By SHANNON SKAE, health and life coach at Revive with Shan
Boundaries are essential to set but can often be challenging to maintain. What is a boundary? A boundary is a limit or a space between you and another person. It is essential to set this to protect yourself and allow the other person to be aware of their limitations when engaging with you.
When healthy boundaries are in place, this is good for your mental and emotional health, helps you to maintain autonomy, develop your identity, avoid burnout, and influence other people’s behaviour.
When a person has poor boundaries, it means that in their relationships, they may have resentment, anger, and burnout.
Examples of boundaries:
- Physical boundaries, e.g., telling someone they cannot come into your physical space
- Sexual boundaries, e.g., telling someone they cannot sexually be with you
- Emotional or mental boundaries, e.g., telling someone that what they have said has upset you
Reasons boundaries are difficult to maintain:
- We have access to each other 24/7 on social media.
- Fear of missing out on events or situations
- Not being able to say no and saying yes to everything
- You are a perfectionist and do not want to let anyone down
- Social conditioning to believe that our value is defined by how much we do for other people
- We have been brought up to believe that saying yes to everything is how we become successful
- You have low self-esteem
- You do not like to upset other people
How to start setting better boundaries:
- Start with small boundaries, such as saying no to a friend
- Be consistent
- Create a priority list and stick to that
- Do things because they make you feel good
- Say no to things that make you feel uncomfortable
- Be direct and firm
- Don’t apologize for your boundary
- Don’t make it personal
- Understand why you need the boundary
Practising having boundaries is super important. Make sure you set some healthy boundaries from now on!