Many people struggle to set healthy personal boundaries. Yet, healthy personal boundaries are associated with many benefits. These include good mental and emotional health and the avoidance of burnout.
According to positivepsychology.com you can follow four steps to set healthy personal boundaries.
Steps to setting personal boundaries
- Identify the boundary you would like to set. For example, a physical boundary such as when to hug or not.
- Say what you need by stating it directly in terms of what you would like. For example: I prefer not to hug people I do not know. Avoid saying it in terms of what you would not like.
- Do not over explain.
- Accept the result of your setting the boundary. It could be something you feel – for example guilt. This outcome may arise if, you were raised to believe that expressing your own need is selfish. The fear of such discomfort is one of the main reasons people fail to set or maintain healthy boundaries.
A good level of self-awareness will help you to recognise what you are comfortable with, and what you are not, in any situation.
Healthy boundaries are self-care
Do express what you need openly and respectfully rather than demandingly. It is important that the other person recognise that you have an important message. You could set boundaries relating to how much time you will avail to someone or what resources you are willing to share. You could also specify topics you prefer not to discuss with someone, or offer a different perspective when you do not agree. It is also okay to set limits around how social you would like to be, creating some alone time.
Healthy boundaries differ depending on the setting, but are necessary in all areas of life where you interact with other people. Do not forget that as you need healthy boundaries for your own wellbeing, so do others. Therefore it is important to respect other peoples’ boundaries in the same way that you expect them to respect yours.