Creating Boundaries, Not Avoidance
“You have to be able to set boundaries; otherwise, the rest of the world is telling you who are and what you should be doing. You can still be a nice person and set boundaries.” - Oprah
Setting boundaries is an important part of self-care and wellness. Setting boundaries helps us to manage our time and energy more effectively and gives us the ability to focus on the tasks that are most important to us.
Creating boundaries does not mean avoidance of tasks or relationships; rather it allows us to take control of how we use our time and energy. You can set boundaries on whatever you choose - emotional energy, time, personal space, material (money and other belongings), social media, etc.
Sometimes communicating these boundaries can be difficult. It may be hard telling your mama, bestie, co-worker, or even husband that you need space or simply saying “no” to their requests, but sis, the tough conversations must be had. While avoiding challenging situations or difficult people may provide a short-term relief, it is not the right solution. Communication is key.
Without clear communication, the boundary lines become blurred and you run the high risk of getting burned out, taken advantage of, or even neglecting your own needs and wants.
Best-selling author and therapist, Nedra Glover Tawwab, advises that setting and communicating boundaries may check other persons’ behavior when it doesn’t align with our needs or wants but we are not responsible for others’ responses to our boundaries.
Establishing clear, healthy boundaries can help us to better manage our relationships and create safer environments. It gives the structure necessary for people to understand their role in our life and responsibilities in particular situations. It allows us to take back control over our lives and our choices while still being mindful of how those choices might impact those around us. By setting boundaries instead of avoiding conflict, we are better able to create healthy relationships with ourselves and with others.
To assess the health of your own boundaries, go take Nedra’s healthy boundaries quiz.
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio