What are Boundaries?
Updated: Jan 29
Welcome to part one of my boundaries series! I’ll be creating a few blog posts about this topic, because I feel boundaries are an important but often overlooked part of life. I want people to feel empowered to set and maintain boundaries, both with themselves and others. Here’s what I mean when I talk about boundaries. Boundaries are the personal guidelines we put in place to make it easier to navigate our relationships. They’re a way of identifying and then communicating to others where we stand. We’re all on the same page if we’re mindful of both our own boundaries and the boundaries of others. -Boundaries help us to tell people what we will or won’t do, what is or isn’t acceptable, what others can expect from us and how we can all have the best relationship possible. In short, they’re about identifying our own needs and then communicating them with transparency- Here are some examples of boundaries in action. In these examples the individual could be talking to anyone, because I wanted to illustrate just how varied and individual boundaries can be. Later on in this series of posts, I’ll be talking more specifically about the boundaries we might want to set as a parent or a partner or a colleague. “That time doesn’t work for me, I could meet after 4 if you’re free?” “I’m finding it difficult to watch this show, its making me uncomfortable. Can we watch something else?” “I’ll be unavailable to respond to work-related emails or calls on Saturdays and Sundays” “It’s been a long day and I need some self-care time. Could you play with the baby for half an hour while I drink my coffee?” “I love you and want to support you. However I won’t be able to respond to your texts in the early hours of the morning” “I’m feeling all talked out from today’s video conference work meetings. Can we reschedule our phone catch-up for another time and just text tonight instead?” “I don’t appreciate the remark you just made. If you comment on my body again, I’ll end the conversation” “I don’t have money for that” -Notice the wording. It isn’t necessary to apologise for setting a boundary- We can say no. We can take care of ourselves. We don’t always have to explain ourselves if we don’t want to. We don’t have to constantly apologise. Our needs matter.