Boundaries are essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Boundaries are how we teach others to treat us and it’s important that we have them in place to protect ourselves.
There are many different types of boundaries you can have. Many people tend to associate boundaries with people, but they are equally important to have in other aspects of your life.
These include affection (who can/can’t touch you, how frequently, and where); These are extremely important! People have varying levels of comfort when it comes to physical touch. Some people are super affectionate and love to hug, while others cringe when someone touches them. You have to know what your level of comfort is with touch so you can clearly convey that to others. In order to respect the boundaries of others, you may also want to ask people what their preference in prior to being affectionate with them (ex: asking if it’s ok to hug them).
Emotional boundaries involve how others make you feel and how much of your personal life you want to share. If someone makes you feel bad about yourself or is asking too many personal questions, then they are likely violating your emotional boundaries. It is important to know your limits and inform others of them as well.
Everyone has a social battery and some have a bigger charge than others. It’s important to know what your social battery looks like so you can understand your limits and set boundaries with others when needed. That may involve saying no to making plans or sharing that you’re not comfortable with the plans others are making.
These boundaries involve the material possessions that you have. Is there someone you know that always wants to borrow your car? Takes things without asking? Material boundaries are needed in order to protect your stuff because anytime someone uses your things without permission, it will create resentment and frustration for you.
Everyone is pretty busy with different areas of their life and you want to be able to manage your time wisely. It may seem like others are requiring too much of your time (Ex: always staying over too late) or don’t respect it (ex: often late to plans and making you wait on them).
This category involve consent, being able to talk about what you do and don’t like, saying no, and discussing privacy preferences. It is is extremely important to be with someone who respect these boundaries and to have the confidence to express them.
There are multiple factors that go into someones point of view and belief system. If you are speaking with someone who shuts down your beliefs or makes you feel belittled, then that is a violation of your boundary. It’s ok to disagree! But it’s not ok to make a person feel terrible about their ideas. Understand what your boundaries are in regards to this subject and be assertive about them (ex: “It seems like we’re at a point where we can’t agree on this topic, so let’s just move on from it.”)
Hopefully after reading through the list above, you’ve considered the boundaries you want to set in your life. Boundaries are like fences that protect you. As a therapist who treats high functioning anxiety, I have worked with many people who struggle with putting boundaries into place. Everyone needs boundaries and the people in your life who respect you will respect the boundaries you put into place. Good luck!