We have a lot of misconceptions about the term boundaries and having one. However, one must simply establish this in order to have healthy relationships with others. This isn’t simply an act of putting up a wall to isolate yourself.
Why do we have to set boundaries?
If you don’t set healthy limits, you’ll likely say ‘yes’ every time to everyone. It means you let other people dictate how to think, act, and feel. You’ll even spend your time and effort doing what others want you to do even deep inside you want to do other things. This can lead to frustration and even depression in the long run. That’s no way to live your life.
Here are six boundaries you deserve to have and how you can apply them in different situations:
As humans, we have physical needs like needing to rest, eat food, and drink water. We also require personal space and comfort with touch. It’s okay to let people around you that you’re hungry or you need to lie down on your bed for a while. Violating physical boundaries feels like being denied of the aforementioned needs. It’s like some told you to keep walking even though you’re exhausted.
You can say things like:
“I am not a big hugger. I am a handshake person.”
“Don’t go into my room without asking first.”
Having emotional boundaries mean respect for your feelings and energy. You need to let your friends and loved ones know how much emotional energy you are capable of taking in and knowing when to share and when not to share.
You also have to limit emotional sharing with individuals who respond poorly. Examples of disrespecting your emotional boundaries are dismissing or criticizing feelings and emotional dumping.
It might sound like:
“I am having a hard time and really need to talk. Are you in a place to listen right now?”
“I really can’t talk about that right now. It isn’t the right time.”
It’s necessary for all of us to protect our time since it’s we do have 24 hours only per day. Setting time boundaries can benefit you at work, home, and socially. This simply means understanding your priorities so you avoid the habit of overcommitting.
When you understand your priorities, it’s way easier to limit the amount of time you are giving to others. Violated time boundaries look like asking professionals for their time without paying them or even showing up late.
You can say things like:
“I can’t come to that event this weekend.”
“We have family time on Sundays, so we won’t make it.”
Couples who have healthy sexual boundaries have consent, agreement, respect, understanding of preferences and desires, and privacy. Moreover, this includes requesting condom use if you want it and discussing the type of contraception.
These are some statements expressing sexual boundaries:
“I don’t like that. Let’s try something different.”
Can we cuddle instead of having sex tonight?”
A person’s thoughts, ideas, and curiosity are parts of intellectual boundaries. Aside from that, this includes respect for the ideas of other people. Also, it means considering whether or not it is a good time to talk about something.
When someone is belittling your thoughts, he/she is already overstepping your intellectual boundaries. You do not have to have “intellectual” discourse with someone who is violating you or other people.
They might sound like:
“When we talk about this, we don’t get very far. I think it is a good idea to avoid the conversation right now.”
“I can respect that we have different opinions on this.”
Items and possessions like your home, car, clothing, jewelry, furniture, money and others signify your material boundaries.
It’s acceptable that there are things you can and cannot share. It’s also normal that you have expectations on how people will treat your belongings when you let them borrow. Material boundaries are violated when your things are destroyed or stolen or when they are “borrowed” too frequently.
It’s perfectly fine to say:
“We can’t give any more money. We would be happy to help in another way.”
“Sure! I am happy to share my dress with you. Just a heads-up, I do need it back by Friday.”
By setting boundaries, we help others treat us the way we want to be treated. It also prevents miscommunications and resentment.
Do you guys agree?
Queenie Lasta got her bachelor's degree in Communications Research from UP Diliman. In her free time, she likes to read thriller novels, psychology books, and mangas. She believes in the importance of grit, hard work, and passion to become a great writer in the future.