One word: BOUNDARIES!
The imaginary line that defines YOUR limitations and provides some form of security against being disrespected and taken advantage of.
Many of us know about them. Hell, many of us know the importance of them, but how many of us can actually say that we have them and enforce them?
Unsure? Here are Four indicators you might have weak or non-existent boundaries in your relationship
You feel like you give more than you get back
You feel disrespected or mistreated
You feel guilty standing up for yourself
You sacrifice your values and beliefs to please
To some, saying that a relationship has boundaries can sound restrictive or threatening but setting boundaries is not the same as telling someone what they can and cannot do. For example;
Boundary: I will not put up with cheating
Rule: You are not allowed to go out this weekend
Setting rules for someone is not healthy for the relationship. Setting BOUNDARIES on the other hand CREATES a balanced relationship that is treated with LOVE, RESPECT, CARE and TRUST. This is because both individuals have mutually agreed and understood each other’s boundaries!
WHY RELATIONSHIPS NEED BOUNDARIES
It eliminates confusion about what is and is not acceptable
Both individuals understand the consequences of broken boundaries
It can help prevent resentment and dependency towards one another
It provides ownership and responsibility to both people involved
It communicates your self-worth
FIVE STEPS TO SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES
1. Know What Your Feeling
Acknowledge when something doesn’t feel good and reflect on WHY it hasn’t made you feel good.
2. Know Your Limits
Make a list of what’s important to you and decide what you will and will not tolerate.
3. Know The Consequence
There’s no point having a boundary if you’re going to turn a blind eye to it. Decide what the consequence to that boundary is if it is disrespected.
4. Voice it
Communicate your boundary to your partner- MAKE IT KNOWN. Tell them the consequences to their actions if they decide to violate the boundary.
5. Enforce it
If your boundaries have been crossed, you need to step up to your part and enforce the consequence.