HEALTHY BOUNDARIES IN RELATIONSHIPS
HEALTHY BOUNDARIES IN RELATIONSHIPS
It's important to implement and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships. Think of boundaries as your'Not Negotiables'.
They're the invisible lines you draw around your feelings, wants, and needs in a relationship. Those limits delineate where your feelings and emotions end and your friend's or partner's feelings begin.
Healthy boundaries ensure that each of you are equally entitled to experience and express your own feelings in the relationship.
When good boundaries exist, there's no fear of reprisal in openly and honestly expressing genuine feelings to each other. Regardless of the nature of the relationship - friendship or love - keeping healthy boundaries can only deepen the connection between people.
Let's look at an example of how boundaries develop in a new relationship.
Simone is newly single and had a date last week with Alex. She enjoyed his company. Alex said he'd call Simone in a week. The week went by with no call. A few days later, there's a knock at Simone's door. It's Alex. He wants to come in. Simone detects a light odor of alcohol, which only increases the discomfort she feels about his surprise visit.
Simone doesn't know Alex very well and would prefer he not come in. What does Simone do? What would you do?
♥ Choice A: She lets him in.
♥ Choice B: She hesitates at first, but he convinces her to let him come in.
♥ Choice C: Simone tells him a 'story' about how her parents are expecting her any minute andshe has to leave now. Therefore, he can't come in.
♥ Choice D: She informs him that she's uncomfortable with his unannounced visit and isn't going to let him in. Simone uses a non-threatening tone and tells him she hopes he understands. He's disappointed but agrees to leave and says he'll call Simone tomorrow.
HOW WOULD EACH CHOICE DEMONSTRATE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES?
♥ Choice A: doesn't demonstrate healthy boundaries. Why? Because Simone felt uncomfortable and her preference was that Alex not come in. However, Simone ignored her feelings (intuition) and accepted what Alex wanted instead.
♥ Choice B: also illustrates less-than-healthy boundaries. With B, Simone's in about the same situation as A. In essence, Simone noticed her own feelings (represented by her brief hesitance). Ultimately, she didn't make her decision based on them. Instead, she allowed another person - Alex - to 'step on' her boundaries and convince her to behave as he wanted.
♥ Choice C: shows Simone was at least able to respect her own feelings of not wanting Alex to enter her home. Simone's boundaries could be stronger but at least, she ultimately didn't let him in.
♥ Choice D: demonstrates firm and healthy boundaries. Simone was open and honest about how she felt and confident about her feelings and decision not to invite Alex inside.
Why are clear boundaries important early in a relationship?
Simone's available choices show clearly what can happen at the beginning of a relationship if poor boundaries exist. Choices A or B early on set an unclear boundary and thus adversely affect the life of the relationship if not addressed.
In essence, how you demonstrate (or don't demonstrate) your emotional boundaries will determine if and how a relationship progresses.
On the other hand, responding with Choices C or D shows healthier boundaries. Those choices show you acknowledge and act on your own feelings, even though doing so could make the other person a little uncomfortable or even angry.
When you validate your own feelings and those of other's as well, you can experience an honest, respectful relationship.
EXAMINE BOUNDARIES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Take a moment to think about the boundaries you have in your relationships. Do you tend to ignore your own feelings and go along with whatever the other person wants? Can you speak up about your feelings? Do you appropriately state when something will not 'work' for you? Do you ask for what you need in a relationship and obey your own internal limits - your Not Negotiables?
Keeping healthy boundaries in relationships is a positive step toward discovering the fulfilling relationships you want. Focus on making choices in relationships based on your genuine feelings. Doing so will bring you the passionate, sharing and caring relationships you seek bringing couples closer together.
Setting and keeping healthy boundaries are just one aspect of Finding Your Bling. Each day in the beautiful and gentle 21 Day Bling Blast online course we do a little ground work on your Not Negotiables to support you to set yourself free to love the life you live. Making each day easier.