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Set healthy boundaries to maintain healthy relationships.
Why is setting healthy boundaries for yourself so important? I’m glad you asked! Boundaries are the physical, mental, and emotional limits we set up to protect ourselves. We establish these to prevent others from using, violating and/or manipulating us.
If you don’t set healthy boundaries at the beginning of a relationship, you can end up finding yourself unhappy, or doing things you really don’t want to be doing. Relationships, whether it be with a friend, family member or significant other, should never be one sided. There should never be one person doing all the giving, or one person doing all the taking.
This is why boundaries are not only important, but necessary. When both of you know what each other’s limits of what you will tolerate are, it can prevent this kind of imbalance. When boundaries are set up right from the start, there will also be no surprises. You will both already know what to expect from each other, thus avoiding future conflicts.
If you haven’t set up these boundaries, or don’t really know what types of boundaries to set up, it can be hard knowing where to begin. It’s never too late to set healthy boundaries, and communication is key.
For those of you who aren’t sure where to begin, I want to share ten tips on how to set healthy boundaries. These are a great way to get started, and as you both learn more about yourselves and each other, you will learn more about boundaries and when it’s time to set them.
7 tips on how to set healthy boundaries for beginners
1. Say exactly what you mean. This is the most important tip. Communication is a must for any relationship. Most people are not mind readers, so if you aren’t completely up front and honest, there could be misunderstandings along the way.
2. Don’t be a people pleaser. You cannot be happy when you’re always trying to make everyone else happy. Living your life for others is not healthy. Besides, their happiness is not your responsibility. However, your happiness IS your responsibility.
3. Don’t be afraid to say no. If someone wants you to do something, or help them with something, or go somewhere that you don’t want to go, it is most definitely ok to say no. It’s ok to disagree, we’re all different, and we all feel differently about different things.
4. Stay away from drama and negativity. Let others know you will not get involved in drama or conflict. It’s best not to get involved in anything that isn’t yours to begin with. Negative people can also take a toll on you, don’t allow these people to bring you down.
5. Do not tolerate or allow disrespect. Anyone who feels like it’s ok to call you names, feel bad about yourself, or makes you feel small in anyway, is not someone you want any kind of relationship with. Don’t ever allow anyone to treat you this way.
6. Trust yourself and your feelings. The only person that should be making decisions for you, is you. If someone or something doesn’t feel right to you, listen to your instincts. You know yourself better than anyone else.
7. You have a right to set up boundaries for yourself. When you set up healthy boundaries, they are there for your own protection. You have every right to do this. Don’t let anyone try to make you believe it is not ok to take care of yourself and put yourself first when you feel it is necessary.
It is also important to know what the signs of unhealthy boundaries are. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to make some changes. Allowing yourself to set healthy boundaries is an important part of self-respect and self-care. The healthiest relationships are those with healthy boundaries and good communication.
Want to learn more?
Here are some great books that go over boundaries, recognizing them, and setting them.
Here is a great video tutorial on setting boundaries as well.
Remember – Don’t settle, and don’t do anything that doesn’t make you happy. Relationships should not make you miserable!! If they do, you may want to rethink them, and decide whether they are able to be saved.