When you think of the word “boundary”, what comes to mind?
Is it a line drawn in the sand?
Is it a bright red STOP sign?
If you answered yes to either of those, you’re on the right path.
Despite common misconceptions of being selfish and abrasive, boundaries can benefit your personal and interpersonal relationships.
Boundaries allow us to be mindful of ourselves and our preferences, to say no without the guilt, to release anxiety and fear, and to enhance our emotional and mental health.
Boundaries are as unique as their practitioner.
Here are a few examples:
Talking about politics makes you feel enraged.
So, when someone starts talking to you about the 2020 Presidential Election Nominees, you suggest to change the topic of conversation.
This example reflects the 3 main components of boundaries:
When someone yells and curses at you, you feel uncomfortable.
So, when someone yells and curses at you, you remove yourself from the situation.
Seeing pictures of high fashion models makes you feel bad about your body.
So, you unfollow high fashion models from Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Whatever they may be, boundaries are a convergence of:
Being self-aware is the key to creating mindful and effective boundaries. Knowing what you deem safe, reasonable, permissible, and pleasurable comes from being aware of your preferences.
Self-respect fuels the boundaries you create. Think “I respect myself, my safety, and my contentness, so I will politely refuse to ______”.
For me personally, creating boundaries was inspired by wanting to prioritize peace in my life. Whatever you prioritize, from peacefulness to positive conversation, let it drive the boundaries you create.