Relationships are all about communication. One thing that is often under-communicated is healthy boundaries.
Setting boundaries in your relationships is a high priority. Frequently, we run into the same issues over and over again because boundaries remain unclear. We choose to people-please rather than discuss the boundaries we need for ourselves. This goes for familial, platonic, and romantic relationships.
Learning how to set healthy boundaries is the ultimate tool for your relationship toolbox. Brene Brown says it best:
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”
When we choose to set boundaries, we are establishing emotional stability for ourselves. We eliminate unnecessary stress and expectations. With specific boundaries set, we can begin to pave our own path, with a lot less disappointment.
Here are 5 Ways to Communicate Healthy Boundaries in Any Relationship
Remember: your feelings matter
Much too often, we belittle our own feelings. We choose to please others so that we can settle the situation faster. This is not a long-term solution for a relationship.
Take a moment to remind yourself that your emotions are always valid. You are feeling something for a reason. No matter what it is, these feelings need to be accepted and embraced. That’s the only way to work through them!
Holding back emotions can only lead to unhealthy grudges and passive energy. This doesn’t benefit anyone in the relationship, especially you.
Keep Your Language Simple
When taking the first step to discuss boundaries, try to be as clear and concise as possible. Do not bounce around the issue. Be very specific about what bothers you and how it can be changed. This will help to resolve any situation where a boundary is unclear.
A helpful tip is to use “I” language. This addresses clearly that this is your boundary. It explains how you feel. For example, “I am uncomfortable when you speak to me in that way” precisely identifies how a situation makes you feel.
Stay Calm and Kind
No matter the situation, try your best to be well-tempered when setting boundaries. Becoming super emotional only distresses you and those with who you are working to set boundaries.
This doesn’t mean to start people-pleasing again. It simply means to be direct! Your words will show enough that you need your boundaries respected.
You Don’t Need to Always Justify Yourself
This is a big one. You do not need to keep justifying yourself. Repeat this to yourself over and over again.
All the time, we sell ourselves short by justifying everything we need. We feel that we need to explain ourselves and make the other person comfortable with our boundary. That isn’t the purpose of a boundary.
If you have a boundary that you want respected, you do not need to justify or over-explain why. It is YOUR boundary. That is what you want and need.
Stand Up for Yourself, Always
Last but not least – never forget to vocalize when your boundaries aren’t respected. You set up the boundary for your own self-preservation. If you continuously let someone cross it, then what was the point of the boundary?
This brings us back to #2 and #3. If you find your boundary crossed, be clear and kind. Do not resort to people-pleasing to avoid chaos.
Remember: you made your boundary clear. You did something great for yourself! But, unfortunately, the other person failed to respect that boundary. That is not your fault.
Addressing a crossed boundary isn’t easy. Being brave enough to take the step and have the conversation will change your life. It doesn’t mean that the relationship is done, actually. A lot of times, standing up for yourself can result in much stronger, more transparent relationships.
A Final Note
If you are struggling with boundaries in a relationship, you are not alone. We all work to express ourselves and our needs. Sometimes, we get lost and don’t understand exactly what they are. That is ok – you will figure it out with time.
The most important part is to stay true to your feelings. Your self-preservation is what matters above everything.
Did these tips on how to set healthy boundaries help? Would love to know how you are working to set healthy boundaries in the comments below!