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Healthy emotional boundaries are the ultimate guide to successful relationships. Many of us fail to understand and even realise the importance of building and maintaining boundaries. These boundaries help us to understand what’s okay, and what’s not for anyone in a relationship. The simplest way to think of an emotional boundary is a clear line of what is and is not one’s to deal with. A healthy emotional boundary doesn’t mean you just automatically discard all dissenting opinions. Instead, you want to pick it up, look at it, consider whether it has any validity, and then put it back down.
Without any healthy boundaries, relationships may result in feelings of resentment, disappointment, or violation. The boundaries that you create also help in making yourself better by boosting your self-esteem, confidence and emotional stability.
You cannot eat the same food every day even if it’s your favourite. Eventually, you will get fed up and give up on it. The same way, when you overdo something, you tend to lose interest after reaching a certain point. This is exactly why you need to set boundaries not only in romantic relationships, but all the other relationships, be it with friends or family. A boundary will help you set limitations for others to recognise till what extent you want them to get close to you. By setting boundaries, you draw a line and set a clear understanding of your personal space where only you are allowed.
There should be a defined limit in every relationship that should not be affected; some of which include personal secrets, beliefs, your personal self and your thoughts. It differs from one person to another. One person’s comfort might be another’s limits. Without certain boundaries, we feel drained, exploited, underestimated, or barged in on, not initially but eventually. Boundaries can be physical or emotional, and defining both is a key to the path of a healthy relationship.
Life is hectic, and we sometimes aren’t aware of how much we are putting onto others. It’s unreasonable to expect other people to know where your boundaries are without you having the ability to communicate and enforce them. Here’s how you can set boundaries to maintain a healthy relationship:
1. First and foremost, identify the boundaries that you would like to set.
2. Convey your considerations, talk to them and understand each other’s limits.
3. Never anticipate another person’s sentiments. Let go of the guilt and ask for what they want.
4. Safeguard your priorities to secure your happiness.
5. The act of setting healthy emotional boundaries comes down to putting yourself first. That is respecting who you are as a person, your identity, what values you have, what needs you have, your goals, your emotions, and that it is okay for you to be you.
At times, it’s far tougher to become aware of when our barriers are being crossed. You might even dread the outcomes of these boundaries and the way it might affect your relationship. In all actuality, a relationship can’t be solid if clear limits are not set and regarded.
To spot if your emotional boundaries are being hammered consistently, keep a check on your feelings. Look around for warning signs which can include discomfort, instability, fear or anxiety. You might often find yourself doubting your decisions or feel like something is “off”. Although, besides these, if you ever feel like you are being disturbed very often, or you feel uncomfortable while having the conversations or at any point feel suffocated in the relationship, then these are pretty obvious signs that your boundaries are not being respected and it’s the time to have “the talk”.
When you set emotional boundaries with your partner: