Setting Healthy Boundaries
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”. (Prov. 4:23)
Learning to set healthy boundaries in relationships is not necessarily something we were taught growing up. At least our parents didn’t call it that. Here are a few suggestions that will help you get started when setting healthy boundaries in relationships:
1. Be Direct
Don’t water-down or muddle your boundaries because it sends mixed messages. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be careful when having a discussion, it may be just a way to get you to change your mind.
2. Name Your Limits
If you set a limit of how far others can go or how far YOU will go, stick to it! No means no, and your “no” is a complete sentence. No one has the right to force you to do anything you do not want to do or are uncomfortable doing.
3. Don’t Ignore Your Feelings
If you are doing something someone asked you to do and you feel resentment or regret, you have crossed you own boundary. Pay attention to your internal feelings. They may be a warning of something unpleasant ahead.
4. Put Self-Care at the Top of Your List
Take care of yourself mind, body, soul and spirit. Do not allow yourself to be over-obligated. Give yourself permission to be ok with the decisions you have made and the boundaries you have set. Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it's necessary.
5. Turn up the Volume
If someone consistently crosses your boundaries, perhaps they didn’t hear you loud enough the first time. Calmly, but firmly, speak slowly so they can understand what you are saying, remind them of the boundary you have set and don’t allow it to be crossed again. Remember: you teach people how to treat you.
Setting boundaries is not only a benefit to you, but also to others. People feel relieved knowing how far they can go because they don’t have to frustrate themselves trying to figure it out. Having an open discussion about setting boundaries makes people feel safe knowing what is expected of them. Once the boundaries have been established, you can begin to enjoy the relationship and your life.
Love & Blessings