Healthy boundaries set the basic guidelines for how you want to be treated.
Importance of Boundaries
Imagine your dream house. It has a beautiful exterior and is surrounded by a gate that you control. When you create boundaries, you decide who can enter the gate, how long they can stay in your house, and what rooms they can enter. However, if you leave the gate unlocked then anyone can enter and stay for however long they want. This is what happens when you don’t set boundaries for yourself. It can look like this:
· Taking on the responsibility of solving your friends’ problems
· Going against your beliefs to please someone
· Giving too much time and attention to any one person
Healthy boundaries allow you the space to take care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. They also protect you from being mistreated.
You have the right to ask for what you want/need
When you communicate your boundaries to others you must be direct. You do not have to justify your boundaries with apologies and justifications. You have the right to ask for what you need. Look at this example below.
“Hey Britney, I’m sorry I will not be able to make it to your party. Thank you for inviting me!”
“Hey Britney, I’m sorry I will not be able to make it to your party. I planned on going, but my mom is coming in town and I haven’t seen her in a while. I know I said I would come, but I forgot she was coming in town. Please don’t be mad at me, I can be very scatter-brained.”
It is okay to say no, just keep it simple and understand that your needs are important.
Those who respond poorly to your boundaries are usually the ones who benefit from your lack of boundaries. Other people in your life may just need time to adjust. You are only responsible for your actions/feelings, not the way others respond.
Setting boundaries is a process, and as your needs changes so will your boundaries. Remember, your needs a valid and the more you practice the easier it will get!
*This post is not intended to treat, prevent, or cure any disease*