(May 5, 2022)

Boundaries should be a part of every relationship

Especially healthy relationships. Practicing healthy communication patterns and clearly setting boundaries is a large part of what helps people to grow and find peace in their relationships with others and themselves. In her book, “Set Boundaries Find Peace”, Nedra Glover Tawwab dives into what boundaries are, how to set them and how to find strength in the power that you have over yourself and your relationships. 

According to Tawwab, some signs that you may need to set boundaries in your life may look like: 

  • Feeling constantly overwhelmed.
  • Feeling resentment toward people asking you for help.
  • Avoiding phone calls and interactions with people who you think might ask you for something. 
  • Making comments about helping people and getting nothing in return. 
  • Feeling burned out. 
  • Constantly daydreaming about dropping everything and disappearing. 
  • Having no time for yourself. 

If some or all of these statements resonate with you, it may be time to think about setting some boundaries with yourself and the people and obligations in your life. 

There are six categories that boundaries can fall into: 

  • Physical 
  • Sexual 
  • Intellectual 
  • Emotional 
  • Material 
  • Time 

Boundaries can sometimes evoke strong feelings of guilt on the person setting the boundary. One way to reframe this guilt is that you are setting a boundary with someone so that they can still continue to be a part of your life in a healthy way. 

Communicating a boundary can also be a challenge.

Making a clear intentional plan of how to communicate and set a boundary can make it go smoother. Notice the tone of your voice when you set the boundary verbally as well. Speaking in a calm tone will make the other person mirror that calmness, and will improve their response to the boundary. On the other hand, getting to the point where you are shouting a boundary and are full of anger will likely invoke a strong emotional response in the other person. Be intentional about how to communicate your boundaries with other people. 

Because boundaries are a key part of healthy relationships, they are just as important to our relationships with ourselves. Some boundaries that you set with yourself may look like: 

  • I will work for two hours and then take a walk. Walking is important for my mental health so it is something I need to do for myself today.
  • I have some free time tonight so I will fold my laundry first and tidy my space and then relax and watch netflix. Folding my laundry and keeping things tidy will help me feel more in control of things later on. 
  • I have a day off but need to do some work and send some emails. I will work from 11-12 and then not check my work email for the rest of the day. I want to enjoy my day off with my family, so this way I will not be distracted when I am with them.

If you need help learning how to set boundaries, call us to schedule an appointment at (217) 203-2008 or send us an email