Boundary is a word that is typically mentioned several times in adulthood but is often a neglected topic of conversation in adolescence. In fact research shows that mapping out boundaries with family and friends can feel very overwhelming especially when you’ve never drawn clear lines before. If you’re new to creating boundaries for your life just know that you are not alone. Establishing boundaries for the first time is no easy task, but doing so is extremely important for our health, well-being and preservation of personal relationships.
What are boundaries?
Licensed marriage and family therapist Jenn Kennedy explains that “boundaries give a sense of agency over one’s physical space, body, and feelings.” Kennedy’s says, “We all have limits, and boundaries communicate that line.”
Why do we need boundaries?
By setting these personal limits or rules you are creating a guideline for what behaviours are permissible, what you will or will not tolerate, and how you will react if someone crosses your boundaries. Establishing healthy boundaries can help you hold people accountable according to Dr. Brene Brown which in turn helps you manage expectations for others.
Need help creating and maintaining boundaries? Below, find seven steps for determining clear boundaries that can help you exude confidence, establish a sense of self-worth and personal threshold for safety.
- Determine what personal needs you have
- Clearly define your limits
- Determine the consequences if a boundary is crossed
- Be consistent and follow through with consequences
- Learn how to say no to people and respect your own time
- Excuse yourself from uncomfortable situations or situations that don’t align with your values
- Don’t try to set too many boundaries at once
*One of the most important things to remember is the people that react poorly to your boundaries reveals those that car about you and those who don’t*