Boundaries are important so that we and others can understand what makes us comfortable and what does not. This is why we need to learn to set clear limits to do with what we want in life, but also why we need to communicate this to others.
What Are Boundaries?
The way I can explain boundaries is you have made your expectations clear, you know what behaviour or what to expect from others, and they the same for you. For example, you can communicate clearly your personal needs, you value your own opinion and you can accept when others say no or when you need to say no to others.
Sometimes we tend to have a mix, they could be stricter in certain situations than in others. Your kind boundaries can also just depend on who you are and what you want.
However, whatever the boundaries that you set just remember it is important to have them. Not only does it give us a sense of identity but as Sally Baker, a licensed, and accredited therapist in London states “it promotes your mental well-being”.
In addition, it can also create this feeling of autonomy because you control what you want and don’t want, and this can build safe and respectful relationships with those around you.
This is definitely one thing that I have continued to work on and improve throughout my life, as being a people pleaser can make “saying no” uncomfortable or difficult. I hate conflict and I hate making others sad or angry. However, if I continued this behaviour it can lead to burnout and also people just using you as they know you will always be there.
Therefore, by allowing others to know what your boundaries are, and this can be either in your personal or work life, will benefit you in many ways.
Own Your Kind Boundaries
Leading on from my previous point but you have to OWN your kind boundaries. If you start to practice and maintain saying no, then you need to actually stick with it. For example, set a time when you will finish work. For me I work the typical 9-5 job, therefore ensuring my laptop is off by 5:30pm the latest and not looking at anymore work or emails until 9am the next day (change this to your own schedule) is important for me.
Remember this is your life and your responsibility, no one should abuse what you have set in your life. This all comes down to practice and maintain owning your boundaries.
You Are Responsible
It is easy to fall into the trap of “I need to be permanently available” as you don’t want to let anyone down. However, remember it is your life and you are responsible, and that is not up to you how others take that or how they react to your kind boundaries.
After all we have to look after our well-being and live the life we want.
It is ok to Disappoint
Something else to remember when you practice and maintain your kind boundaries is that it is ok to disappoint people. We all are different, and it is our own responsibility for our own but to respect others boundaries too.
You may feel by disappointing people this will ruin the relationships you may have, but those in your life should appreciate and accept your boundaries as long as you are honest about them. Otherwise it is not a healthy relationship, and you don’t want people in your life that manipulate you or disrespect what you have set in place (that is toxic behaviour / relationships).
Do Not Second Guess
You will come across or have people in your life that want to test your boundaries, but again this is not down to you. Do not second guess and ensure you stick with what you have set. For example, someone might be trying to get you to come out but you have studying or work to do, or maybe you just don’t want to. Don’t second guess and follow through with what you have set.
Sometimes someone might not understand, so be clear and remind them of what you want but never let anyone make you feel that your boundaries are silly.
There you have it, 5 ways to practice and maintain kind boundaries!
Let me know in the comments if you have set boundaries and what are some of yours?
Thanks for reading,
Gemma Jayne x