Building Better Boundaries
Building Better Boundaries: How To Set Boundaries That Will Stick
Do you feel like you’re being walked all over by the people in your life? Are you trying to keep a distance from someone in the interest of your own mental health? If so, you might benefit from maintaining personal boundaries. But, of course, setting and keeping boundaries is much easier said than done. In this article, we’ll go over how to set successful boundaries and stick to them.
Setting Boundaries: How It Works
Most people know what the word “boundaries” means, but not as many actually understand what boundaries really are. Essentially, boundaries and limits help us take care of ourselves by avoiding resentment, disappointment, and anger. They are essential for building and maintaining healthy relationships, whether personal or professional.
Some people have very loose or almost nonexistent boundaries, while others have very rigid and strict ones. This solely depends on the individual and what they’ve been through. However, everyone is encouraged to implement some sort of boundary in at least one area of their lives. Studies have shown that loose boundaries might lead to unhappiness and unhealthy behaviors.
Who Could Benefit From Setting Boundaries?
Anyone and everyone could benefit from setting boundaries, especially:
- Those who feel taken advantage of at work or home.
- Those starting out in a new work environment
- Individuals who want to stand up for themselves
- People who are usually afraid of conflict
- People who have experienced trauma
- Those with strained parent relationships
- People getting in new relationships
Of course, the appropriate types of boundaries vary depending on why someone is setting them and what environment they are setting them in. There are five main types of boundaries that people can implement in their everyday lives.
The Five Types of Boundaries
As we mentioned, you can set boundaries in the context of personal, professional, or romantic relationships. Every boundary that you set will likely fit within one of these five categories:
- Intellectual – regarding thoughts, opinions, and beliefs
- Emotional – waiting to share feelings and personal stories
- Physical boundaries – personal space, privacy, comfortability with PDA
- Sexual boundaries – waiting to have sex, not wanting certain touches
- Financial – not spending money on certain things or not loaning money
Now that you know the five types of boundaries, we can talk about how to create the right boundaries and start setting them.
How to Create & Set Successful Boundaries
Here are some tips that could help you set successful boundaries with bosses, coworkers, family members, friends, roommates, and even romantic partners:
- Make your expectations clear. When telling someone about a boundary you’re setting, establish what you will accept from them and what they can expect from you.
- Write it out. Write down the boundaries you want to set and why you want to set them.
- Value yourself. Remember to value your own opinions even when others don’t.
- Practice self-reflection daily and identify any problematic behaviors.
- Start small. If you’re new to setting boundaries, start with small ones.
- Set them early. Set boundaries early on in relationships or in a career.
- Talk it out. Verbalize what has an impact on your comfort levels.
- Try to understand. Recognize your needs and how to communicate them.
If you set your boundaries successfully, it will be much easier to stick to them. Unfortunately, it is much harder to stick with boundaries than it is to set them. But once you get used to maintaining your boundaries, it will get a lot easier.
Sticking To The Boundaries You Set
The most important thing to do when upholding boundaries is to separate your feelings from another person’s and remember that yours come first. The person you set boundaries will likely push back, so you have to stick to your ground. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty for the boundaries you decide to set for yourself. The stronger you hold on to your boundaries, the more in control of your life you will become.
It is also vital to note that boundaries may shift and change as you do. Sometimes, it’s necessary to tweak your boundaries so they will suit you better. You should definitely have and maintain boundaries, but you shouldn’t let them dictate your life. Your intuition is there for a reason, so sometimes you just have to trust it.