Updated: Jan 26
As people, we often find ourselves wanting to be closer to others, whether it’s friendships, family or more—we share the things that make us happy, the struggles that we go through and everything in between. While it’s nice to build these relationships with people and care about them, sometimes those people make you uncomfortable. They do that by crossing a boundary.
Your boundaries aren’t the only ones that can be crossed, sometimes it’s you who is doing it to someone else and whether it’s intentional or not, you should know how to identify them. What is a boundary? Well, it varies. It’s mostly about what makes you uncomfortable. While your friend may be ok with speaking about their intimate life, it could be something you only keep in your diary. While you may not have a problem being open about your mental health, your siblings can feel differently. At the end of the day, the best way to set boundaries is to first know what they are.
Tip #1: Make sure you say what your boundary is.
While you may know what your boundaries are, sometimes others don’t. It’s important to tell people (when it’s appropriate) that something makes you uncomfortable or it’s not a subject you like to discuss. Give people the chance to respect you but also give yourself the chance to put your foot down early.
Tip #2: Be firm in not crossing that line.
Though this sounds like step one, it’s different in the sense that at this point, you have already established what your boundaries are. It can be nerve wrecking to have to stand up for yourself if you’re not used to it but it’s important in keeping people in their place.
Tip #3: Cut people off who cross it.
So you’ve stated what your boundaries are and stood up for yourself but a person is still going out of their way to take you out of your comfort zone? That’s when you’re absolutely allowed to cut that person out of your life. Contrary to popular belief, you have no obligation to keep people in your orbit if they don’t respect you. It doesn’t matter who that person is in your life, if they can’t treat you like you’re human, put your health and wellbeing first.
Setting boundaries isn’t something that comes easy to everyone. Sometimes we’re raised to be a bit more compliant, or we’re used to being walked all over. It takes a lot of work and courage to be your own advocate but it’s always worth the reward.
- Regard Tang