Boundaries are essential to our lives as they help to bring order and clarity to our relationships. They help us communicate to ourselves and to others about what things are acceptable and tolerable and what things are not. Boundaries can be considered as lines that we do not want to have crossed because when they are crossed, they disrupt our equilibrium, affect our moods, challenge our routines, and dismantle our peace of mind.
Types of Boundaries
Boundaries can be implemented in any area of our lives. They can be implemented with ourselves to help us keep track of the way we talk to ourselves and treat ourselves. They can also be applied to our relationships with others. Utilizing boundaries in our relationships with others helps us to improve our communication with others by identifying and naming our needs, labeling behaviors that we find problematic and/or intrusive and clarifying behaviors that are more appropriate for our relationships.
Types of boundaries may include:
· Financial boundaries
· Emotional boundaries
· Physical boundaries
· Personal boundaries
· Social boundaries
· Relational boundaries
· Sexual boundaries
· Intimate boundaries
· Time boundaries
· Workplace boundaries
Here are some examples of the various types of boundaries:
Financial boundaries – setting boundaries about how much you spend, loan, or give to others.
Emotional boundaries – setting boundaries that help others improve the way they address you and treat you.
Physical boundaries – setting boundaries about how others respond to your personal space.
Personal boundaries – setting boundaries about how you want to be communicated to and how you will have your needs met.
Sexual boundaries – setting boundaries about what you consider to be acceptable or unacceptable in your sexual relationships.
Time boundaries – setting boundaries about how others perceive and utilize your time.
Workplace boundaries – setting boundaries around situations to help you feel safe at work and in the presence of your bosses and coworkers.
How to set boundaries
It is possible to set boundaries, as well as maintain them. However, it does require work and commitment. When you set a boundary with yourself or another, you are indicating behaviors you no longer find appropriate. This will require a change on your part or on the part of another person. Hence, there may be pushback where others may feel that this boundary is unnecessary. However, setting a boundary is not about making others feel good, it is about creating a safe space for yourself. This helps you to identify what you need to feel safe and by setting the boundary, you are communicating this need to others.
It is best to be honest and to utilize compassion and kindness. Clearly express what your need is, and to some extent, why the boundary was needed. Setting the boundary will require you to enforce it when others either forget it or violate it, whether intentionally or unintentionally. For some individuals, the boundary may need to be enforced a few times before they get used to it. Be mindful that you have set the boundary to improve your relationship and to increase your peace of mind, so be willing to maintain the boundary. And remember, if a boundary is no longer needed or needs to be adjusted, you have the right to make these changes as well. PsychCentral also offers some additional ideas on how to set boundaries.