5 Eye-Opening Reasons Why Boundaries in Relationships are Necessary
Have you ever wondered why we need boundaries in relationships? Have you struggled with boundaries in your relationships?
I’ve definitely struggled with boundaries in my relationships. If you read my story, you will see how I’ve struggled in relationships earlier in my life.
I think we’ve all struggled with boundaries in relationships at one time or another.
I’m one of those people who used to jump in and fix things or rescue others. I hated seeing people struggle. I was compelled to help. I also hated when people got upset with me. Before my own therapeutic work, I was afraid of setting and maintaining boundaries because of retaliation or more abuse.
I also hate to admit that there were times when family members needed money or had a crisis, and I jumped in and rescued them. It was not really appropriate to do so. I robbed them of their learning process. I also did it out of fear instead of wanting to actually help them.
Also, boundaries weren’t really taught or honored in my family of origin. I witnessed a lot of enabling behaviors, so I had to do a lot of work on myself. I seriously had to cooperate with God to help me stop enabling people who could clearly solve their own problems. It has not been an easy journey, but I maintain boundaries well now.
So, the bottom line is….boundaries are absolutely necessary in relationships.
Boundaries are not about telling others what to do. Having appropriate boundaries is more about teaching others how to treat you with respect. It’s about communicating what you will do in the face of someone’s continued disrespect and undesirable behavior (i.e. abuse).
We need to realize that we can’t control other people’s behavior, we can only control our response to others and how they are acting.
Here are 5 eye-opening reasons why boundaries in relationships are necessary:
Boundaries in relationships prevent abuse.
Abuse is controlling behavior (extreme jealousy and isolation, no trust), any physical violence, verbal threats, emotional and psychological abuse, gaslighting, sexual assault and coercion to do something you know is wrong.
Boundaries let the abuser know that you will not tolerate this behavior. You will also communicate in assertive language that you are removing yourself from the abuser’s presence to let them know you are not going to participate in the abusive interaction anymore. This means you may have to call the police and have them help you get to a safe place. I must tell you that the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when you are leaving it.
Call the police if you suspect any threats, if there are children involved, and if any harm has been done to you. A record of these incidents can help you in court if it comes to that. Call the domestic abuse hotline to get additional help from counselors and advocates. You can also make a Telehealth appointment here to talk about your situation in depth and to get a safety plan.
Boundaries in relationships demonstrate love to others and hold you together at the same time.
One of the most loving things you can do is to set boundaries with others.
Boundaries show the other person that you care enough about them to respect their personhood and values and to communicate honesty about your position during interactions. Boundaries also tell the other person that you respect their position, autonomy, and decisions.
Boundaries help you hold yourself together by giving yourself permission to continue your own stable decision making and healing process.
Boundaries in relationships help you take loving care of yourself and to stop enabling dysfunctional behavior.
It’s okay to say no and to tell someone what you will tolerate and what you will not tolerate in a relationship. (I.e. cheating, deception, abuse etc.) Also, you don’t have to participate in every argument you are invited to. You can stop involving yourself in dysfunctional interactions.
If a disagreement escalates into something toxic, you can simply exit the conversation and remove yourself from the interaction or environment if needed. In order to take loving care of yourself, you need to be willing to let go of the outcome regarding how the other person will feel or behave.
You are coming from a place of personal power when your intent is to take loving care of yourself rather than controlling another person. Since you can’t really control what others do, trying to do that will leave you feeling frustrated and powerless over your own decisions.
Other people are responsible for their feelings, their behavior, and how they respond. Taking loving care of yourself with boundaries shows the other person that you respect yourself enough to have a voice in the relationship. This will display that you are willing to treat others like you want to be treated, which is with respect and dignity.
Boundaries in relationships secure and state your values.
Everyone has their own set of values and beliefs. There are times when there is a difference and disagreement between people because of values and beliefs.
Healthy boundaries show that you have values that you aren’t willing to compromise and while you may disagree with someone and they disagree with you about those values and beliefs, you can still respect each other and agree to disagree.
When you are secure in your values and respect yourself and you respect others’ values, you don’t allow people to control you and you don’t control others.
Boundaries in relationships help you take responsibility for your feelings, yourself and your actions.
Boundaries help you process your own emotions in a healthy way before you react, so you don’t attack the other person with your feelings. Boundaries help you take responsibility for how you feel and to assertively express those emotions in a respectful and calm way.
When conflict happens, it is best to hit the pause button and to own your part, instead of acting on how you feel. This prevents you from saying or doing something you will regret later or damaging a great relationship.
Remember you can only control yourself, your feelings and your actions and you are responsible for how you respond to others, just like others are responsible for their own actions and feelings. Self control and ownership of your boundaries is really important when it comes to conflict.
If you are having trouble with boundaries in relationships, make a Telehealth appointment here.
I’d also love to hear your thoughts on boundaries and how you have learned to be successful in maintaining boundaries in your relationships.
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