LET’S TALK ABOUT BOUNDARIES
The term boundaries may be quite scary to hear if you have a difficult time understanding and implementing them in your personal life. Fear not! With some education and basic steps, boundaries can become easier to implement overtime with practice!
So first off, let’s start with the basics. Boundaries are rules that help people be treated with respect in relationships and with yourself. Healthy boundaries are essential in your workplace, with your family, friends, and of course, yourself!
There are many types of boundaries and setting boundaries can be hard to maneuver. You may even find yourself feeling guilty about saying no or using your voice. This may be because you may not feel confident enough as to how to communicate these boundaries.
Boundaries are communicated and enforced verbally and through behavior. Boundaries are not meant to push others away, it is a way of keeping them close. Embracing your needs and expressing these needs to your loved ones can help them further understand you and treat you the way you’d like to be treated.
WHAT KIND OF BOUNDARIES TO MAKE: ROADMAP TO BOUNDARY IMPLEMENTING
Research has found that there are six types of boundaries we implement in our lives which include:
- Emotional boundaries
- Physical boundaries
- Sexual boundaries
- Workplace boundaries
- Material boundaries
- Time boundaries
- Financial boundaries
All of these are important to implement, as emotional boundaries protect your emotions. Let’s say you are at a small gathering and someone brings up something personal about you that you aren’t fully prepared to talk about. You can imagine you’d feel a bit overwhelmed, nervous, and fearful.
But do not fear! Boundary setting is here! You can choose to say “I’d rather not discuss this topic at this time, please respect my choice” or “It would be best to discuss this topic privately and at another time and place.” Implementing a boundary in this scenario would protect your emotions and let nosy Susan know you aren’t about that life.
All other boundaries are equally as important to implement. Remember, boundaries are here to provide a blueprint/roadmap that communicates what you are okay with doing and what you are not okay with doing.
HOW TO BOUNDARY SET
The first step would be to write a list, explore your own values, and figure out what is important to you. Identifying your boundaries will make it clearer for you to implement.
Do you need more time to work on your schoolwork and less time socializing? This would be a time boundary to enforce.
Do you need to save money for a payment due and still want to celebrate your loved ones on their special day? This would be a financial boundary.
The next step would be to communicate your boundaries. It is important to remember to verbally and behaviorally communicate your boundaries. A phrase comes to mind when we are communicating boundaries — “Actions may speak louder than words.” So when enforcing boundaries, don’t forget to bring the action!
Finally, you are going to enforce your boundaries by sticking to the game plan! Although it’s okay to break routine from time to time, if we stray away from our routine often it can lead us into routines that may not serve us. It’s the same with boundaries. Sticking to your boundaries and enforcing them daily will help others take your values and boundaries seriously.
At the end of the day, boundaries can get tricky to maneuver, so it’s important to reach out in case you need further support. Let us help! Speaking to a mental health professional can help you further explore your own boundaries and communicate your needs to others.