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Having healthy boundaries in your friendships, family relationships, colleagues and even romantic relationship can be harder than it sounds. Especially if you haven’t had a good example of this growing up.
Sometimes we need to learn or re-learn what this looks like and how to implement it. The good news is that it is possible, and it can transform relationships into a healthy, thriving and lasting ones.
Here are five steps to take on this journey:
To create healthy boundaries, it is essential to be clear and straightforward about what you want and need. Start small, and focus on one area at a time. This will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed and make it easier to communicate your boundaries effectively.
When you establish boundaries, it’s common to encounter resistance from the people you’re setting them with. Try not to react negatively, as this can undermine your efforts. Instead, stay calm and remain firm in your position.
Your body language plays a crucial role in communicating your boundaries effectively. Make eye contact (if possible), use a firm but respectful tone of voice, and convey assertiveness and clarity.
To be effective, boundaries must be clearly articulated. Be specific about what you want and why. Prewritten points can be helpful in easing any high levels of anxiety and keeping you on topic, even in the face of pushback from others.
The key to establishing healthy boundaries is consistency. Practice saying “no” and using “I” statements. Stick to your boundaries, no matter how many times someone asks or ignores them. Over time, people will learn to respect your boundaries and understand that they are an important aspect of who you are.
As discussed, it’s not always easy to implement health boundaries especially if this was never taught to you growing up. Sometimes getting some extra support in this can be useful. Try connecting with a therapist who can provide you with expert support around this. Our therapists are specialists in providing counselling for relationships – check out their profiles to schedule a consultation.