But let's be clear, we are not discussing geographical boundaries. We are talking here about individual boundaries, which can be encompassed in a mental, emotional, and physical form. What are boundaries? Consider boundaries as the limits of what you deem acceptable behaviour towards yourself or others. That is, when we say “you just crossed a line” we mean someone's behaviour has gone from the type which doesn’t cause emotional harm to that which causes emotional harm.  This explains why boundaries are important, especially in relationships. When establishing the terms of our emotional wellbeing, we ensure that no member of the relationship emotionally suffers. At a deeper level, by compromising our boundaries we create a toxic relationship, where responsibility and power are not shared well. Boundaries clarify individuals in a relationship so that everyone involved can enjoy rights and agency; they are individuals with equal power. Examples of boundaries you might hear mentioned include:

Examples of boundaries

Digital I’m fine with following each other on social media, but not with sharing passwords

Physical I’m fine with kissing and holding hands, but not in public

Social I must spend a certain amount of time with friends and family on the weekends

Three ways to create boundaries

Boundaries determine who we are and what we want. If our boundaries have been crossed, we most likely have compromised on what we want. The blindingly obvious result is that when we do not set worthwhile boundaries, we can cause ourselves “stress, financial burdens, wasted time, and relationship issues” to name a few examples . How do we overcome this issue? There are three ways below:

1. Extract the difference between what you say and what you mean

We try to conceal our true feelings because we are scared of the way we think the rest of the world will react. As we do so, we forget that nearly everyone does not care, and those who matter care about what you want. Get clear on what your boundaries are and start small. Set a boundary with a trusted friend or relative who you can trust will likely continue to accept and love you either way. Taking a small risk is easier than tackling the scarier options in your life.

2. Thank your friends and family when they set their own boundaries

Celebrate the establishment of boundaries. When you set and follow your own, you will understand the importance of your friends and families boundaries.

3. Consider how your life will be different

Think of how much richer your days will be following what you want. This time on earth is not a dress rehearsal! We must try not to expend what time we have abiding by the whims of those around us. We must do what we want (within reason), assisting our family and community to that end. Never lose sight of where you want to go in life and what you truly want.