Tap to Read ➤

Boundaries - Building and Protecting Them

Janna Seliger Jun 18, 2019
All about the boundaries we need to set, in order to form healthy interpersonal relationships. Keep reading to know more...
Healthy relationships are defined by boundaries. A boundary can be thought of as an imaginary personal space bubble, that protects us from others. When other person tries to control our feelings, attitudes, behavior, choices and values, that bubble gets violated.
These personal boundary bubbles form naturally, but are shaped by a number of elements, like how our parents set rules, traumatic experiences, or being rescued from consequences of an action. Thus, the shape your bubble takes is based on learned behavior.

Keeping healthy boundaries, have numerous benefits for both parties involved.
For starters, it can be said that healthy boundaries define us as people. If we have no sense of separation from another, we would lose our sense of self. It can also cause us to lose the sense of reality in general. Also, boundaries define our relationships with others.
They can help us choose between the good and 'not-so-good' people. It also helps you decide with whom you want to have a connection and who might try to violate you. A healthy boundary will help us to know how connected we are to the other person, so that we could keep the good elements and leave out the bad.
Healthy boundaries can also assist us when things get out of our control. They also keep us from choosing between reacting badly, by yelling or cursing, and dealing with the situation in a sophisticated manner. If a person breaks your boundary, it can give you a signal that you need to take action, before things become too out of control.
Finally, they also allow us to be free to make our own choices, and to enjoy the differences between those around us. The differences become valued. If you have no boundary, and you attach and merge yourself completely with the other person, then you can lose your sense of identity. Thus, keeping a healthy boundary preserves individuality on both sides.
When you need to set a boundary with someone, do it clearly. Don't use anger or frustration, and avoid rationalizing. You cannot simultaneously set a boundary, and take care of another person's feelings. You might hurt their feelings, but in the end remember that you'll be protecting both of you from further hurt in the future.
If you're unsure if a boundary is necessary or not, look for signals such as anger, complaining, frustration with another, or feeling threatened, suffocated, or victimized.
These emotions clue us into the fact that we have limits as individuals, and we have to protect them. Many a time, it happens that convincing ourselves that we have limits, becomes more difficult than convincing others.
Some people will be happy to respect your boundaries, while others may not be so happy with this. For situations where the other becomes angry with you, a support system other than that individual, is your best line of defense.
Most importantly, you must remember that setting boundaries isn't easy. It's an ongoing process of listening to yourself, respecting yourself and others, understanding your rights as an individual, and taking care of yourself. This is essentially why we need and must protect these personal boundaries.