What are Healthy Boundaries?
Setting boundaries are easier said than done because the need to create them often stems from experiences of trauma, invalidation of our feelings and emotions, and abuse.
Here are a few examples of what healthy boundaries are. Consider trying out. Say them each out loud and take careful notice of how you feel and what it sounds like coming from you. Most likely, many of them will feel uncomfortable and perhaps even sound awkward. That’s okay. What is important is that you have started.
- It is not my responsibility to make sure others are responsible.
- It is not my job to rescue others from their drama.
- It is okay if others get angry.
- It is okay to say no and to feel guilty about it.
- It is my job to make myself happy and figure out what gives me joy
- It is not my job to think, feel or live for others.
- I have a right to my feelings regardless of what anyone else feels about them.
- No one has to agree with me.
- No one has a right to verbally or emotionally abuse me. That includes friends, family, co-workers and partners.
- It is okay to spend time alone without having to explain myself.
- I don’t need permission to be who I am or think what I think.
- I don’t need permission to be myself or share and enjoy my passions
- Other people have every right not to like me or disagree with me, but they do not have the right to disrespect me.
- I have the right to end draining conversations and relationships.
- I know I am enough.
- I don’t need approval.
Take note of which of the above are the easiest and the hardest for you to set. The easiest ones will encourage you in terms of how far you’ve come, and the hardest ones will give you insight into what you are resisting, denying or rejecting about yourself.
Unlike walls that we put up to hide parts of ourselves, boundaries are there to protect you and allow you to grow and develop into a more conscious, integrated and happy person.