5 Steps to Setting Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries - it’s a very popular word these days, so why all the buzz?
What does it really mean?
Why is setting boundaries so important?
What’s the purpose?
And how do I do it?
When I talk about setting boundaries with clients many of them ask these types of questions. Why?
Well because as Gen X women this wasn’t really a topic that we grew up with.
I mean, yes we had boundaries, but I don't remember them being “labeled.”
Boundaries is definitely a big buzzword now-a-days.
As we lose the stigma of mental health and begin to focus on the importance of creating an environment free of toxicity - including toxic relationships, toxic work environments, toxic conversations, toxic friends, toxic social media - a few things happen:
We increase our self esteem
We create more positivity in our lives
We decrease our stress, improving our overall health
Boundaries aren’t meant to cut people off or to alienate people.
Boundaries are meant to be connecting points. They are meant to empower us. They give us the ability to create healthy rules for navigating all kinds of relationships. From professional relationships to intimate relationships, to mere acquaintances.
Think of boundaries as a set of basic guidelines of how you want to be treated. Boundaries help ensure that relationships can be mutually respectful, appropriate, and kind.
Honestly, if done correctly, with both participants honoring each other’s boundaries, it can bring people closer.
Having boundaries allows you to make YOU, your mental health and physical health a top priority. Whether your boundaries are around your health, career, or relationships, boundaries can help you achieve more with less stress!
When it comes to setting boundaries, remember two things (1) it’s okay to be flexible with your boundaries. Boundaries can evolve as you evolve as an individual. (2) You don’t need to have the same boundaries as anyone else. Boundaries are very personal. Based on YOU, your beliefs and lifestyle.
When it comes to pursuing your goals, I believe boundaries are very important to achieving success!!
When you set boundaries, you’re claiming that you are worth the time and energy. That your needs are just as important as everyone else's!
It’s not selfish ~ it’s truly empowering and allows you to honor YOUR needs!
Here are 5 Steps to Setting Healthy Boundaries
Start by understanding why you need certain boundaries with specific individuals in your life. That way when you are discussing these boundaries with that person you are able to paint a clear picture of your needs.
Clearly identify your boundary - this will help you feel confident about what you expect in your space, as well as reduce misunderstandings by others.
Be open, honest, and specific when you are discussing your needs. Try to ditch the people pleasing tendencies that so many of us have to avoid conflict or in fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Remember, it is not mean or selfish by having boundaries.
Ditch the apology!! You are not doing anything wrong by setting and enforcing your boundaries. No apology is required. When we begin to apologize for feeling a certain way it makes us look weak, guilty, or afraid. Boundaries are meant to empower!!
Let the individual know when they have overstepped the boundaries immediately!! Don’t wait until someone has repeatedly violated your boundary before you speak up. But also, make sure you are not changing the boundaries you set without giving the other person notice! It’s okay for your boundaries to evolve as you evolve, but make sure everyone is on the same page.
Boundaries help others understand what you expect from them, as well as what they can expect from you. Communicating is key here!
Boundaries allow you to maintain the space you need to stay mentally and emotionally healthy and feel safe. This helps you be at your very best for yourself, and for the people who count on you.
You have the right and responsibility to communicate the types of behavior you will not allow in your personal space.
The only person you can control in this life as yourself, your choices, your actions, and your reactions.
People are not always going to like the changes you are making. The lifestyle choices that you are incorporating but remember setting those boundaries is about you, it's not about them.
Boundaries are not an attempt to control others in any way, they are there so you can thrive in the situation you’re creating for yourself.