What are personal boundaries and why are they so important?
Personal boundaries are your core, personal values. What you will accept and no accept. What you are willing to do, and not willing to do. They define who you are, and allow you to say “No”, without feeling guilty.
They are important because they help define who you are. Having a healthy set of boundaries will allow you to establish and maintain your own self-identity, as well as provide a strong sense of self-worth. Having a set of well-defined personal boundaries will also allow you to go about your life confident in your own decisions.
By not having these boundaries defined for yourself, you’re unknowingly letting other people define you. Allowing others to control you, undermining your self-trust, self-confidence and adding to your insecurities.
Boundaries are important in every facet of life. What I’m about to cover can be applied almost any scenario; work, family members, friends, medical professionals, sexual situations, romantic relationships and beyond.
If you already have a good set of boundaries already in place, wonderful!
If you’re not sure, here’s a list of situations that may warrant the need to seek professional guidance on defining and upholding your own boundaries:
You give more than you receive in relationships
You don’t speak up when you feel unfairly treated
You say yes to things you don’t want to do
You’re unable to say no to something you don’t want to do
You constantly over promise and under deliver
You feel guilty all the time about things you did or didn’t do
You feel overwhelming guilt when you say no
You jump into relationships and take on the identity of your partner
You’re unable to define who you are
You get over involved with other people’s problems
You’ve been called co-dependent
You don’t usually ask for help
You struggle with constantly disappointment
You compromise your own values for others
You second guess your own opinion
You think you can change someone to make them happy
You are afraid of disagreement
You ignore your own feelings or needs
You tolerate abuse or disrespect
You inappropriately share personal information
You distance yourself to avoid rejection
Examples of healthy boundaries are:
Being comfortable with saying “No”
Being comfortable with disagreeing
Acknowledging your own feelings
Knowing you’re not responsible for someone else’s feelings
Reinforcing your core values
Not wavering from your believes
Being confident in your own choices
Asking for what you want and need from others
Being able to express your emotions
Feeling safe and respected in your relationships
Some of us are better at enforcing these boundaries than others. It’s also ok for your own personal boundaries to differ over time and vary depending on the situation. However, it’s still important to recognize what your boundaries are, how to effectively communicate them to others, listen to your intuition, learn to say ‘No’, and to respect others boundaries as well.