Defining your boundaries is one of the most crucial steps in a relationship. It goes hand in hand with communication – the first and foremost pillar on which a relationship is built.
Simply put, it’s a measure of your partner’s or your potential partner’s respect for you. Think of them as personal property lines that define us and our personal space, both outer and personal.
Now personally, I’ve made a lot of wrong moves when it comes to setting my limits. My biggest mistake has been not letting people know when they’ve crossed them or severely violated them.
I always thought to myself that having flexible boundaries is the best way to deal with people. I guess peace was the only thing important to me, so you could say that I kind of learned to avoid any conflict or argument with people.
Until one day I learned that sucking it all up is not a healthy way to go through life. That bottling up my emotions and accepting things that hurt me instead of letting people know I’m indeed hurt is toxic and painful.
This the reason why I am here.
Now, if you don’t have trouble drawing those property lines and showing people that they are real, that’s really cool. In fact, it is awesome. Not all of us possess that strength and confidence in life.
However, if you are someone struggles to maintain their healthy limits without people invading their personal space, I suggest you keep reading.
Here are a few tips that will undoubtedly help you strengthen your sense of self:
1. Set those limits. I know. It feels almost impossible. How would you say NO to someone? Well….Easy. Just think of the hardships and troubles that you’ll be faced with once you agree to do something that you hate doing. I promise you’ll feel a great relief. Suddenly saying NO will no longer put you in an uncomfortable position, but take a big load off your mind.
2. Become more self-aware. It sounds cliché and it’s pretty much the first thing that self-help articles usually suggest you do, but it is the truth. Being more aware of yourself means increasing your consciousness about your own thoughts and opinion. In other words, it means identifying and accepting what goes on inside your mind.
3. Learn to stand up for yourself. And by standing up, I mean learning to say what you want, how you want it and when you want it. No, it is not selfish. It is called self-love and self-respect. I am not saying that you need to be aggressive or rude when you are trying to make a point. On the contrary. Be kind, but don’t hesitate to openly share your opinions, no matter how different they are from your partner.
4. Respect your own passions and interests. If they spark up a fire inside your soul, keep them. If they make you feel the most alive than you’ve ever felt, nurture them. If they are worthwhile to you, indulge in them.
5. Take good care of yourself. Start doing things that make your soul flourish. Things that put a smile on your face. Things that make you laugh from your heart. Start looking after yourself. Make time for a good night’s sleep, a workout, a healthy, nutritious lunch, a nice productive day. Make self-care the most important thing on your priority list.
6. Be gentle with yourself. I know, I know… Sometimes is really hard to do this. As human beings, we’re more likely to judge ourselves for our mistakes than accept them as important stepping stones in our lives. But you have to find a way to do it. You have to give yourself a break. All of your feelings matter. The sooner you realize this, the better off you’ll be.