Need help setting healthy boundaries in relationships? Looking for examples of setting boundaries in a relationship?
Maybe you’re struggling to protect yourself from negative people in your life. Whether at home, school, or at work, it can be challenging to draw the lines and maintain healthy boundaries. Especially, in stressful and intense environments.
Perhaps you’re having boundary issues, and need help regaining that privacy and protection you desire and need to stay healthy mentally.
If you’re ready to take back your space and peace of mind, read this article to discover how to set healthy boundaries in relationships, why it is necessary, examples of boundaries, and what are unhealthy boundaries.
Before you can establish boundaries you first need to understand what they are, and what they are not.
What Are Boundaries?
Personal boundaries are limits that we set as to how we allow others to interact with us in order to be comfortable around others. Boundaries in relationships can be physical, emotional, mental, or social.
Boundaries are not a way of changing another person or always getting your way. It’s about establishing how we feel comfortable around other people.
The first thing you must know is that boundaries are a good thing, not something to be feared or avoided.
Is Setting Healthy Boundaries in Relationships Necessary?
You absolutely need boundaries in order to have healthy and happy relationships. With some people in your life boundaries may just be set up naturally. They are natural because you may communicate the same and share a lot of the same values and beliefs. If you have friends or family like that hang on to those relationships.
However, no matter how well you get along with another person you still need clear boundaries. This is especially important when you live with someone, spend a lot of time together, or even when you work closely with another person. You may have even set up some boundaries without even realizing it.
Identifying When Better Boundaries are Needed
There are signs that you’ll need to create clear boundaries. It’s important to not ignore the warning signs when you feel or see them in your relationships.
- Are they constantly talking about topics you’ve asked them not to?
- Do you feel like your personal space is being invaded?
- Have you repeatedly felt uncomfortable and on edge around them?
- Does it seem as if they’re always inserting themselves where they don’t belong?
- Do you find yourself looking for a way to end conversations or leave a room?
- Are you constantly oversharing personal issues or stories?
Don’t ignore the signs when people cross your boundaries.
Boundaries are necessary because they create trust, respect, a feeling of safety, and security in a relationship. Which we all deserve! Read more on the importance of setting healthy boundaries in relationships here: How Relationships Influence Our Health.
How Do You Set Healthy Boundaries in Relationships?
Need to establish better boundaries? Here are 3 steps to setting up healthy boundaries in a relationship:
#1. Understand Yourself and Your Needs
When setting healthy boundaries in relationships, it is helpful to remember that you matter and your needs matter. But, their needs matter too! If you find yourself struggling with your self-esteem, continuously looking for approval from others, or have strong fears related to rejection or criticism, it is going to be harder for you to set healthy boundaries.
There are some things that are clearly unhealthy boundaries in relationships, and there are some things that may just be unhealthy for you in particular.
The more you know about yourself, the easier it is to set healthy boundaries. Often as humans, we tend to just assume that people know our boundaries. This can actually cause a lot of conflict in relationships. It causes conflict when you assume the other person should know better, but they don’t. We have to first know our boundaries, and then be able to openly communicate them.
#2. Understand Other People’s Needs Won’t be the Same
We all have different boundaries because we all have uniquely different personalities, viewpoints, beliefs, and values. We all experience the world differently based on what we’ve been through in the past, or just experience in our own mind space due to our innate traits.
Many of our actions and decisions are actually done with the unconscious brain. Scientists have discovered that up to 95% of our decisions are made through our unconscious brains. So it is helpful to be aware of this, and consider how well we are communicating with others.
In a relationship, a lot of arguments can arise because we think that someone should know how we feel about certain things. A lot of us have past trauma that can show up, and cause conflicts in a relationship.
For example, let’s say you were made fun of for being short in the past and it always bothered you. If a friend or your significant other makes a joke about you being short that could trigger that pain from the past. It might be easy to get upset at them. But if they don’t know about your past, they clearly didn’t mean to hurt you. However, if you make it known that it is a sensitive topic, then you have set up a healthy boundary.
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#3. Communicate Boundaries & Know When to Compromise
It is super important to be very open in your communication about your boundaries. It is also important that the other person be open to receiving the information. Sometimes compromises may need to be made. However, compromises are going to be made with your soft boundaries, not your hard boundaries.
Hard boundaries are boundaries you can’t compromise on and shouldn’t.
- An example of a hard boundary might be not compromising on something related to past trauma.
But there are also soft boundaries where it might be okay to compromise.
- An example of a soft boundary might be you want to stay home as an introvert, but your extrovert partner wants to be at a social event. You compromise by attending the social event, but only staying for a couple of hours.
Remember, that setting healthy boundaries are important for relationships to stay healthy. It’s never too late to draw or redraw boundaries. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself, and have your needs met. Especially, if this relationship is important to you or essential to your job or day-to-day life.
One awkward feeling conversation is worth turning a relationship around.
Examples of Setting Healthy Boundaries in Relationships
What are healthy social boundaries in a relationship? What are examples of setting boundaries as an introvert or extrovert? Use these examples to help you set your own boundaries.
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Establishing Boundaries as an Introvert or Extrovert
It is also necessary to understand your personality when setting healthy boundaries. If you know that you are an introvert, then you may need more alone time and can’t be surrounded constantly by large groups of people.
Small talk is probably hard for you, you probably like more meaningful conversations. You may also need quiet time to think and process things. Otherwise, you could feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and become irritable. Here are 12 Things Introverts Absolutely Need in Life to be Happy.
An extrovert, however, needs time to socialize and engage with lots of other people. They love being around other people.
Be aware of what your needs are:
- How much time do you need alone or to engage with other people?
- Do you need more small group hangouts?
- Do you need to engage in more meaningful conversations?
