Setting personal boundaries is important for our mental health but can be easier said than done. By setting boundaries you are protecting your physical space and feelings with the people around you. However, determining exactly what those boundaries are and with whom can be a challenge.
The complexity of setting boundaries lies in how fluid they can be. The boundaries you set with one person, may not be the boundaries you set with another. You also may continually adjust your boundaries week to week, month to month, or even year to year depending on what you have going on in your life.
One important aspect of setting boundaries is to not be fooled by the word “boundaries”. This is not something that is set in stone and is not meant to keep people away from you. They are more guidelines for how you interact with the people around you and how they can interact back.
Things to Consider
1. Boundaries can and should be flexible. Reassessing where you are in life and how your boundaries fit into it is a good thing and should be done every so often. If you are finding that your boundaries are too rigid, or too flexible for where you are currently at do not hesitate to adjust them accordingly. The last thing you want to do is cut yourself off from everyone or be taken advantage of.
2. Boundaries give us room to grow in our vulnerability. Be honest. How many times after something major has happened in your life have your emotions varied on how you feel about it? One minute you might be angry, the next sad, maybe the next day you see immense humor in the situation only to turn around and feel angry again. Life is a rollercoaster and setting boundaries allows you to navigate that in a way that is healthy for you. Setting boundaries and knowing when to break with them shows growth and vulnerability which in the long run will strengthen your relationships.
3. Boundaries improve our self-esteem. Better self-esteem usually allows us to have better relationships because we are confident about what we bring to the table. Boundaries allow yourself to make yourself a priority which trickles down into your relationships. The adage “you can’t take care of someone else until you take care of yourself” is true and having boundaries helps you accomplish this.
4. Boundaries help us conserve emotional energy. When you have boundaries in place you are essentially advocating for yourself. This in turn helps prevent resentment in your relationships because you allow yourself to be walked all over. The boundaries you set do not have to be the same for every person or situation in your life and solely depend on your comfort level and trust in the moment. Different radiuses for different people are great because they prevent you from getting overly emotionally drained.
What Constitutes Too Much Information?
Worried about sharing too about yourself with the wrong person? It’s ok. Judging how much to share without it being too much is a difficult task for anyone. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you determine just what you want to share with the various people in your life.
No matter how angry or frustrated you may be at someone or a particular situation try to avoid posting about it on social media.
Be careful about how much and what you dump on someone else as far as daily personal drama.
Take your time getting to know new people before trusting them with extremely personal information about yourself.
Don’t dominate the conversation. Allow the person you are confiding in a chance to do the same if they need.
Your friends and family have their own dramas they are dealing with so be mindful that they may not always be able to respond when and how much you want.