Clear, healthy boundaries come down to behaviour and responsibility. Essentially, if we move from a flexible position and are able to recognize what is our responsibility in relationships and what belongs to others, we are on the road to forming appropriate boundaries for ourselves. This is not always an easy process, and can take both some commitment and practice, but it is possible.
First we begin by understanding how we came to having poor boundaries (yesterday’s post). From here, we can begin to work towards forming healthy boundaries by:
- Learning how to say no. In other words, when someone asks you to do something, it doesn’t have to be an automatic yes. It can be a “let me get back to you” answer so that you can take some time to discover if you have the time, support and desire to dedicate yourself fully to what is being asked of you. This is an important boundary to establish both at work and in your personal life.
- Ask yourself “Is this really about me?” Very often, when other people in our lives are drama-driven, they will create scenarios that try and pull you into their unhealthy space. If it makes no sense, it is most likely not about you. Don’t take the bait – choosing to not engage is forming a healthy boundary!
- Use your intuition. We all have our own set of values and moral code. You can stick to that regardless of what others in your life choose to do or pressure you to do. It is okay to create limits for yourself that feel right for you.
- Use the 24 hour rule. Have a big decision to make? Not sure how to respond to someone else’s emotional reaction? Slow everything down. It is okay to take some time to figure out what boundary needs to be put into place for your own emotional health.
- Understand that you have choices. We all have challenges in our lives that we have to navigate through; sometimes those come to us in the form of a relationship. You have choices available to you in how you handle any given situation. If you are unsure, ask someone who you look up to, get professional advice, read and research. Knowing that we have choices is an important component to giving ourselves permission to set healthy limits.
- Be self-reflective. One of the best ways to continue to increase our sense of self is to be in a state of learning. Read the self-help books, listen to the podcasts, watch the Ted talks that support the area that you are trying to heal from and grow into.
Setting clear boundaries is key to feeling grounded and secure. It is one of the ways that we can begin to gather strength in ourselves so as to be in healthy, reciprocal relationships with others. Healthy boundaries are a gift that we give ourselves 🙂
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@jamietempleton