Building Better Boundaries
What are boundaries? These are guidelines, rules or limits you create for things you will accept as reasonable or safe.
These limits can be
The easiest way to think about a boundary is like a property line. With ‘No Trespassing’ signs. Basically very clear and obvious and everyone can see it. Personal boundaries can be harder to define altogether. The lines are invisible, can change, and are unique to each individual. Additionally this will also depend on how you grew up. Consequently if you weren’t heard and respected, or had movable ‘goal posts’ on what is right, you may have wobbly guidelines. Building better boundaries empowers choice, protects self esteem and promotes healthy relationships.
Why is it important to set boundaries?
Contrarily having firm defined self rules helps you:
- To practice self-care and self-respect
- To communicate your needs in relationships
- To make time and space for positive interactions
- To set limits in relationships in a way that is healthy
subsequently helping to build and maintain emotional resilience.
Barriers to Boundary Setting
Undeniably it’s not always easy to set or keep a boundary. You may have wanted to fit in, receive affection or feel needed resulting in accepting different behaviours.
Additionally you may have difficulty with boundaries due to
- fear of rejection and, ultimately, abandonment.
- fear of confrontation.
- Not taught healthy boundaries.
- Safety Concerns
Because these reasons can be uncomfortable they can be difficult to face or accept. But with exploration in a safe space and practice – it is possible to create your boundaries.
Benefits of Healthy Boundaries
Being kind to yourself and accepting this may be difficult is the first step to exploring boundaries. This offers the chance to be honest and therefore build better boundaries. Consequently benefitting from:
- Higher self-esteem and self-respect.
- Sharing personal information gradually, in a mutually sharing and trusting relationship.
- Protecting physical and emotional space from intrusion.
- Equal partnerships with shared responsibility and power.
- Being assertive. Confidence in being truthful and able to say “yes” or “no” and accept when others say “no” to you.
- Separating your needs, thoughts, feelings, and desires from others.
- Being yourself and take responsibility for your actions
Talking about feelings and receiving unconditional support helps to know your limits and what you will accept.
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About the author: Chris Boobier is the owner of CRB Counselling specialising in anxiety, trauma, Bereavement & loss. Supporting adults and adolescents, she is passionate about helping people be their authentic self through counselling.