There are all kinds of boundaries you can put in place in relationships.
Most sites will give you a neat and tidy list of the types of boundaries and what you need to know about them.
But they come across like you’re reading from a history textbook from the 1980s.
So I’m calling BOUNDARY on that.
I’m here to give you exactly what you need to know to start making improvements in your own relationships.
Without further ado, here are the types of boundaries you need to consider if you want to take back your time and sanity.
Boundary 1 - I like you, but not that much.
This first kind of boundary is one of the hardest to implement. It’s when someone likes you, but you don’t like them like that.
I’m not talking just about romantic relationships.
Energy vampires drain you of your time and emotion because they have one goal in mind–to get as much from you as humanly possible.
If you’re in this kind of relationship, it’s time to establish some boundaries.
- Clearly state when you are available and when you are not
- Dictate how you will help (For instance, under which circumstances you will offer your time)
- Cut off the relationship cold turkey. If the person in question is more of an acquaintance, you don’t need to feel bad about saying, thanks, but no thanks. Your time is your most valuable resource, and you get to decide how you want to use it.)
2 - Emotional Boundaries, the hardest of them all
And now we turn to what, I believe, are the most challenging kinds of boundaries to establish.
Emotional boundaries are often needed with individuals with whom you actually have a long-time relationship.
They are often needed with people who you might consider yourself quite close to–people like family members and long-time friends.
What do you do when you actually do deeply care about someone who, for whatever reason, is now cramping your style in a very uncomfortable way?
You make the tough decision to choose yourself for the sake of the relationship.
This is what I mean.
Say someone you love is oversharing details about other people. Let’s say they are sharing intimate details about your close friends and family members–and you just don’t feel comfortable being privy to that kind of information.
What do you do?
In this situation, there are no easy answers, but setting emotional boundaries is always a good option.
- Voice your displeasure with the kind of content you are receiving. Talk about how uncomfortable it is making you. Share your OWN feelings.
- If this doesn’t work, more clearly state that you don’t think other people would want their private information shared like this. Explain the consequences of this kind of behavior. You want to create some cognitive dissonance with your sparring partner with the hope that they will gain insight regarding how they are treating others.
- Draw a hard line. When all else fails, you need to call it what it is. Emotions are murky, shape-shifting things. When you don’t name them and tame them, they have a tendency to consume your life. Clearly state something like this: “I’m sorry, this is a red line for me. I have to put up a boundary.” And just let it hang there. No hours of explanation needed. If the person can’t respect this extremely obvious declaration of discomfort, it might be time to reconsider how much time you’re spending around them.