The importance of boundaries.
Are you feeling drained, frustrated and taken advantage of? Chances are, that somewhere, someone hasn’t understood the basic rules of boundaries. Is it a partner, friend or colleague overstepping the mark? Perhaps you're not expressing your boundaries clearly enough, or trying to be all things to all people which, let's face it, is exhausting.
Saying 'no' to people isn’t easy. But by establishing clear boundaries we create more enjoyable, productive, peaceful and positive relationships.
Setting and respecting boundaries is an important part of learning respect for yourself and for others. They help us to learn what is and isn’t acceptable and encourage learned behaviour over time.
Boundaries can be mental, physical, emotional, workplace related and even material possessions. They help us protect ourselves from manipulation, energy vampires, self-indulgent narcissists, bullying and exploitation.
They empower us to be able to say ‘no’ when we’re uncomfortable in a situation or with someone you love. They also enable us to become more aware of others’ boundaries and to accept a ‘no’, without taking it personally.
Setting boundaries can be uncomfortable and awkward, particularly when we’re often taught 'consideration' and to put others 'first'. But the consequences of not setting them can be even more serious. Let's face it we've all been there!
It's important to stay true to yourself and follow these boundary setting tips for a more fulfilled life:
Be proactive. Prevent problems before they arise by cutting them off at the pass.
Be self-aware. Reflect on the feelings and situations that make you feel uncomfortable. Consider ways to stop these from occurring and most importantly - take action!
Let go of the idea that other people’s feelings and needs are more important than your own. Both sets of feelings are important and by clearly expressing your boundaries, both will be respected.
To communicate your boundaries clearly you don't need to be confrontational. Nor do you have make excuses - your feelings are real and valid. Mutual respect is garnered if you speak honestly and openly.
Realise and accept that it’s ok to put yourself and your feelings first. You owe it to yourself to be the best version of yourself you can be.
If boundaries are crossed, make sure to explain what upsets you by using only the facts. For example: "When xxx happens I feel..." Honesty is important and the facts keep the emotions out of navigating to a resolution
These will also help you become more conscious of other peoples’ boundaries. A mutual understanding and respect is essential in any relationship and would make the world a much better and happier place for everyone!