HEALTHY PERSONAL BOUNDARIES- How to set and maintain them with anyone
There is a common saying that goes, ‘when you stand for nothing, you fall for anything.’ Now, imagine a life where people find it a no brainer to lash any word at you and do anything to you? Does it sound okay?
Look at boundaries as rules people have to follow when they come into your existential space. It is taking the initiative to take control of your life in such a way that external validation, opinion and pressure has no chance in letting you exceed your limits.
Boundaries vary from one relationship to another including family, romantic, work, platonic, acquaintance as well as encounters with strangers. Some of the common examples of personal boundaries include:
Right of privacy
Right of rest after a long day of work
Walking away from toxic situations
Not letting people make decisions for me
With personal boundaries set and maintained, people will have a more informed way to approach you, relate to you and better off, perceive you. This somewhat becomes your identity. From your end, it will be easier for you to pick out when someone is overstepping and this way, you will not be held responsible for anything beyond where the line is drawn.
Below are 5 tips for you to set and maintain healthy personal boundaries with anyone:
1. Practice self-awareness
When you are trying to navigate this whole personal boundaries thing, the entry point should be to know where you stand. Who are you as a person? What defines you? What are the beliefs, values, habits and things you hold dearly? Why do they count? Answering these questions will enable you know the why behind the boundary set.
2. Let the focus be on YOU
Here, think about how and why the boundary is important to you. You realize that, thanks to the empath in you, it can be easier for you to break a sweat for other people when in reality, you don’t have to. For instance, when a neighbor is playing wall-shakingly loud music when you are trying to rest, instead of saying, ‘you are disrupting my sleep by playing loud music’, say ‘I need time to rest and silence is key.’
This way, the focus will be shifted to you without you pulling out the victim card.
3. Be Authentic
Let people know that when you say no, you actually mean it. I must admit that we have a long way to go with this but the secret here is to keep standing by your word. Let people know that they cannot coerce you into changing your mind.
With this, also, it is important to stay away from wishy-washy answers or decisions. Avoid saying ‘maybe’ or ‘we shall see’ when you already have a solid yes or no for an answer. Again, focus on you. The ball is in your court.
Sometimes, people need to be told just how close or far they can go. You realize that what you are okay with may not be the case with the other person and vice versa. For instance, for a work environment setting let your boss know that you cannot work past certain hours. Say, you are a social media personality and your personal relationships is off-limits, let your followers know that you will not answer any questions or concerns in relation to those. In a romantic relationship setting, let your partner know what your deal breakers and non-negotiables are. Let your siblings know that your skincare products are off-limits. So on and so forth.
5. Set consequences
Determine what will happen if people overstep. For instance, if one of your boundaries in your romantic relationship is exclusivity, let your spouse know what action you will take when they do cheat. One of the consequences may include immediate walking out of the relationship.
For a work setting, you can let your boss know that if you are to work for longer workers, they should be ready and willing to give overtime allowance.