How to Set Boundaries in Relationships and Why You Must
How necessary is it to set boundaries in relationships?
Most of us assume instinctively that our relationships with our loved ones form naturally. So, to set boundaries in relationships is to rob them of their spontaneity. Society has conditioned us to think that setting boundaries in friendships would make them cosmetic and more formal.
However, on the contrary, almost all behaviorists, psychologists, divorce lawyers, and other professionals dealing with human relationships are of the opinion that it is absolutely essential to build boundaries in relationships. In fact, drawing up a crossover line forms the cornerstone for developing a fulfilling, healthy and enduring relationship.
A boundary serves as the borderline in a relationship – a line that you cannot overstep – and transgressing that margin means you are invading the private space of your partner or associate.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
There are some golden rules that you can keep in mind when you want to set boundaries in relationships.
1. Be aware of your likes and dislikes first
Much before you can go set boundaries in relationships, you should be aware of yourself as an individual. Know your virtues and limitations-do you react violently and become unduly anxious during a crisis situation? Are you overly and overtly emotional? Are you patient and persevering enough to cope with an abnormal event?
On the other hand, does your partner take you granted? Does your spouse treats you badly and makes unethical comments that bruise your ego? You should know clearly what feelings cross your mind during a tiff or argument with your partner or during an unnatural situation. You should be aware of what you like and what you do not.
2. Let your partner know about your requirements and preferences
Once you have your preferences and dislikes figured out, do not shy away from informing your partner about the same. Letting your other half know about your needs and likings does not leave any scope for future misunderstandings. Keeping your partner informed at least makes the violations or transgressions distinct when the boundary is crossed.
3. Realize how and where to draw the line
Each and every individual has his or her own private space which he or she would naturally like to safeguard at any cost. After all, which normal and healthy person would tolerate seeing their feelings being trampled without reacting? You could have a husband or wife who is constantly asking for money but never giving it back to you when you need it.
Or, you could have a friend who is using you as an arm candy, always pestering you with his or her personal problems. If you tolerate such behavior usually, then it is time you take a stand and let your better half or your friend know about how you feel about being mistreated. Behave in a manner so that these persons stop taking you for granted.
Has the borderline already been overstepped? How will you know?
You will know that your partner or friend is taking you for a ride when they hold you responsible for souring the relationships. You will realize that the borderline has been overstepped when the obnoxious behavior of your associates makes you feel miserable, drained and overwhelmed. The remedy is to tell yourself that you are as much human as they are and that you will not allow them to play with your feelings anymore.
4. Find your equilibrium
In the process of trying to set a boundary, you could find yourself at the receiving end. You could end up feeling guilty, blaming yourself for everything that has happened. If you feel so, then it is an indication that the relationship or relationships are unstable. In trying to set boundaries, do not make yourself a victim.