“Setting boundaries is a crucial aspect of mental health, self-care, and well-being. Setting healthy boundaries is empowering, as it protects our self-esteem and self-respect, and allows us to enjoy healthy relationships.” (PositivePsychology.com)
You might think, given the above quote and the fact that I am a stress management trainer who helps others with their mental health, self-care, and well-being, that I have nailed the art and science of setting boundaries.
Here's my confession: I am pretty terrible at setting boundaries.
Let’s just say it’s a work in progress.
I have heard about boundaries and the importance of them but I haven’t really understood what they are or how to apply them. I have even mistakenly thought that setting boundaries is rude and inconsiderate.
I recently saw this diagram and content from PositivePsychology.com and now boundaries are making a little more sense to me. If you, too, are struggling to set boundaries, I hope this helps you like it has helped me.
“By exploring your boundaries, we do not mean that you need to establish rigid rules within each domain. You may be the type of person who has no issues with physical touch and sharing your space but prefers not to share too much of your time with anyone.
It is also likely that your boundaries vary per context, such as at home with your friends vs. at work with your colleagues (Lamont & Molnár, 2002).
For example, a first-grade teacher may ask her students not to use any of the things on her desk without her permission (material boundary), as well as not wanting to talk about her romantic life with her students (conversational boundary). However, this teacher may not be very strict with physical boundaries, so she starts the day by giving all of her young students a hug or a high-five.
Remember, people can vary in rigidity for each type of boundary, so there is no right and wrong way to set healthy boundaries! It is also likely that your boundaries vary per context, such as at home with your friends vs. at work with your colleagues (Lamont & Molnár, 2002).
Setting healthy boundaries is a two-way street, meaning that if you want your boundaries respected, you should also respect those of others even if they are incongruent with yours.”
In which domain would setting a boundary make all the difference in your life?
Here’s to conquering stress.
The Stress Experts
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