Incorporate boundaries in your life, not barriers

Khrystyna Stets, Broadcasting Coordinator

Have you ever felt like a person is strange because of how they act towards you and then you question your sanity. A stranger who stands too close to you or touches you inappropriately, or perhaps you have experienced emotional bullying in school or the workplace? All of these are just some examples of when someone’s boundaries have been violated. It is crucial to identify and set boundaries so that you can ensure that relationships can be mutually respectful and appropriate for both parties. Taking the initiative to understand your boundaries and communicate them effectively can save people from a lot of trouble in the long run with friendly, romantic, or work relationships.

When you first hear the word boundaries, some people might jump to the idea that you need to put up walls or obstacles between you and others; however, that is not the case. Boundaries are guidelines that people create to establish how others can behave around them. That may involve what behavior is okay, what is not, and how to respond if someone passes those boundaries. People can even feel uncomfortable or violated if they interact with others who have poor boundaries as well. Feelings of confusion, anxiety, or even feeling drained can all be signs that someone’s boundaries have been violated. These emotions long term can be critical for the health of all parties involved.

“Often those who lack assertiveness skills who don’t want to be mean’ may be at risk for boundary violations because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings and they put their needs on the back burner,” Psychologist Tracy Hutchinson said.

Setting boundaries isn’t always comfortable, and people may push back if you try to communicate your needs more clearly. If there is push back, that doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. That may mean that you need to be clear and consistent until people adjust to your boundaries, and if they don’t, it’s always worth exploring new relations with other people.

According to Psychology Today, there are four crucial tips to consider when forming your boundaries: People must trust and believe in themselves; they must believe they know what they want and value in their own lives. It would be best to consider that your needs and feelings are as important as others’. Learning how to say “no” is important since a certain amount of selfishness is necessary for healthy personal boundaries. Remind yourself that you have a right to personal boundaries, but you also need to take responsibility for how you allow others to treat you.

If you are not used to asserting your boundaries, it’s only natural that it be daunting at first. However, it is entirely healthy and valid. If boundaries become set and communicated to others clearly, it could do wonders for your emotional state. Boundaries are there to help yourself become less concerned about how we are viewed and, instead, more satisfied with our perceptions of ourselves. Boundaries are not one size fits all, so initiating the discovery of your boundaries and communicating them with others is a step towards living a life you want to live.