Many people have heard of boundaries, but few know how to use them. As a result, people are unsure of why they should set, how to develop, and how to enforce boundaries. If this sounds like you, you are in luck. We have created this five-minute guide so that you can learn the basics of healthy boundary setting. Read on to find out more.
Boundaries: What Are They?
Boundaries are imaginary fences that separate your space, feelings, and needs from that of someone else. The purpose of boundaries is to have fair rules for engagement in relationships. As a result, you and the relationship are both healthier and happier. Though the name “boundaries” may sound like a rigid separation between you and another person, good boundaries are often flexible and promote more fulfilling relationships. If boundaries are not adjustable, they can drive people away and cause resentment. For this reason, boundaries should be flexible.
Here are essential features of boundaries:
• Protects your wellbeing
• Acts as rules of engagement for your relationships
• Negotiation between two or more people
Different types of boundaries apply to specific situations. Here are the six types of boundaries:
• Material boundaries relate to your physical property, such as a car or a book. They determine how you interact, lend, or sell your property.
• Physical boundaries relate to your space, privacy, and body. They determine things like who you feel comfortable hugging or how loud you want your roommate to play their music.
• Mental boundaries relate to your thoughts, values, and opinions. They allow you not to get angry whenever someone disagrees with you.
• Emotional boundaries distinguish your emotions from someone else’s feelings and force you to take responsibility for your emotions.
• Sexual boundaries allow you to feel comfortable and safe during sexual touches and activities. They determine what, where, when, and with whom you have sexual interactions.
• Spiritual boundaries involve your beliefs in God or another higher power. They also determine how you interact with people of different faiths.
Benefits of Setting Boundaries
There are several positive benefits of setting boundaries. Let us check out a few.
1. Improves relationships. Boundaries are a great way to keep relationships from becoming unsafe or uncomfortable. As a result, boundaries pull people together instead of pushing them apart.
2. Improves self-esteem At the same time, boundaries boost self-esteem because they require you to make yourself a priority. When you make yourself a priority, your self-esteem naturally increases.
3. Conserves emotional energy Throughout the day, your emotional energy can dwindle until you feel as though you have no energy left. Boundaries are a great way to conserve emotional energy. This is because boundaries are designed to create space for you to care for yourself first and foremost.
4. Allows you to be your most authentic self. Additionally, boundaries allow you to be your most authentic self. The reason for this is that boundaries require you to prioritize your desires and needs. As a result, you become comfortable with who you are without fear of pleasing someone else.
5. Set realistic expectations with clear directions. Boundaries set realistic expectations with clear rules for you and your loved ones. Often, fights happen because of a misunderstanding or differing expectations.
Signs You May Need More Boundaries
Many people are entirely unaware that they need boundaries at all. As a result, they fail to put up boundaries but continue to live in a cycle of guilt, anxiety, and people-pleasing. Here are signs that you may need boundaries in your life:
1. You have tumultuous relationships. If you feel that your relationships are constantly tricky and dramatic, you may need boundaries in place. Without boundaries, relationships can get emotionally, mentally, and som