When I was first confronted with the term ‘setting boundaries’, I was not so sure I understood what that person was saying. I mean, I’m not completely ignorant, so I knew what ‘boundaries’ meant, but what does ‘setting boundaries’ mean?
When I searched ‘setting boundaries term’ there were many, many results. All of them pointed to the same thing:
Setting boundaries is a positive, healthy necessity in one’s life which will empower and raise confidence in one self.
I couldn’t agree more!!
I also came across this quote:
“An intimate relationship is one in which neither party silences,
sacrifices, or betrays the self and each party expresses
strength and vulnerability, weakness and competence in a balanced way.”
– Harriet Lerner
How do we set boundaries?
Let’s break down the term ‘setting boundaries’ into six parts – the ‘Who, What, When, Where, and How’.
- Who do you set boundaries with? Setting boundaries should be done with anyone in your life that you come into contact with. That can be a stranger, your spouse, your significant other, boss, co-worker, your kids, parents, etc.
- What exactly is a boundary? A boundary can be thought of as the fence of your personal space. There is only certain (positive) ‘things’ you will allow through the fence and in your personal space. ‘Things’ can be defined as behavior, words, interactions, limits, and so on.
- What types of boundaries are there? There are physical, verbal, intellectual, and emotional boundaries. There may be more, but these are the ones I know of without doing research. (I’m keeping this relatable, so I don’t want to become too bogged down with facts and numbers. This will just be overwhelming.)
- When do I set boundaries? Always be setting boundaries each day! Whenever a violation has been made, speak up about it immediately. Do not wait for the moment to pass. Remain calm, say how that person broke your boundary, and be clear that you do not want the boundary to be broken again. You may not feel confident to address it at the time, but the more often you do it, the more your confidence will build.
- Where do you set boundaries? It does not matter where you are when you set boundaries. It should be in your home, the office, in public, friends’ houses, everywhere. Always, always have your boundaries.
- How do I set boundaries? Set boundaries by speaking up about what is NOT okay with you. This does not have to be done in a confrontational tone or by being rude. It’s using clear communication, a firm voice, and a serious face. Let the violator know that it is NOT tolerable by you and will NOT allow it. Again, this pertains to any type of violation – verbal, physical, emotion, intellectual.
Now, don’t go all crazy with the boundary setting and make so many that you become isolated. Make enough to filter the violations out and allow the positive in.
Are you feeling confused, overwhelmed, or
unsure about this ‘setting boundaries’ thing?
You let your kids know what is okay and what is not okay, right? That’s setting a boundary.
If someone was stealing out of your purse, would you let them? That’s setting a boundary.
Setting these boundaries will empower you, build your confidence, increase your self-esteem, and build long-lasting, healthy relationships.
Here’s another article about setting boundaries.
This post has been happily shared with Christian Mommy Blogger!