Personal boundaries are about respecting and valuing yourself and ensuring the relationships and people you interact with are also respectful, loving, and healthy.
Personal boundaries are often an indication of a person’s self-esteem.
Boundaries help us set limits on what we will and won’t tolerate in our lives and they clearly communicate to others the value we place on ourselves and others. People without healthy personal boundaries often end up in less-than-ideal situations and relationships in both their personal and working life.
Tips for establishing healthy boundaries:
Value yourself. You have the ability to set your own boundaries as you see fit!
Very few people will treat you better than you treat yourself. You are the captain of your own ship, how you think about yourself reflects on how you treat and prioritise yourself and others.
Define yourself. Decide who you are, what you want to be, and how you deserve to be treated.
What are you willing to accept from others?
What are you no longer willing to accept?
Take responsibility for your health and well-being and your relationships by reviewing your boundaries.
If you don’t define yourself, the rest of the world will do it for you.
Place a priority and value on yourself.
Others are important, but they are not any more important than you.
If you take care of yourself first, you’re in a better position to take care of others.
Running yourself ragged for others or prioritising their needs above your own is not helping anyone.
In fact, the better your boundaries are, the more likely it is that you will be in a better position to help others. You will be a better friend, parent, spouse, and employee if you take good care of yourself.
Consider where and how you need to set limits in your life.
It is sadly true that you get in life what you are willing to tolerate.
This starts subconsciously and ties into your self-esteem and self-worth.
Are you constantly placing your needs below everyone else’s?
Perhaps it’s time to take a personal inventory and spend more time valuing and loving yourself.
If you find this a struggle finding a good counsellor can help.
Make your boundaries firm and clear.
Make your boundaries reasonable, but clear to others.
If others know where you stand on certain issues and how you wish to be treated there is less chance for miscommunication and conflict. Communicate your needs to the people you live and work with and let them know clearly what's okay and not okay with you. Then, be open to compromise to ensure their needs and boundaries are also met.
Sometimes you may decide that what was or was not acceptable in the past has changed.
We are constantly evolving, growing, and changing. Allowing yourself to continue to shift and change your boundaries around your space, time, and relationships as needed in an intentional way so you can continue to feel a healthy sense of self is important. Studies have shown that people with some flexibility in their boundaries tend to have to best combination of happiness and success.
Learn to say no when needed.
Boundaries are limits on what you will accept from others. Avoid falling into the trap of trying to make everyone happy. We cant possibly please everyone all the time and look after ourselves at the same time.
Remember - Healthy boundaries and prioritising yourself is not selfish.
Communicate clearly, compassionately, and openly.
When people cross your boundaries, you have a right to let them know.
Having boundaries is an exercise in caring for, and respecting yourself. You have the right to expect a certain level of respect and consideration from others. Its also equally important to remember you don’t need to be constantly justifying or explaining why your needs are important or that you deserve a basic level of respect and courtesy. Sometimes a boundary might look like simply saying no without the need for anythng else to be said.
Be gentle with yourself
For many people, setting and maintaining boundaries wasn't the norm growing up. So when you begin to set them, it can bring up feelings of guilt and or shame. In established relationships the other party may not always respond like you had imagined or hoped. Some people may even challenge or push back against your boundaries if you have never set them before. As you continue to practice setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, you will feel more and more comfortable doing so.
Once you have established your boundaries and they have become a comfortable asset to your life, you will feel a sense of freedom and empowerment that is truly liberating!
Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries will help improve your self-esteem and your overall mental, emotional, and physical health, they are also a good indication of how healthy your current relationships are.
Is someone constantly pushing against your boundaries?
Do you often struggle with certain people invalidating your needs and/or dismissive of your time, effort, needs and feelings?
Perhaps its time to re-evaluate the relationship and if your boundaries are not respected sometimes the most respectful and loving thing you can do for yourself, is to simply walk away.
Feel free to reach out to me if you would like some help in this area.