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  • Writer's pictureMonique Johnson

BOUNDARIES: The Scary “B” Word

Do you know what boundaries are? Is it hard for you to set boundaries in your life? Do you know why they are important? Boundaries can be hard to establish in different areas of your life. Many people tend to shy away from setting firm boundaries because of fear, low self-worth, being a people pleaser, or simply people just don’t know to implement them. Boundaries are a requirement for your overall well-being.

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are the limits that we set for ourselves and others within a relationship. It is an invisible line that you place between you and another person to protect yourself. They are guidelines, rules, or limits for you and others to follow. They allow individuals to know how to behave towards you. When you set a boundary, you’re illustrating how you want to be treated. Boundaries show people what is and what is not an acceptable way of interacting with you. People can and will take advantage of you when you do not set boundaries in your relationships. Boundaries should be based on your values, the things that are important to you in your life.

Are boundaries important? Why do you need them?

YES! Setting boundaries in your life are very important. Boundaries help you to be your true and authentic self. You can make your own decisions, have your own feelings and desires without trying to please others. Individuals with people pleasing personalities tend to struggle with establishing boundaries. Boundaries are a form of self-care. Setting healthy and clear boundaries allow you to take care of you. That means saying “no” to things and making yourself a priority. When you set boundaries, you are clearly communicating your needs to others. Safety is important in relationships. Boundaries create emotional and physical safety within your relationships, which is a necessity.

Types of Boundaries

There are many different types of boundaries. They assist you in the different areas of your life. The different types of boundaries are physical, intellectual, sexual, emotional, material, and time. Physical boundaries assist people with understanding your limits with physical touch and helps people respect your personal space. Intellectual boundaries allow people to know how to respect your thoughts and ideas. Sexual boundaries consist of an understanding and respect of limitations and desires between two people within a relationship. Emotional boundaries help others to acknowledge and recognize your feelings. Material boundaries include your money and possessions, so an individual knows your monetary limits and guidelines. Lastly, time boundaries are when a person sets parameters with their time in work, relationships, and other activities.

Healthy Boundaries Vs. Unhealthy Boundaries

Many people may have boundaries, but they may be unhealthy boundaries. Below is a list of unhealthy and healthy boundaries.

Unhealthy Boundaries:

· Expecting others to know what you want or need

· Saying “yes” to things you don’t want to do

· Making decisions based on the opinions of others

· Stuffing your feelings to “keep the peace”

· Being afraid to disagree

· Ignoring your feelings

Healthy Boundaries:

· Asking for what you want and need from others

· Being comfortable with saying “no”

· Making choices based on your own values and beliefs

· Feeling safe and valid when expressing your emotions

· Acknowledging what you’re feeling

· Being comfortable changing your mind

Do you have healthy or unhealthy boundaries? Are there red flags in your own life that you need to start implementing boundaries or need healthier boundaries in your relationships? These are just a few items that identify healthy and unhealthy boundaries. When you set boundaries in your life, you are protecting your mental health. Boundaries boost your self-esteem and improve your overall self-awareness. Healthy boundaries help you develop your own identity to be your true and authentic self. Take some time and reflect on your own life to see what changes you may need to make to live a more fulfilled and happy life.

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