Boundaries are the rules that each of us has, that tell other people how we wish to be treated. They are a way to take care of ourselves. Setting boundaries is beneficial because “It protects your mental well-being.” When we don’t have strong boundaries, when we fear saying no to people, we can end up giving away a lot of our energy, sometimes to the point of exhaustion. Boundaries are important. Setting them may look like to others that you are being selfish, as they may be under the impression that you should be available to them whenever they need it.
When Boundaries are selfish
- When we use them as an excuse to NEVER be available to others.
- When they are being used to control others.
The thing is that having a lack of respect for someone else’s boundaries is an act of selfishness in itself.
How to set and maintain Healthy Boundaries
- Value your own opinions
- Being able to say, “no”
- Accept when others tell you “no”
- Being able to clearly communicate both wants and needs
- Being flexible, but do not compromise yourself in an unhealthy way
- Share personal information appropriately (not too much or not too little)
- Understanding, honoring and respecting your own needs and the needs of others
- Respecting others’ values, beliefs, and opinions, even if they are different from your own
Benefits of Setting Boundaries
- Prevents burnout
- Reduces or eliminates resentment
- Builds greater self-esteem
- Get clear on who you are, what you want, and your values and belief systems
- Brings focus to yourself and your well-being
- Enhances your mental health and emotional well-being
- Avoid burnout
- Develop independence
- Gain a greater sense of identity