Published on 17 August 2023 at 11:59

I think we hear a lot about boundaries these days and that it is important to have good boundaries.  What  are boundaries? Boundaries are really anything you put into place to protect yourself. There are many types of boundaries- physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, material, time, and intellectual-  to name a few. 


Healthy boundaries are very important to good mental health. A lack of boundaries will affect your relationships with others, and also impact the way that you feel about yourself. Many people are raised to believe that it is selfish to consider their own needs, and so struggle with healthy boundaries.


Boundaries should be based on your values, or the things that are important to you. 


Your boundaries are yours, and yours alone. Many of your boundaries might align with those who are close to you, but others will be unique.


Know your boundaries before entering a situation. This will make it less likely you'll do something you're not comfortable with.


Here are some tips to start you off on the right track!

Know your values.
Every person's limits are different, and they're often determined by their personal values. For example, if you value family above all else, this might lead to stricter limits on how late you will stay at work, away from family. Know what's most important to you, and protect it.

Listen to your emotions.
If you notice feelings of discomfort or resentment, don't bury them. Try to understand what your feelings are telling you. Resentment, for example, can often be traced to feelings of being taken advantage of.

Have self-respect.
If you always give in to others, ask if you are showing as much respect to yourself as you show to others. Boundaries that are too open might be due to misguided attempts to be liked by elevating other people's needs above one's own.

Have respect for others.
Be sure that your actions are not self-serving, at the expense of others. Interactions should not be about winning, or taking as much as possible. Instead, consider what's fair to everyone, given the setting and relationship. You might "win", but at the cost of a relationship's long-term health.

Be assertive.
When you know it's time to set a boundary, don't be shy. Say "no" respectfully, but without ambiguity. If you can make a compromise while respecting your own boundaries, try it. This is a good way to soften the "no", while showing respect to everyone involved.

Consider the long view.
Some days you will give more than you take, and other days you will take more than you give. Be willing to take a longer view of relationships, when appropriate. But if you're always the one who's giving or taking, there might be a problem


Remember, boundaries are there to protect you and are empowering! If you need any support feel free to reach out and comment below with any thoughts, 

Be well, Jennifer 

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Priscilla Whitlock-Coates
a year ago

You are amazing