Boundaries, just writing the words makes me cringe just a little. The more I grow as a person, the more I realize just how imperative setting boundaries are! Even knowing this importance as a professional and personally, it is still often a challenge to address them.
How many of you can relate? Most times, when we have to address the subject, it is with those close to us. A longer-term co-worker, significant other, close friend, even a parent are all examples. It’s uncomfortable to have boundary talks with the ones closest to you. They of all people should know better, right? Wrong. Often the ones closest to us are the most comfortable. Familiarity sometimes blinds us to when we are overstepping in another’s life.
For instance, venting to your best friend about personal issues may cause them to believe they can force their onion on your life, a family member you help at times may start to think that your time is always their time. A tough one; a toxic parent may feel like they can control every aspect of your life. Letting these issues go unchecked is emotionally draining. However, addressing them can put a strain on your relationship and your mind.
So, what can you do? How do you manage to maintain your personal life while simultaneously maintaining your peace? The first thing is realizing that distance may be a good thing. If you have to have a conversation about respecting your boundaries and it becomes offensive, then may that person needs space to reevaluate their actions and position in your life. It is also important that you have a handle on your emotions while confronting the issues. Delivery is everything. Try not to come across as angry or combative, even if you are mad. Let them know that your relationship is important to you, but so is your mental stability. They may have no idea they are overstepping in any way. Because of that, they will be happy to adjust accordingly. There will be times when you make some people upset; that’s not healthy.
Understand that some are not permanent staples in your life. Those that are may need distance for a while. Those are the hard parts. But, here’s the deal, boundaries are what makes a healthy relationship. The people that have access to you should respect that to the fullest, and you should always be ready to advocate for yourself in that way.