Building Good Boundaries in relationships
Good boundaries mean we can be intimate and close and yet not loose a sense of ourselves. This means you can be attached and yet separate – a person in your own right.
In relationships with bad boundaries you may give up feelings, ideas and opinions, but in emotionally healthy relationships you can be close to someone and yet disagree without any harm to the relationship.
In some ways Boundaries can be the ultimate test of a relationship. If you can’t say “No” and “I don’t agree” without any harm to the actual relationship then the chances are the relationship needs some changes. However, learning to change boundaries is a tricky task as they can be embedded for years. The first step however, is trying to recognise where your boundaries are.
Check out your Boundaries
If you think your boundaries may need some work.
Take a look at the questions below and see if any of these have applied to you in recent weeks.
- Do you have difficulty saying No?
- Are there some people you always give into ?
- When you are out with friends or a partner who makes the choices in where you go and what you do?
What would happens if you don’t agree with:
- Your parents
- Your partner
- Your best friends
- Who are the hardest people you know to put up boundaries with?
- Are there people in your life who love your “no” as well as your “yes”?
When we are looking at and possibly re-thinking our boundaries we may need to learn new ways of relating and behaving. We may need to recognise we have rights in relationships and that others also have rights in their relationship with us.
Our Goal: Healthy Boundaries
Healthy boundaries mean we can be intimate and close and to others and yet not loose a sense of ourselves. This means you can be attached and yet separate – a person in your own right.
In enmeshed relationships you give up feelings, ideas and opinions. In emotionally healthy relationships you can be close to someone and yet disagree without any harm to the relationship. This leads us to being able to be close to our friends and partners but also hold onto our own thoughts, ideas, values and boundaries.