Setting boundaries in relationships can be difficult, especially for those that dislike confrontation. The thing is, confrontation is good for the development of healthy relationships because we are all different and have our preferences. This means that we must also respect the boundaries that other people place in their lives.
If you desire to live a healthy life, you will need to set some boundaries. Not only will you need to set boundaries, you will need to enforce them. Setting a boundary without enforcing it is like leaving your front door open and wondering why you got burgled. The door is there but you failed to shut it. At some point, you will need to make clear in your relationships what you will and will not tolerate because you cannot blame people for not abiding with a boundary that they knew nothing about.
Here are some types of relationships that require boundaries:
As humans, we are naturally selfish. This means that people may befriend us with a motive that is not completely altruistic. Before you open the door to someone coming into your life, you may want to carry out some due diligence and consider whether they will add value to you or simply suck the life out of you. Now, there are some situations where the nature of the relationship requires mainly one person to add value to the other such as a mentor- mentee relationship. However, a healthy relationship cannot be sustained where only one person benefits from the other.
Healthy romantic relationships require clear boundaries from the outset. This ensures that both parties are on the same page and have realistic expectations of each other. One of the most important boundaries to make in a relationship is the protection against trespassers. How do you deal with the opposite sex? How close is too close? Whose advice do you listen to about your relationship? Too many opinions in a relationship can be destructive. This is not suggesting that you ignore wise counsel from people around you however you must discern whether the interference from outsiders will be detrimental to your relationship.
Abuse is fatal, whether it is physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Setting boundaries in such relationships may anger the abuser because they are used to being in control. For the sake of peace, the abused may try to win the approval of the abuser by removing the boundary which results in the abuse cycle starting all over again. Do not let an out of control person shake you of your feet. Where your safety is concerned, for example in a physically abusive relationship, you may want to distance yourself from the abuser.
The key to setting boundaries
The first step is to know yourself and identify what your beliefs, values and needs are. Knowing yourself makes it easier to define what is acceptable in your life. It is nearly impossible for someone to manipulate or abuse you in your relationships if you know who you are. Remember, boundaries are not about controlling, changing or forcing people to do what we want. It is about ensuring that we live out a healthy and balanced life.
Author - CHRISTIANA MAKANJUOLA