Are there people in your life that make you feel uncomfortable or who push you to do things you don't want to do? Do you start to even feel bad about yourself or your life when you scroll through certain people's social media posts, or communicate with them online?
Setting healthy boundaries with these kinds of people or situations can help you to protect your body, thoughts, and feelings. Keep in mind that unhealthy boundaries make you physically and emotionally vulnerable and can lead to dangerous situations.
People who have healthy boundaries:
- Are secure with themselves
- Don't let others intrude on them
- Have a clear sense of their own views, values, and priorities
- Are able to identify safe and appropriate people
- Are confident
- Can protect themselves without shutting themselves off from others
- Know how to stand up for themselves at appropriate times
- Are able to enter into relationships with others without losing their identities
- Don't reveal too much or too little about themselves
Boundaries that are too rigid can be unhealthy. Here are some characteristics of these types of unhealthy boundaries:
- Not allowing anyone to get close
- Never talking about personal feelings, wants, or needs
- Never sharing your emotions with your family or close friends
- Having difficulty choosing and keeping friends
- Avoiding relationships outside your family by isolating yourself from classmates and acquaintances
Boundaries can also be too loose or weak. These types of boundary situations usually lead to hurt and a lowered self-worth:
- Displaying inappropriate affection
- Always doing what others say, never disagreeing or saying “no"
- Saying or doing sexually suggestive things in front of others
- Sharing too much personal information about yourself too soon
- Having many sexual experiences
- Being tricked into being abused and not seeking help
- Doing anything to avoid conflict
- Taking responsibility for others' feelings
Start by setting
healthy boundaries, and surround yourself with people who respect them. When you stick with the rules you have set, you will protect yourself and will likely find people who are a positive influence in your life.