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  • Morgan Bailee Boggess McCoy, MSW

Protecting Your Peace: Setting Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries can help us protect ourselves against problems, meaning that they can help us live a healthy and happy life, especially in our relationships with others. And while boundaries might sometimes seem unnecessary, in reality, boundaries are one of the only ways you have to protect your mental, physical, and emotional peace.


By setting them, you take steps towards having happy and healthy relationships with other people. Whether you are setting boundaries with your friends, family, or anyone else in your life, making sure that you maintain them is also essential.


But, it’s also important to realize that setting boundaries does not make you the villain in the situation. It simply means that you have noticed a problem and are trying to solve it. It sets clear expectations for what you will and will not accept from others who are a part of your life.


Here are some tips on how to set and maintain healthy boundaries:


Figure out your needs.

Before you set boundaries, you should figure out what problem you are noticing or experiencing. Once identified, pay attention to your emotions. How do you react when someone is doing something that makes you uncomfortable or on edge? This will inform what type of boundaries you need to set. Think – what do you need to feel comfortable in your own space?


Start with setting small boundaries.

Before you jump into setting large boundaries, try taking baby steps first. Set a few small boundaries and build up your skills when it comes to sticking to them. Doing this allows you to have flexibility when determining whether or not your boundaries need to be altered. Once you feel confident in your small boundaries, start setting larger ones – if needed.


Be consistent with your boundaries.

After you set boundaries with people, be consistent with them. If you do not follow your boundaries, people are less likely to respect them. This can lead to people taking advantage of you, encroaching on your personal space, and more – which are all things that probably led you to set boundaries in the first place. It’s also important to reevaluate them regularly. Consider these things: Are you being too firm or too lax with your boundaries? Have the boundaries you set improved your situation?


Practice effective communication.

When you are communicating your boundaries, it’s important to be mindful of how you are expressing them to others. Being firm, yet gentle, and honest about your boundaries lets others know that you mean what you say. You want to be able to talk about your boundaries in an efficient and effective way, not harsh and cruel. Although it can be frustrating to deal with people breaking your boundaries


Go with your gut.

Always trust what your guy says. Chances are, it’s not wrong. If you feel like someone is encroaching on your boundaries, be honest with them. Reinforce boundaries when needed, communicate with others, and stay strong with your decisions.


Setting boundaries is a necessary part of maintaining positive relationships with others at the end of the day. If you need help with setting boundaries, contact us today. Our mental health professionals will be happy to help you build the skills you need to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.



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