The ideal ecosystem in our personal and professional lives? – One with clear, transparent and open communication. Regardless of what tools we put into practice, this state won’t exist, however, without healthy personal boundaries.
Boundaries define what we are and are not responsible for. We are responsible for our feelings, our needs and behaviors and their consequences. Conversely, we are not responsible for other people’s feelings, behaviours, values, limits, talents, thoughts, desires, etc. So, our personal boundaries, when set and communicated, will protect us from being manipulated, taken advantage of or being infringed on by others. With boundaries in place which align to our values, we are safe to communicate our needs preferences and emotions in our own unique way.
So what are some tips for establishing healthy personal boundaries?
1. Firstly, know that personal boundaries are our right. A lack of personal boundaries allows us to derive our sense of worth from others. So important to note – can we identify the situations where they are not in place, and where we may be taking responsibility for others or allowing them to control us?
2. We must recognise that other people’s needs and feelings are not more important than our own. Putting ourselves last is not being assertive, and therefore does not create a safe forum for effective communication.
3. Learn to say no. How often do we feel we are constantly ‘accommodating’ other’s needs? What about when we recognise the ‘disease to please ‘. In fact, a certain amount of “selfishness” is necessary for having healthy personal boundaries.
4. Identify the actions and behaviours that are unacceptable to us. If we let others know when they’ve crossed the line, acted inappropriately, or disrespected us in any way, we will open the door for transparent and effective dialogue.
5. Trust in ourselves. We know ourselves best -what -we need, want, and value. Healthy boundaries make it possible for us to respect our strengths, abilities, and individuality, as well as those of others. An unhealthy imbalance occurs when we encourage neediness, or are needy; want to be rescued, or are the rescuer, or when we choose to play the victim.