Developing Healthy Boundaries in Relationships is key to protecting yourself and taking care of yourself. It’s important to have healthy boundaries in relationships to ensure the development of a positive self concept and to have positive and healthy relationships. In this article you will learn everything about healthy boundaries in relationships- why it’s important, types and how to make it happen.

Types of Boundaries in Relationships

Healthy and functional boundaries- a person with healthy and functional boundaries is accepting of self and others, able to value their own judgement and opinion and not constantly going out of their way and compromising too much. They are also able to indulge in appropriate sharing of personal information. 

Porous boundaries- a person with porous boundaries may tend to share too much personal information or may get overly involved with other’s lives and problems. They may feel obliged and have difficulty saying no to others, have difficulty communicating about their needs to others and put up with abusive relationships.

Rigid boundaries- individuals with rigid boundaries may seem to be detached from others. They tend to distance themselves, avoid intimacy and closeness in the fear of rejection and thus tend to have very few close relationships.

Ways to have healthy boundaries in relationships

Cultivating awareness about one’s own needs and honouring them- in order to create and have healthy boundaries in place it is important to create awareness about one’s needs in the first place. This could involve making an inventory of your needs and belief systems or simply by cultivating self awareness. 

  1. Reflect on your existing boundaries by asking yourself some questions like- do you always feel the need to please people and seek their approval, why are you popular among your friends, do you always make yourself available to everyone at all times? These questions will help bring more clarity into the nature of your boundaries and whether they are healthy or not. 
  2. Setting limits- by differentiating between what is acceptable for you and what makes you uncomfortable. Understanding what is okay and what is not okay for you is critical to having healthy boundaries. 
  3. Learn to pay attention to your feelings- when you feel uncomfortable around someone or through their behaviour it may be an indication that they have acted in ways to violate your personal boundaries.
  4. Be assertive- while you create awareness about your needs and set limits it’s also important that you communicate about these in relationships. 
  5. Taking responsibility- Many a times we fail to understand that people treat us a certain way because we allow them to do so. You are at some level telling them that is okay to treat you with less respect, to take you for granted, to use or abuse you which is why the unacceptable behaviour continues. 
  6. Prioritize self care- do more of the things that you love to do, that boosts your mood and makes you happy. When you give yourself the permission to put yourself first you will be better able to take care of others.

At the end it’s important to realise that implementing these changes and grounding oneself to these boundaries takes time and practice. Remember to start small steps and take it one at a time.