How do you ensure self-care? In the world of Psychology, it is called- healthy boundaries. When we talk about having boundaries in our lives and relationships, we are talking about what is acceptable and what is not, to be a functional and a healthy self. It leads to a sense of ownership knowing what you own and take responsibility for and where it ends.
To set boundaries one needs to communicate and voice out their needs. This becomes easier for us and for the other person because the world cannot have an insight into our inner world. Are you creating a wall or establishing boundaries in a relationship? Creating a wall means living as if the painful past must continue to be a present reality. It is assumed to be protected but limits all the positive outcomes. Walls are the construction of loneliness and isolation and give a false sense of safety. To put it in a simpler word wall is a barrier to new possibilities. In contrast, A boundary provides an unlimited potential to secure a future of hope healing and thriving. It is a line you draw around yourself that prevents pain and suffering of the past from perpetuating itself. It is an understanding of your own threshold of giving or sharing your resources like time, energy, money, and managing priorities.
The main difference between a wall and boundary is that you draw later for a more sustainable relationship and connection with self and others.
How to know your boundaries?
- Being aware of your needs.
- Being aware of what hurts you.
- Being aware of what you like and prefer.
- Learning to distinguish between what is acceptable and what is not.
- And stating them out.
- Because it is an external expression of our internal self-affirmation.
Types Of Boundaries
So our boundaries can come in various forms. Because we are humans we are filled with a myriad of feelings. And there is nothing to be ashamed of, this is our quality. It will manifest in our relationships, in our privacy, our openness to things, our beliefs and ideas.
In short, all that covers us emotionally, mentally and physically. So it really requires you to be aware of how you function and what is conducive for you to maintain your sanity. Else you will more often than not find yourself blending in with the requirement of the other person, and lose your sense of individuality.
Now it is not easy to set these boundaries because we may feel guilty for doing so or have a fear that the relationship may go down and I may hurt the other person. But this is a risk you have to take, else you will be disconnected with yourself.
When we talk about setting boundaries we do that carefully– by voicing out our feelings assertively, and politely enough by not hurting the other person, and by not violating their boundaries.
Time Boundaries: “I really want to spend more time with you, but I have some work to complete hence can only stay for an hour.”
Physical Boundaries: “I understand you like to express yourself through physical gestures, however, I am not really a hug person so if you can keep that in mind it would be great”.
Conversational Boundaries: “I understand you wish to know about my past, but can we take it slow because I am not yet in an emotional space to talk about it.”
Intellectual Boundaries: “I understand you have strong views about a few things, however, I would like if you could hear out my views and regard them equally important.”
Relationship Boundaries: “There might be times that you may feel hurt by me, I would expect you to tell me instead of passively reacting so that I am aware of your feelings and we can resolve it.”
Emotional Boundaries: “I know you don’t want me to feel jealous but I cannot help with that right now. It will take some time for me to deal with it and I expect patience and transparency from you which can make it easier for me.”
Signs Your Boundaries Are Getting Violated
After having read about boundaries reflect what kind of boundaries have you set at home, in your relationships, at work, at the gym, in social situations, etc.
Look for signs –
- Are you feeling emotionally/mentally exhausted?
- Are you feeling dissatisfied?
- Are you a giver in your relationship?
- Are you able to manage your time?
- Are you able to achieve goals?
These are not just with people, but gentle reminders we set for ourselves too. Sometimes we can be neglectful to our own needs and may end up being close-knit with people or being isolated.
The idea is to maintain a balance and that will come naturally from within.
So, identify your boundaries and see how you can re-establish them to have a more healthy life.
Connect with our therapist if you have any questions, and need help in improving your relationship with self & others.
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