Setting Healthy Boundaries

Hi everyone,

Hope you are doing well and staying safe! I’ve been wanting to continue writing on the blog but wasn’t feeling inspired to do so. Following up from my previous blog post , I’ve spent 1.5 months with my family and friends in Turkey. I’ve moved back to Manchester a week ago and I’m trying to adjust living on my own once again, which involves doing ‘adult’ stuff.

Whilst I’m writing these sentences, I’ve realised it’s already mid-September and I don’t feel the ‘back to school’ season this year. I usually get so excited before the new academic year starts but right now everything seems so uncertain and confusing. I hope everyone’s academic year will be lovely and full of success. Try to enjoy the process (yes, even your failures) instead of hating it.

Anyways, today I want to talk about a topic that’s been on my mind for a long time now, setting healthy boundaries. I care about personal development, therefore how you act in your relationships matter when it comes to being your best-self.

What are healthy boundaries?

A boundary is a limit or space between you and the other person; a clear place where you begin and the other person ends . . . The purpose of setting a healthy boundary is, of course, to protect and take good care of you

 IPFW/Parkview Student Assistance Program

Even though personal boundaries can be challenging to navigate, setting them is essential for our health, wellbeing, and even our safety. I want to explain it further by listing down the benefits of setting healthy boundaries.

Boundaries as an act of self-care

Having boundaries allows you to make yourself a priority, whether that’s in friendships, career aspirations, or within relationships. I think it as an act of self-care as it allows us to protect our emotional energy which then we use to take care of ourselves.

Boundaries gives us space to grow and be vulnerable

We all deal with complex feelings when life happens. By setting boundaries and then breaking them, when the time is right, you’re showing your vulnerability. Personally, I feel so much better when I open up my feelings to people I genuinely trust. I believe being vulnerable with people who are close to you makes your relationship even stronger.

For example, when you openly talk to friends and family, you display your vulnerability to someone. Which means that they’re welcome to open up to us sometime when they need to. Being there for each other is a necessity when it comes to relationships. Growing up with someone together sounds so intimate and genuine.

However, do not forget that vulnerability and oversharing are different. Shared vulnerability brings people closer together over time. Oversharing, on the other hand, can use drama to manipulate, or force the relationship in one direction. That’s where we realise that we need to set boundaries.

Red flags might be:

  • posting personal rants and attacks on social media
  • sharing personal details with new people in hopes of hurrying the friendship along
  • dominated, one-sided conversations
  • expecting on-call emotional therapy from friends and family

Boundaries in relationships

I believe that in our personal relationships, boundaries play a significant role. One good way to avoid crossing someone’s boundaries (and to avoid having one’s own boundaries crossed) is to have honest conversations with people.

Lack of boundaries might lead to an unhealthy relationship as one partner may feel s/he has no privacy anymore. Also, too many boundaries can also be an issue if the person refuses to spend time with friends and families of their partners and doesn’t expresses his/her feelings openly,

When one person is in control of another, love cannot grow deeply and fully, as there is no freedom

Cloud & Townsend, 2002

I always say this on a daily basis: “communication is key”. I try to talk to people whenever I feel like something is off or whenever I feel the urge to reach out because communication prevents misunderstandings which might harm your relationships in long term.

I think that’s all for today’s blog post but I might write another blog post about relationships as I have so much to talk on this topic. I hope you enjoyed this post, and I’ll see you very soon!

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