Updated: Jul 7, 2020
Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and, really, a healthy life. Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many of us don’t learn. We might pick up pointers here and there from experience or through watching others. But for many of us, boundary-building is a relatively new concept and a challenging one.
Having healthy boundaries means “knowing and understanding what your limits are”.
In one of my previous blogs, I had emphasized on, "Why Is It Important To Make Personal Boundaries?" It only made me realize that I need to share my experiences with all of you on how I built and preserved boundaries.
Below are some insights into building better boundaries and maintaining them:
[Health tip source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_w1s58lvtf/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link ]
1)Name your limits. Always name your boundaries in whatever way you can. This helps you to know your limits. Consider what you can tolerate and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed. Those feelings help us identify what our limits are.
Tip: Start categorizing your limits to identify them all.
2)Tune into your feelings. When someone acts in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, that's a cue to us that they may be violating or crossing a boundary.
Tip: Start identifying WHAT you resent.
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3) Be Direct. Like any new skill, assertively communicating your boundaries takes practice. Starting with a small boundary that isn’t threatening to you, and then incrementally increasing to more challenging boundaries is a way forward. “Build upon your success, and [at first] try not to take on something that feels overwhelming.”
Tip: Start identifying YOUR dialogue style.
4) Give yourself permission. Boundaries aren't just a sign of a healthy relationship; they are a sign of self respect. So give yourself the permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them.
Tip: Identify YOUR potential pitfalls.
5) Practice Self-Awareness. Boundaries are all about honing in on your feelings and honoring them.
Tip: Assess the situation, mull over the options and identify whats in your control.
6) Consider your past and present. How you were raised along with your role in your family can become additional obstacles in setting and preserving boundaries. If you held the role of a caretaker, you learned to focus on others. letting yourself be drained emotionally or physically. Ignoring your own needs might have become the norm for you.
Tip: Check ''Are the relationships reciprocal?", ''Is there a healthy give and take?''
7) Make self care a priority. Give yourself permission to put yourself first. Recognize the importance of your feelings and honour them. Putting yourself first gives you the energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there for them.
Tip: Make a list of what makes you happy and unhappy.
8) Seek Support. If you are having a hard time with boundaries. 'seek some support whether (that's) a support group, church, counselling, coaching or good friends." With friends or family, you can even make "it a priority with each other to practice setting boundaries together (and) hold each other accountable."
Like any new skill, assertively communicating your boundaries takes practice. Starting with a small boundary that isn’t threatening to you, and then incrementally increasing to more challenging boundaries is a way forward. “Build upon your success, and [at first] try not to take on something that feels overwhelming.”
Setting boundaries takes courage, practice and support. And remember that it’s a skill you can master.
Listen to our Founder Ms. Ruchi Bakhai share her thoughts on the difference between Boundaries and Ultimatums:
Author: Ruchika Saraf, A Content Writing Intern at EduPsych and a mental advocate!