Creating boundaries is a healthy and necessary part of any relationship. It’s a way to set expectations around what we need, what makes us feel seen and heard, and what helps us feel safe. However, the consciousness behind the lines we draw determines whether these boundaries are healthy or only limit our growth.
Here are 3 tips to set healthy boundaries:
It’s important to have healthy boundaries, but we can sometimes be quick to cut people off or draw overly harsh lines. We start to build walls around ourselves that distance us from anything or anyone that has a different opinion or viewpoint than us. This is more about guarding ourselves than it is about bettering the relationship, and it only limits our ability to grow.
We grow by pushing ourselves to remove judgment, become more tolerant, and have more human dignity than we used to. One of the clearest ways to assess your spiritual growth is to gauge how much more compassion and love you can send to people who think differently than you today versus last year.
Before setting a boundary, take time to do the internal work first. Picture the best version of yourself and consider what that person would be able to tolerate. Could you stand to be just a little outside of your comfort zone? What are you absolutely not willing to participate in? How could you use boundaries to make the relationship healthier rather than more distant? These questions will help determine if the lines you are drawing will bring you closer or drive you apart.
When people ask us for help or for a favor, it can be instinctual to say yes. We want to be kind, sharing people after all. But there comes a point where we can get overwhelmed and resentful by these requests, even when it comes from people we love most. Worse still, people can sometimes take advantage of our kindness. It’s important to communicate when we feel overextended. We can’t expect others to know what our capacity is.
This is a balancing act that requires us to really know ourselves and our own bandwidth. When there is a lot on your plate, consider if you can push yourself to give 10% more or if you are completely maxed out. Strive to expand your capacity to be giving and sharing, but know your limit. You don’t have to say yes to everything. Say no to requests that you don’t have the time or energy to fulfill.
Nearly every time someone lashes out, hurts us, or says something that makes us feel insecure, it’s a manifestation of their own pain. Everyone is fighting their own internal battles. Understand that when someone blows up, it’s almost never about you. There’s likely something going on in their life that is causing them to react this way.
When we take things personally, our reaction is often to defend ourselves, and that creates further conflict. Consider what may make that person behave that way. Try to give them love and understanding. You can learn something from the experience but do not need to accept their judgments.
Boundaries are a vital part of our relationships, but the internal work we do before creating them is key. Boundaries aren’t about being comfortable all the time but about knowing your limitations and what you are willing to participate in. Push yourself to be more tolerant, giving, and compassionate to avoid drawing lines that prevent your growth, but understand that there are limits to what you are physically and emotionally capable of. Think of boundaries as a way to improve a relationship for both people instead of a way to build walls and create distance.