Why Are Boundaries Important?
Before diving into why boundaries are important, let’s begin with what boundaries are. Simply put, boundaries are physical or emotional limits to help someone safeguard their well-being. Unhealthy boundaries are thoughts and actions used to control or manipulate people. Conversely, healthy boundaries are used to create safe and supportive relationships in one’s life.
Learning to set strong boundaries with family, friends and loved one’s is one of the most essential life skills. In essence, boundaries are the key to creating and maintaining lifelong relationships. One of the reasons relationships tend to fail is because someone becomes uncomfortable or disapproves of someone’s thoughts or actions. Boundaries are rooted in people’s needs and values so when someone oversteps one’s boundaries, relational friction can occur. When implemented correctly, they guide others on how to best communicate to you and what behaviors or thoughts are considered acceptable to share.
When we don’t know what our boundaries are or learn to voice them correctly, the byproduct can be severe. People will often become resentful, inpatient or feel taken advantage of by others. The end result is you’ll be less likely to develop strong relationships with people because someone may overstep the invisible barrier of what you deem acceptable.
Creating Healthy Boundaries In Relationships
When you’re in recovery, you’ll hear a lot about self care. One of the ultimate forms of self care is learning how to set healthy boundaries in relationships. The results will allow you to create strong social and familial relationships. Doing so can help reduce triggers when socializing, such as words or actions that relate to your substance(s) of choice. Now the question becomes, how do I know if I’ve successfully created good boundaries?
Fortunately, there’s a couple of biological indicators that allude to whether or not you’ve successfully done this. When interacting with people, try to ask yourself some of the following questions. Do I feel discomfort in my stomach, like it’s in knots? If so, some behavior or thought is likely making you feel uncomfortable. Secondly, are you feeling confused or uncomfortable about a situation you’re in? Take a step back to evaluate the circumstance you’re in, whether you feel like you’re being manipulated and if this experience is healthy for you. Lastly, do you feel resentful or angry at someone or something? If so, maybe someone is trying to take advantage of you or asking too much. Try learning to say no and express your feelings in a thoughtful and respectful manner. These are just a handful of psychological and biological responses you may experience when learning to create healthy boundaries.
A key part of our clinical curriculum is teaching our client’s to learn what their boundaries are, and properly set them. To learn more about our program, contact us today!