RELATIONSHIPSFamilyBasic Boundaries in Healthy Relationships

Basic Boundaries in Healthy Relationships

By Geralyn St Joseph Intuitive Relationship Empowerment Coach 

What do we mean by boundaries? Boundaries can be described as where you end and I begin. Or more succinctly, your personal boundaries are your limits. This includes physical distance/affection, time, mental, emotional or financial investments. Not everyone has the same boundaries, some people don’t have any at all! These people are often exhausted, resentful, and/or frustrated. Sound familiar?

Your basic boundaries can be discovered through things like:
  • How physically close do you feel comfortable standing to someone?
  • Whether you accept being touched in any way.
  • How you allow yourself to be spoken to.
  • Whether or not you feel comfortable saying ‘no’ to a request.
  • Do you feel guilty when you cannot fulfill another’s demands?
  • Do you take on more than you can easily handle?
  • Do you allow others to persuade you into things you aren’t comfortable with?
  • What types of personal information do you share?

Remember, you are responsible for setting your boundaries. If someone is imposing your boundaries, it is your responsibility to let them know. Move away, don’t engage, and simply state your needs, these are some ways to express your boundaries. Don’t know what your boundaries are? Pay attention to your responses to people and situations. When you have a trauma response [fight, flight, freeze, fawn], or feel triggered, that is a sign that you are hitting on a boundary. Whenever possible, we must make our boundaries known when we are in the situation. If that is not feasible, it needs to happen as soon as possible. Boundaries are often expressed verbally. They can be expressed nonverbally also.

Questions to ask yourself to discern your boundaries:
  • What do you allow?
  • When and how do you express your boundaries?
  • What do you reinforce?

Maintaining our boundaries fosters self-respect and the respect of others. It promotes good health mentally, emotionally, and physically. A lack of boundaries often destroys potentially viable relationships. We often become resentful when others seem to be always pushing us, but we need to take responsibility when we haven’t maintained our boundaries for ourselves. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘You teach others how to treat you’. Setting boundaries takes consistency. As we become more intimate with select others our boundaries can change towards them. You are in control. You decide when, where, and how to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

If you have been a pushover, setting boundaries may be difficult. It is worth it, however, because YOU are worth it! Strong boundaries help create healthy relationships, nurture positive self-worth, and cultivate a vigorous mind. 

Want to learn more about healthy relationships? Check out this video:

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