- What does your significant other, friend, or family member need?
These conversations are super important to have in order to establish healthy boundaries. It’s also not always black and white.
How to Communicate Boundaries for Social Events
As an introvert, I sometimes test my limits. I think I can handle going to another party, even though I was just at a big social event the other night. I might be expected to be there or maybe I even want to go, but after a couple of hours, I’m just done.
And it is my responsibility to communicate that to my husband and make it known. Sometimes though, my exhaustion kicks in before I communicate my need to leave. But usually, I will tell him 30 minutes before I reach that point. We are actually both introverts. So we tend to be done with social interactions around the same time, but not always.
If you know one of you is going to be done socializing way before the other, then you might make a point to take separate cars to go to a party or event. You don’t have to make excuses when you can’t handle too much people interaction.
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Accept That We Are All Different
It is okay to plan fewer activities during the week or on weekends because you need some time to yourself. You don’t have to make excuses for needing healthy boundaries.
In the United States, society largely supports being extroverted and being more outgoing. However, it is perfectly acceptable to be an introvert. Both introverts and extroverts are important to society, and both have their benefits.
Even if you are both introverts or extroverts, your boundaries may not be the same. There are still different levels of being an introvert or an extrovert. In fact, some people find themselves falling somewhere in the middle, and don’t consider themselves to be an introvert or an extrovert.
Examples of Healthy Boundaries in Relationships
What Are Healthy Boundaries for Values and Beliefs?
When setting healthy boundaries in relationships, you also have to be aware of your values and beliefs and make them known. If you are a religious person, and you value going to church regularly, you need to make that known. Your significant other needs to respect that. As long as you are not neglecting them, it is completely acceptable to set up boundaries around your beliefs.
If you value family time, it is important to make plans with your significant other as to how often you have family time. If the person you are in a relationship with keeps you from family, those are not healthy boundaries.
However, when you commit to marriage your spouse should always be your number one priority, along with any children you have. But you can’t be there for everyone and anyone, sometimes you have to put yourself first. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
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What Are Emotional Boundaries in a Relationship?
Setting healthy boundaries in relationships is also about creating emotional boundaries. It is important that each person respects the other’s opinions, perspectives, and feelings. It is important to validate the feelings of others. It is not okay for someone to continually criticize, dismiss, ignore, or deny another person’s feelings. Nor should a person have to justify their feelings.
Additionally, you have to separate your feelings from the other person’s. You can’t let someone else’s feelings take over your own. It is unhealthy for your thoughts, feelings, and mood to depend on another person.
What are Healthy Physical Boundaries in a Relationship?
Physical boundaries are definitely necessary when setting healthy boundaries in relationships. Physical Boundaries Include:
A. Space Boundaries
Physical boundaries can be how close a person can get to you, who can touch you, or who is allowed in your home.
- You might have physical boundaries such as not having your boss in your home.
- Or you may not be okay with strangers talking to you while inches from your face.
- Maybe you prefer to only receive hugs from a few select family members.
It is okay if you are not comfortable hugging people and would rather shake hands or fist bump instead. All of those are okay.
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B. Sexual Boundaries
Physical boundaries can also be sexual. A significant other needs to understand what their partner is and isn’t okay with. Open communication needs to happen when there is intimacy involved.
C. Basic Need Boundaries
Physical boundaries also include needs such as food, water, and sleep. If someone is regularly depriving another of basic needs that would be very unhealthy.
What are Healthy Financial Boundaries in a Relationship?
Financial boundaries are very important in a marriage for setting healthy boundaries in relationships. Here are some common financial boundaries:
A. Money Saved vs. Spent
It is important to set up boundaries as to how much money you feel it is okay to spend vs save.
B. Big Purchases
Usually there is some understanding of how much another person can spend on a product/service without informing their spouse. My husband and I have an understanding as to what qualifies as a big purchase, and we check with the other one before making those purchases.
C. Budgets for Purchases
There might also be boundaries as to how much money can be spent on certain activities, services, or product purchases. Many couples budget a certain amount of money for going out, groceries, clothing, etc.
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Unhealthy Boundaries in Relationships
Some examples of unhealthy boundaries in a relationship include when a person doesn’t trust you, even when you give them every reason to. Physical abuse, violence, neglecting personal space boundaries, and verbal abuse, are all unhealthy boundaries.
Verbal abuse might be if someone says “you are worthless, you are not good at anything, your ugly, or you don’t deserve certain things.” This is also classified as mental abuse, which is anything that is a continuous attack on your personality, character, physical qualities, etc. Anything that is a constant attack on your self-esteem is a sign of a toxic relationship.
Breaking Boundaries with Manipulation
It is unhealthy for another person to regularly tell someone how to feel, or use guilt, bribery, or another form of manipulation. A person trying to exhibit control over another person is also a sign of unhealthy boundaries. Examples of control are if someone tells you what to do and don’t do. They may tell you who you can hang out with, and tell you how to look, act, or even feel.
Sometimes control can be subtler though like in the form of manipulation through gaslighting. Manipulation is a bit harder to see, especially if you have been in a manipulative relationship for a long period of time. Make sure you know these unhealthy signs and how to spot them.
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Hopefully, this helps you to have healthy boundaries for happy, healthy, and strong relationships.Is setting boundaries good for a relationship? Looking for examples of healthy boundaries? Click here for the secrets to setting healthy boundaries in relationships. #Relationships #RelationshipGoals #RelationshipAdvice
Will you start setting healthy boundaries in relationships?
More About Guest Contributor
My name is Jena. I am the writer/creator of the blog: The Wellness Resolution. My goal is to help people take more control over their health! I uncover many of the lies and deceptions about health and help people discover the truth about what it means to live a wellness lifestyle.
Last Updated on June 15, 2022