“How do you build healthy boundaries?”
The concept of healthy boundaries has many faces. You can practice it at home, workplace, school, etc. However, many people think of boundaries as “selfish.”
This false sense of personal space comes from the belief that it’s your responsibility to make other people happy, which is wrong.
Growing up, your family or friends would always tell you that you’re friendly and kind. Now that you turned at your current age, you realize that it’s hard to live up to that expectation, and you find yourself constantly saying “Yes” to everyone although you want to say “No.”
Healthy boundaries are essential to any kind of relationship. Without it, you’ll experience feelings of disappointment, resentment, and anger.
Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to practice having healthy boundaries with the people around you.
Here, you’ll learn:
- When to say “No” and “Yes.
- 5 ways to build healthy boundaries.
- What are the different forms of healthy boundaries.
- And a lot more…
How to set healthy boundaries in all aspects of life?
You can set healthy boundaries with others by knowing what you need to do to protect your inner peace. It includes practicing self-care, prioritizing your needs, recognizing what you feel is equally valid to others, and more.
5 Ways to Set Healthy Boundaries
#1: Stop people-pleasing behavior
According to Dr. Dan Brennan, people pleasers will go the extra mile to prevent disagreements with anyone despite becoming unrecognizable.
Even if you aren’t comfortable doing the things they ask you to do, you’ll do it anyway because you’re afraid to be disliked by other people.
You’re determining your worth based on how others perceive you. Clinging on your friends, family members, and colleagues’ approval to make you feel good about yourself is a toxic trait of people pleasers.
If it remains unaddressed, you’ll lose sight of your true value. You’ll easily feel bad about yourself every time you hear terrible comments, which may result in a lack of self-care.
At your workplace, your boss or workmates may constantly demand that you extend working on certain tasks for them. If you’re a people pleaser, you’ll do it even if it means you have to sacrifice your time with your family, mental and physical health, and getting burned out.
If you want to set healthy boundaries, you should stop pleasing others. You can do this by:
- Spending your time and energy with people that matter to you.
You need to understand that not everyone deserves your time and energy. Making space for yourself means being with the right people. You have to surround yourself with people who will not waste your time and drain your energy.
People who’ll take advantage of your kindness don’t need a space in your life. Cutting people off is not “unkind.” You’re just trying to protect yourself.
- Checking how often you say “Yes” when people ask for something.
Helping others is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in your life. However, there should be limitations.
When saying “Yes” to favor, you need to ensure that you genuinely mean it and you’re able to accomplish it.
There are times when you feel sad for not helping other people but giving a “No” for valid reasons is fine. Doing favors shouldn’t feel a compulsion.
- Doing things that will only make you feel good.
You might have heard about it a thousand times, but it’s really what you need to do to stop pleasing people. Don’t ever force yourself to do things that won’t make you happy for the sake of other people’s convenience.
#2: Know your non-negotiable standards
You’ll become unaware of your needs if you constantly neglect them to please others. Hence, it’s vital to know your non-negotiable standards. Sticking to them is an excellent way to set personal boundaries.
When creating your non-negotiable standards, you should anchor them on your beliefs, ideals, and values. Another good thing about this is that you’ll be able to determine your limits for others and yourself.
It’s worthy to note that a non-negotiable standard varies from person to person or a relationship to another.
Entering a romantic relationship is challenging, especially during your first few dates. One of the best ways to build healthy boundaries in a relationship is to ask permission or consent.
The University of South Florida defines consent as an agreement that can’t be coerced. You can’t touch your partner’s body or have sex to him/her without his/her consent.
Always remember that your body only belongs to you and not to anyone else, even your long-time partner. Communicating your non-negotiable standards to each other is helpful to create a healthy relationship.
#3: Stop oversharing
According to Business of Apps, there were 1.91 billion Facebook users in 2021, and it’s expected to increase each year.
There’s no doubt why social media platforms have become part of our daily lives. It enables us to communicate with our loved ones abroad without draining our pockets. Communication has become more convenient than ever.
However, social media platforms, especially Facebook, negatively impact many people. One of which is the tendency to cross personal boundaries.
The study of Webroot revealed that almost 40 percent of online platform users aged 18-35 regret sharing their personal information on the internet. Some of them have posted family issues and work-related problems.
Similar to your work and romantic relationship, it’s also essential to set healthy boundaries when you engage in online activities, such as posting a status on your Facebook or Instagram.
There are consequences of oversharing on social media. It includes being vulnerable to phishing scams, loss of employment, and more.
It’s totally fine to share something about your life on social media, but keep in mind that you don’t need to expose too much information on the internet, particularly if it will make you stressed.
#4: Don’t let toxic people overstep your boundaries
If toxic people surround you, your environment will be affected. You’re more likely to experience mental health-related problems, such as anxiety and depression.
Everyone will probably agree that It’s much easier to remove toxic people in your life if they aren’t closely related to you like a workmate. However, there are some instances where the toxic person you want to cut ties with is a family member.
Better Life Recovery describes a toxic person as someone who seeks to manipulate and control people that he or she loves. Psychologists commonly associate toxic behavior with narcissistic behavior. Narcissists care too much about other people’s admiration and attention.
They think their needs are more important than others, which urges them to do whatever it takes to get what they want.
You may wonder, “what a toxic family member looks like?”
A toxic family member will try to control and manipulate your choices by aggressively criticizing you. In many cases, toxic family members will always seek to play the victim every time they do something to hurt your feelings.
With this, they won’t be able to take full responsibility for their behavior. A toxic family member will do anything to cross over your personal boundaries.
Now that you know what a toxic family member looks like, it’s time to take some action.
- Know when to close your ears.
The first thing that you need to do is to observe the behavior of a toxic family member constantly. Try to list down all the things that he or she has done to you that made you feel uncomfortable. After that, find time to discuss this matter with him or her.
If she or he tries to respond negatively, it’s the moment you need to not listen to that person.
- Always stick to your boundaries.
As mentioned above, toxic family members will try to overstep your personal boundaries, regardless of the consequences. They only see the benefit of manipulating you.
The best thing you can do is stick with your boundaries and don’t allow them to overstep or cross those boundaries. It will make them realize that they can’t control you. No matter how hard they try to meddle in your life, you won’t get affected because you know how to manage them.
- Keep in mind that you deserve good treatment from anyone.
Having a traumatic childhood will affect your life as you grow older. There are times that you question your worth as a person. You may even ask yourself if you deserve good treatment. No matter what life throws at you, always remember that you deserve a mutually caring and loving relationship.
#5: Prioritize healthy boundaries over commitments
Having commitments will indeed help you learn to become more responsible and productive. However, overcommitting will do no good to you. Always remember that you’re not responsible for saying “Yes” to all invitations, such as birthday parties, volunteer work, social gatherings, and other non-essential activities.
You don’t have to commit to something just to please others. You have to set your boundaries to avoid getting stressed and burned out.