Having good healthy boundaries are often signs of healthy self-esteem and confidence. In a good relationship people respect each other’s boundaries and values. They are crossed or ignored in unhealthy relationships. Some people will honour and respect another’s position and assertiveness and some will pour out scorn and contempt. They may claim you’re unreasonable, selfish or you’re so inconsistent you keep changing your mind. They joke that they don’t take you seriously.
In the work place there are often some boundaries already in place. We don’t expect to be swore at. We don’t expect to have things stolen from us. We know what’s expected from us and each other. When something happens and we are treated badly there are procedures that can be followed to address it through Human Resources. In our personal lives though these boundaries are not always as clear and sometimes need to be communicated.
If you were to imagine boundaries as the doors and windows on your house. If you left them open all the time you may come home from work to find your house empty, or people in it watching your television and eating your food. But if you kept the doors and windows locked all the time no one would ever get in, but then you’d never get out either. You have the key to the windows and doors. You have every right to decide to gets in and who doesn’t. Other people don’t necessarily have to like it, just respect it.
The ability to relax or reinforce our boundaries in certain situations and relationships is not necessarily being whimsical or inconsistent but shows autonomy and confidence in acknowledging and respecting your thoughts and feelings. It’s knowing how much we can expect or take from another person, and how much we’re prepared to give.
Having clear boundaries can help you to recognise another person’s toxic behaviour. It can allow a feeling of empowerment. It can help you to distance yourself from other people’s rage and attitudes rather than feeling responsible for making them feel better or stopping them acting a particular way.
Having boundaries doesn’t mean you don’t care about others. You can still care about and respect other people’s needs, experiences, opinions, feelings and so on – but not at the cost of your own.
Speaking to a counsellor can help you to develop confidence to communicate boundaries assertively.
This article was written by sentientcounselling