How to Create Healthy Boundaries

“An intimate relationship is one in which neither party silences, sacrifices, or betrays the self and each party expresses strength and vulnerability, weakness and competence in a balanced way.” Harriet Lerner

Setting boundaries is essential if we want to be both physically and emotionally healthy.

Creating healthy boundaries is empowering. By recognizing the need to set and enforce limits, you protect your self-esteem, maintain self-respect, and enjoy healthy relationships.

Unhealthy boundaries cause emotional pain that can lead to dependency, depression, anxiety, and even stress-induced physical illness. A lack of boundaries is like leaving the door to your home unlocked: anyone, including unwelcome guests, can enter at will. On the other hand, having too rigid boundaries can lead to isolation, like living in a locked-up castle surrounded by a mote. No one can get in, and you can’t get out.

What Are Boundaries?

The easiest way to think about a boundary is a property line. We have all seen “No Trespassing” signs, which send a clear message that if you violate that boundary, there will be a consequence. This type of boundary is easy to picture and understand because you can see the sign and the border it protects. Personal boundaries can be harder to define because the lines are invisible, can change, and are unique to each individual.

Personal boundaries, just like the “No Trespassing” sign, define where you end and others begin and are determined by the amount of physical and emotional space you allow between yourself and others. Personal boundaries help you decide what types of communication, behavior, and interaction are acceptable.” Get more here: How to Create Healthy Boundaries « Positively Positive.

3 thoughts on “How to Create Healthy Boundaries

  1. Establishing healthy boundaries is an ongoing challenge for me and something I blog about routinely. I’ve read a number of the codependency books and I feel like I’ve made progress but I find that with family, I am always questioning the boundaries I’ve tried to set. I used to think I could simply set a boundary and that was that. Done. But it’s not really that simple is it? There are times I need more emotional space than others. One of my blog followers has suggested that boundaries should be thought of as elastic and that sometimes you have to flex them. Thoughts on this?

  2. Sad to say, but I think you’re right, Trophy! Seems to me that boundaries and borders are continually in a state of flux. Part of that is our fault — our needs are continually changing as we grow. Think about this, however — the scorpions in our lives — http://toddlohenry.com/2012/06/19/are-you-a-saint-or-a-scorpion/ — will always be ‘scorpiony’ and trying to push our boundaries as well. I agree; boundaries should be elastic to allow for growth and people who push back. I like the use of the word flex here; it implies our boundaries are like muscles and they get stronger as we are response-able and practice control over the things we can…

    Boundaries and detachment come hard for me; I’ve posted about both http://toddlohenry.com/?s=boundaries and http://toddlohenry.com/?s=detachment. In the end, I learned more about detachment from my cat Boo than any other source; http://toddlohenry.com/2012/03/18/letting-go-of-the-need-to-control/. Maybe you need a little black cat, too!? :-D

    Thanks for commenting! Love your blog…

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