Creating Healthy Boundaries

Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries is essential to the process of maturing and establishing your identity. Learning how to set healthy boundaries and continuing to enforce them is a critical aspect in your healing journey and mental well-being. Setting boundaries is a method of requesting respect, maintaining individuality in a relationship, but most importantly, it is an act of self-love.

Learning to distinguish what is within our control and what is beyond our power to change helps us understand where to create boundary lines. Establishing boundaries may feel selfish at first. Saying no to hanging out with friends when we feel overextended, telling our parents when we would like to reschedule their visit, and not sharing every intimate detail with others are all forms of setting healthy boundaries.

Agreeing to something or someone without authenticity but rather, obligation, or an inability to say no, can lead to feelings of resentment.

The longer resentment festers, the likelier it will lead to problems, including stress, frustration, pain, guilt, and feeling overwhelmed.

Setting boundaries can be difficult for those who weren’t raised in an environment consisting of healthy boundaries or an environment where boundaries were frequently crossed. Creating and enforcing boundaries requires practice, intuition, and consistency. Others may not always respect boundaries, making it even more challenging to continuously uphold them. Others can get offended, disappointed, and upset with boundaries. Not upholding boundaries or having poor boundaries can lead to arguments, miscommunication, fatigue, burnout, and unhappiness.

Oftentimes, we feel guilty or unfaithful when saying no to the people closest to us, such as our parents, siblings, and close friends. But as we age and gain responsibilities, boundaries become more necessary. The resources and energy we once had begins to diminish. Deciding who and what we have time for becomes beneficial for our mental well-being and maintaining our schedules. Understanding that we no longer have boundless time and energy is part of the process of maturing and healing. Knowing our physical and mental limitations and communicating them to others is healthy and mutually beneficial in forming relationships with others. Figuring out how much time to allot to self-care versus helping others should be incorporated into everyone’s life journey.

It’s okay to say no, hang up the phone, end the communication, or terminate the relationship when enforcing boundaries. It is not our job to fix situations that may be broken or help others at the risk of our own physical or mental health. The old adage goes: “Before you help others, you must first help yourself.”

No person, situation, or environment should ever rob us of our own tranquility.

Walking away from someone or something when it hinders your progress or healing isn’t a sign of weakness. Recognizing when something or someone requires us to sacrifice too much of our own energy takes inner strength and knowing when it’s time to walk away takes courage.

We’re allowed to walk away from anything that disrupts our core self or our mental well-being.

The people we allow into our lives should respect us and our limitations. Everyone has the opportunity to decide who we want to allow into our private lives and what we’re willing to divulge to them about ourselves. We should not have to do anything beyond what we’re comfortable with, or capable of, due to undefined boundaries or others ignoring our limitations. No one is allowed to terrorize our personal equilibrium. Every single person has the right to feel their peace.

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Ivi Kim is a content writer, marketer, and legal writer. Ivi graduated with a Juris Doctor from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Ivi writes thought provoking content that organically increase SEO scores and helps companies facilitate the development of their online presence. She blends her logical and creative understanding of the world to compose works that go beyond reaching an audience. She hopes to create a community that becomes a catalyst for changing America's broken healthcare system and the increasing underemployment/unemployment crisis facing millennials.