5 Benefits To Setting Healthy Boundaries And Where To Start
If you haven’t already seen Brene Brown’s video on boundaries, it’s worth checking out below. As she puts it, boundaries are simply what is okay and what is not okay. Sounds simple, right? Well, in the real world of family obligations, people pleasing, demanding relationships, co-dependency or just wanting to be liked, it can be unbelievably awkward and confrontational if you are not used to it. There are similarly those people who overstep boundaries all the time. What setting boundaries reveals is how deeply you have the courage to love yourself, even if you are going to disappoint others some of the time. The catch is, once you no longer need the approval of others, it sets the stage for genuine relationships where all parties involved are loved, honoured and respected for who they truly are.
The greatest thing about setting healthy boundaries is it creates clear communication for everyone, so you establish where one person ends and other person begins. This issue is everywhere in adult life, so it can be in your personal relationship, family life, at the office, or even at the gym. People who have a tendency to overstep other people’s boundaries, extreme versions being bullies, are people who have no boundaries and often grew up in homes where limitations were never set or co-dependency ran rampant. Your duty is to learn to take care of yourself first, and once you do that, everything will fall into place.
Here’s Brene Brown’s video on boundaries:
Here are some techniques to learn how to establish boundaries and some of the benefits you can gain by firmly setting them in place. What is clear is that your relationships will transform for the better with a bit of time. First steps to take:
Honour Your Feelings
If you have various relationships that drain you, feel demanding or threatening in anyway, don’t ignore feelings that rise to the surface. It could be a colleague, a partner, or a close friend. Once you take a moment to recognize how certain people make you feel and what troubles you, things will become clearer. Honour those feelings and speak up when it happens. Often we only speak out when we are way beyond the “enough” stage, so addressing your limits as soon as you sense strong feelings of discomfort makes things easier for everyone involved. Remember, this is about taking care of your own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing first.
Communicate Your Boundaries, They Are Your Values
It’s vital to understand what you are comfortable with and what you are uncomfortable with. It ultimately revolves around your personal, core values. For example, if you prefer being in a monogamous relationship, that needs to be stated in your relationship as a boundary. If you loathe dishonesty, state that you don’t accept lying. If you need structure while working, let people know that you are unavailable to talk between working hours, and feel comfortable turning your phone off. These are just some examples; you will know what rubs you the wrong way. Your boundaries are about you, so once you know what you value in life, you will be better at asserting them calmly and lovingly. Ask yourself, what is important to me in my relationships?
Learn To Say No
If you are someone who is overly helpful, easily taken advantage of, or you have friends who don’t know their limits, it might be hard to say ‘no.’ Saying no doesn’t imply that you are not generous, loving, and kind. It means you know when, for example, you have a lot on your plate and are quite overwhelmed, it’s not the time to take on other peoples emotional problems, or add more work when you’re unable to deal with what you have. It’s better to say ‘no’ by honouring your feelings and you’ll do the other person a favour by not harbouring bitterness towards them. Learn not to assume anything about another person, as it may be far from reality.
Maintain Your Boundaries
Once you start setting your boundaries, you must maintain them, meaning your words and actions are all aligned. If you have friends or family members that often push your boundaries, it might throw them off once you start drawing the line. That’s okay, you’ll learn that your needs matter, and they will quickly learn that certain behaviours are simply no longer acceptable to you. It’s worth the time and effort, and setting healthy boundaries is a sacred act of self-care.
Here are 5 worthy benefits you can gain by establishing healthy boundaries in your relationships:
Compassionate And Meaningful Relationships
Many people believe that if they set boundaries in their relationships, they will disappoint those they care for. It’s important to realize that we all have values, and each of us is responsible for taking care of him or herself. When you respect your own needs, you invariably learn to respect others too. And when you do say ‘yes’, you will be pleased to give to those you love. When you can share your needs openly, you will be letting people know exactly who you are and what you value in life. This openness in your relationships will create meaningful bonds with those you love, while bringing compassion and understanding to the forefront for everyone.
Experience Less Anger and Resentment
Once you start loving yourself, you can offer much more to people and it prevents you from falling into deep anger and resentment when you do things unwillingly. If you’re used to saying ‘yes’ to people all the time, deep anger and resentment will certainly accumulate over time. Ultimately, a sense of low-self esteem and lack of honest communication will further magnify the problem.
Time and Energy
Once you are able to give yourself the time and energy to do the things that matter, like nurture yourself through self-care, you will be more present when you are with others and able to share the best version of you. Dropping those emotionally draining or demanding relationships will give you more time to be with people who fill you up in healthier ways. As Brene Brown mentions, “only when we believe, deep down, that we are enough can we say ‘Enough’!”
Safe And At Peace
What happens when you give too much or say yes to everything? Eventually, the cork will pop off and the emotional explosion can be unpleasant or on the drama-filled side. When you set your boundaries, others begin to feel safe knowing what is acceptable behavior, and you feel safe expressing yourself peacefully. It also means that you no longer give your power away, so feelings of helplessness dissolve as you learn to manage your time wisely and cultivate confidence.
Healthy Communication and Assertiveness
Learning to set boundaries will also help you establish healthy communication with others, allowing for greater clarity and deeper connections. You will likewise know how to state your needs and ask for them when it’s necessary, while accepting a ‘no’ response too. People who are often very giving don’t know how to ask for help or feel that they are inconveniencing others. Once you learn that giving and receiving are equally important, your needs will be met in a better manner. This will help you in all relationships, whether it’s with your partner, boss, or friend. Additionally, this is a fantastic way to practice healthy communication and conflict resolution, empowering yourself in beneficial behaviours.
That’s all, folks! We hope this inspires you to set healthy boundaries for better relationships and a happier you!