Boundaries are defined as a line that marks the limits of an area. Personally, this relates to how you allow others to behave toward you and how you respond. In terms of relationships, boundaries can be physical, emotional, material, mental, spiritual, and sexual. Boundaries can be a framework in your relationships and can guide how you obtain, maintain, and potentially end relationships.
Without establishing strong boundaries you cannot support healthy relationships. Boundaries are often things that need to be formed, analyzed and improved upon throughout our lives. Here are a few tips on how to establish healthy boundaries in your life.
1. Self-Reflect. Take a look at your boundaries and past experiences in your relationships. Are there things that make you uncomfortable? In order to establish any boundaries, you need to recognize what you are willing to accept and what you are not.
2. Set Criteria. Establish your boundaries and then decide how you are going to implement them.
3. Follow Through. Now that you have created your boundaries, follow through in keeping them. This might include having a conversation with someone or saying ‘no’ to someone, or not taking part in an activity.
4. Evaluate and Keep Practicing. Take a look at the progression of your boundary setting and its effectiveness. Decide if you need to make any adjustments or if you need to keep pushing forward.
Healthy boundary setting can be a work-in-progress and if you are setting boundaries for the first time in an area, it can be challenging. Keep in mind that establishing boundaries is a skill that will allow you to fully express who you are in your relationships and can help you grow individually. Through ongoing boundaries you can expect respectful, nurturing and supportive relationships!