[Image is from ‘recite this’ and has ‘Boundaries 101’ written inside of a black frame]
Boundaries are what enable us to enjoy life, work with others, and still stay true to ourselves. Boundaries are the way that we define ourselves and what is important to us. Some boundaries are for the projects that we work with- how much time we’re willing to give them, how much we tie in our identity with them, what we are willing to sacrifice to complete them. But most boundaries deal with people and how we interact with them.
Some of these boundaries are physical.
Who is allowed to touch you, where and when.
How close people are allowed to stand near you without making you uncomfortable.
How people are allowed to touch you.
Who is allowed to be in your space- in your room, your home.
Some boundaries are material.
Material boundaries are the difference between being okay with someone borrowing your hairbrush, and them borrowing your toothbrush.
Material boundaries allow us to say ‘no’ when someone asks to borrow, look, touch, or change something about our belongings.
Emotional Boundaries are a thing too.
‘I know that you’re upset- but you are not going to make me feel guilty about taking care of myself first.’
Emotional boundaries are what allow us to interact with other people- without just giving into all of their emotional demands and giving up our own integrity.
Emotional boundaries deal with how much responsibility we will take for another person’s emotional state- and for their actions because of that. For instance-
'I understand that when I talk to my ex, you feel jealous. However, I am not responsible for how you deal with jealousy- and will not tolerate you screaming at me.'
Mental Boundaries are another.
Mental boundaries allow us to hear one another out without instantly agreeing with what someone says.
They are what allow us to have individual opinions on the best way to go about solving a problem.
Or say ‘lets just agree to disagree’.
However, understand that not every issue is something that people can say ‘lets just agree to disagree’ on. Issues that deal with the dehumanization of themselves or those they care about- are not going to be something that a person can simply set aside. This is not an example of weak boundaries.
In fact, choosing to remove themselves from situations with people who dehumanize them is an excellent example of good boundaries.