Why are personal boundaries important?

You can’t possibly ensure that your relationships are trustworthy and respectful unless clear personal boundaries are in place. It’s a way that others know your limits and dictates what their behaviour will be when they’re around you.

If you’re uncomfortable around some people because of the way they treat you, it could be a good time to rethink and reset your boundaries. Otherwise, you’ll be vulnerable and taken for granted. Your self-esteem will suffer and you face a danger of becoming a doormat to others.

When you’re faced with requests or treatment which you feel is disrespectful, it’s important that you immediately address what’s happening. Everyone has different personal boundary lines – made up of how you were raised and your environment – and there may be conflicts in relationships because of that.

Take a moment to reflect on the boundaries your parents demonstrated.

It’s also important that you understand the personal boundaries set by others so you don’t overstep and make them feel uncomfortable. Preserving friendships and relationships with coworkers and others depends on you respecting the boundaries that others have set.

When was the last time someone over stepped your boundaries, how did it feel?

When people are making you uncomfortable, begin to set your boundaries by writing down some of the ways these people make you feel the way you do. After you’ve pinpointed the ways, attempt to analyse why the person is treating you that way – what the motivation for the action is.

Now, you begin to set your personal boundaries by deciding what action you’re going to take. Remember, you can simply say, “No,” to any request or situation which someone wants to put you in.

After the boundaries are in place, you may find it necessary to update them once in a while. As you grow in your self-esteem by setting boundaries, you’ll begin to feel more assured that you can challenge someone’s behaviour if a behaviour makes you uncomfortable.

You may need more time for yourself or your personal situation may have changed and you have more work or have become more involved in your child’s school. It may be necessary to take your boundary of saying, “No,” to a new level because of the time constraints you now experience.

Some people will be fully supportive of you newly set personal boundaries and others may have hurt feelings or express their frustration with you in other ways. Keep to your guns and tactfully and politely protect your boundaries.

What have you done in your life recently that has changed your boundaries?

Many relationships may fall by the wayside because of setting and enforcing personal boundaries, but the relationships that are important to you and which will survive the boundaries will grow better and stronger.

One of my favourite quotes springs to mind often incorrectly attributed to Dr Suss.

 “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Bernard Baruch


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