How to Set Boundaries In Relationships
Relationships are an essential part of life for a myriad of reasons. These reasons include learning how to be a good partner or friend, having someone to confide in, and having a support system in times of need. Friends, family, and loved ones provide you company and make you feel included. Each of your relationships impacts your life differently and helps you grow and learn about others and yourself. Relationships are meant to be the glue that holds you together during the ups and downs of life.
Sometimes, however, overindulgence in each other’s personal choices or the lack of space can turn things sour. Therefore, it is essential to set relational boundaries. Misconceptions about boundaries in relationships come in several forms. And not giving enough importance to healthy boundaries is a common fallacy. You may feel they’re unnecessary because your partner, best friend, or parents are supposed to be involved in everything in your life. The truth is, healthy relationships need boundaries.
Issues In Relationships with No Boundaries
Lacking boundaries in relationships leads to a vicious cycle where you get hurt and feel like your opinion and choice has little value over and over again. To determine whether you lack boundaries in your relationships or not, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do people take advantage of your emotions and use them for their own gain?
- Are you the only one always trying to “save” your loved ones and solve their problems on time?
- Has your relationship with your family, friends, or partner become a battleground with fights and quarrels every other day?
- Are you way too much invested in a person than you should be?
- Is your relationship intense in every way – it either goes excellent or horrible, and there’s no middle ground?
- Are you stuck in a cycle of breakups and patch-ups?
- Do you always find yourself stuck in the middle of drama despite disliking it?
- Do you have to explain yourself every time for things that aren’t your fault?
- Do you think your wishes and opinions don’t get enough importance and are disregarded?
- Who makes the most decisions about “Your” life?
- Are you guilt-shamed for having a different opinion?
- Do you feel like these issues are affecting your mental and emotional health?
If your answer is “yes” to even a few of the questions mentioned above, then you probably lack healthy boundaries in your relationships. Therefore, getting help from therapists/psychologists is always a good idea. However, there are some easy and simple steps that you can take on your own to set limits and to protect your mental and emotional health.
How To Set Boundaries In Relationships
If you want to learn how to set, you can get professional help and contact qualified therapists/psychologists. Meanwhile, you can start setting boundaries in your relationships by taking some simple steps mentioned below.
Be straightforward and concise
Before talking to your partner or parents about what you’d like them to change, ask yourself what bothers you and why. Make a clear concept about what specific behavior makes you feel bad and what they need to adjust that will help strengthen your relationship. Identifying a particular problem will help you become more confident in asking for what you want. Being straightforward and concise about your concerns is essential. Choose the right words. Make sure your request is coherent and concrete.
For example, instead of telling your friend, “Please stop coming to my home unexpectedly all of the time, because you’re getting annoying. I have work to do on weekdays” Try, “It’s difficult for me when you visit unexpectedly. Can you call the next time? I am usually free on weekends, though.” All you need is some practice with the right words.
Always be assertive and compassionate while discussing your feelings. Ensure that you remain respectful, that you talk in a calm yet firm tone, and that you are open to having a conversation; stating your opinion without being ready to listen to the other person causes more problems. The goal here is to communicate your concerns and understand theirs. Sometimes, relationships tend to get tricky when one person is overly protective. For example, parents may be having difficulty in letting go of the control they once had in your life. Try to understand the root cause of the negativity without losing your stance. Being compassionate helps you to keep your cool and keeps you from becoming hurtful.
Appreciate the concern
If you face issues with boundaries in your relationships and have finally decided to open up to your friend, parent, or spouse, you can begin by appreciating their help. Suppose you have a partner or spouse that continuously interferes in your professional life, the best thing you can do is to tell them that you appreciate their concern. In addition, acknowledge the positivity of the intention behind their constant inference in your life: they only want what’s best for you. Having said that, you can finally point out that you’re capable of making your own decisions. Showing appreciation not only makes them realize that you value them but also assures them that you can make decisions on your own.
Avoid getting into arguments but keep your stance clear
Whenever you try to set up boundaries in a relationship that previously had none, you’re bound to experience resistance from the person. If your request for healthier boundaries gets ignored, try the “broken record” technique, which is a component of assertive communication. Following this technique, you are sure to avoid vague arguments meant to change the topic or turn the actual issue around. Instead, you repeat your needs concisely again and again, which depicts that you stand firm and are not willing to let go of personal space. For example, this technique may look like, “I’m not engaging in this conversation any further. It had de-tracked from the issue”. By using this method, you reinforce your message without indulging in a spat.
Release guilt about setting boundaries.
Setting boundaries in relationships can stir up feelings of fear, doubt, and guilt. You need to be able to practice self-compassion. Feelings of guilt while setting boundaries are common. It is essential to understand that maintaining healthy boundaries is not wrong. Instead, they play an essential role in preserving your relationship. Whenever you feel guilty while expressing your needs, say these lines, “It is okay to express my feelings” and “I have needs of my own. I am human. I deserve personal space.” It is up to you to select your boundaries on your terms at the end of the day. Remind yourself why you need these limits.
Following these steps will help you build boundaries in relationships. However, if you feel overwhelmed, mentally exhausted, or feel as if things are not working out, you need to get professional help. The good news is, getting help in building boundaries in relationships has never been easier since. If you can’t visit the therapist/psychologist in person, you can get Teletherapy sessions online.
Are You Looking for Professional Advice?
If you struggle with boundaries in relationships and belong to Riverside, California, Corona, California, or Los Angeles, California, MindShift Psychological Services has the best and highly qualified Therapists / Psychologists for counseling and therapies. In-depth therapy sessions near me like Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Couples Counseling, and a step-by-step approach to solving your issues ensure to help you manage problems and strengthen your relationships. Choose MindShift Psychological Services near me and begin the journey towards healing and self-compassion.