Last week we got the low-down on identifying your own boundaries. This week let’s dive into how to set them!
Not to go all “communication is key” on you, but communication is key, folks! It’s a popular saying for a reason. Not everyone experiences things the same as you — while something making you uncomfortable may be glaringly obvious to you, the person may not even realize they are crossing a limit. This is why it’s important to communicate what exactly is making you uncomfortable as well as what you need from the person. The word ‘boundaries’ may sound like something divisive and isolating, but they actually help bring people closer by affirming a sense of trust and understanding. Let’s say you really value a clean bathroom. You are someone who’s mental state is hugely affected by your environment, and your partner keeps leaving their toothpaste on the counter. To them this is normal or not even something they’re conscious of, but to you it feels like a direct attack because one of your values is a clean environment. Cursing them under your breath isn’t going to make them put their toothpaste away, but communicating this need most likely will! While this may seem like a frivolous example, not communicating clear boundaries and needs is what builds resentment in any form of a relationship and little things like this can add up. Setting boundaries provides a chance for the other party to show you respect and vice versa, which reinforces the relationship and encourages open communication.
We all have different needs and thresholds of tolerance, so take some time to understand yourself and identify your values and the boundaries that go along with them. We often have a lot more autonomy in situations than we think, so identifying and communicating your own personal boundaries can help you gain more control of your world and the energy you give off. Take from this what you need, but allow it to serve as a reminder that it is okay to say no. No one will be mad at you, and if they are they are adults who can also communicate their needs and boundaries (uno reverse card)!