When it comes to relationships there are few things more important than setting healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries equals healthy relationships. So why is it that so many people seem to struggle to set them? If you find you are someone who struggles to set boundaries here are three really simple steps to getting the process started.
1) Know Your Limits: It is hard to set boundaries in a relationship if you don’t actually know what your limits are. Everybody has non-negotiables in their life. In other words, everyone has things that regardless of the situation they will never feel okay about. You need to know what these are so that you can set boundaries around these things before it’s too late and you have already been hurt. Take some time to reflect what things in the relationship would be deal breakers and then set really clear expectations in your relationship regarding how you expect to be treated in relation to these issues. If one of these non-negotiables has already been crossed, sit down with your partner and talk about how you are feeling and why that particular action isn’t okay with you.
2) Give Yourself Permission to Matter: Setting boundaries in a relationship is critical and yet it can often feel scary and overwhelming. Sometimes we worry that our partner will get mad or we feel guilty for saying no. Don’t let this stop you. Instead remind yourself that your needs and feelings matter in this relationship and by making yourself and your needs a priority you are working to better your relationship and yourself.
3) Be Assertive: Standing up for what you believe in and how you feel is critical when setting boundaries. If you are constantly minimizing how you are feeling your partner won’t think it’s a big deal and therefore may not take you seriously. Try to remember that being assertive and being aggressive are very different things. Approach it kindly and make it a conversation instead of a yelling match, but be sure to stick to your beliefs and your feelings.
Setting boundaries is one of the healthiest things you can do for your relationship and increases the level of respect you have for one another. Remember to let your partner know what you value so that you can prevent unnecessary hurt or resentment from building up.
Wishing you a cozy autumn Sunday!