When it comes to setting boundaries, there's a plethora of areas in your life that can benefit from forming a healthy structure. But considering your boundaries doesn't have to be a deep existential conversation between you and your higher self. Just take the simplest things in life, such as the way you lend your property to people, the way you share your physical space, and even how you allow people to talk to you. Evaluate. One thing to remember about setting boundaries is that you'll have to stand firm on what you affirm. And keep in mind, it's likely these things might evolve over time as you're growing through life. As you move through the seasons, here are a few things to consider when evaluating your boundaries in life:
1) Physical Boundaries
Whether it be with co-workers, friends, family, or your partner, clarifying what is and is not okay for physical touch is mandatory! From my experience, the idea of personal space varies from person to person, and I've had to correct things that have made me uncomfortable. "Harmless" gestures and social cues like shoulder tapping and little slaps on the hand during laughter can definitely be classified as unwanted touching despite the average person thinking it's OK. But don't take someone else's metrics for what's deemed as OK. Always reinforce in a non-defensive way that you'd rather not be touched.
Also, think about toddlers. Some parents make their children hug all of their relatives when entering the room. While I agree children should speak when entering a room as a sign of respect, forcing children to hug everyone in the room teaches them that it's acceptable *read encouraged* to physically engage someone even when lacking the desire to. I've seen children recoil at the sight of some adults, and forcing a hug is conflicting for a child to process. Santa, Claus is a prime example of that; stop forcing these babies to sit on that strange man's lap. With gentle parenting becoming more popularized, parents are providing the space for offspring to make their own decisions regarding their physical boundaries. It's better than pressuring them, especially if the child is showing signs of distress.
As an adult physical boundaries can go much further and be much more difficult to set, but you should never feel like you have to let someone touch you! Period!!
2) Emotional Boundaries
Even though discussions about mental health have become more widespread over the last 5-7 years, there's still a vast portion of society that's mentally imbalanced and emotionally underdeveloped. The imbalance is represented in music and mainstream culture, so it's relatively easy to connect the dots to how its so widespread. However, in light of the polarizing climate, you are to be encouraged to speak up for yourself. If you don't have the space to accommodate an emotionally heavy topic or sling someone's baggage, uttering a simple "I do not have the capacity for this" works just fine. If they're offended, well, that's not your fault, so be mindful of how people might try to make you suffer.
You can also set emotional boundaries by deciding how much you will share about your private life, knowing you don't have to absorb other people's problems, and enjoying your time alone. You don't have to overshare on social media just because it's popular to do. You don't owe a single person your origin story, especially if you're just meeting them. If you find yourself in a budding relationship, use discretion in what you share.
Remember though, you are only responsible for your own emotions. If someone else reacts badly to you not sharing a lot then that is their problem, walk away from the situation to keep your emotions healthy.
3) Time Boundaries
Placing time boundaries just means that you are really strategic about how and where you want to spend your time. You are definitive about who gets your time and how much time they get. You don't always go with the flow, and you can't always be down with anything. When they suggest one more drink and you really want to leave, respect your own boundary and call it a night. If someone wants to take the scenic route when you're in a rush and prefer to take shortcuts, take the shortcuts! Limit time with people who want you to cut corners, and keep yourself accountable for what you choose to do with your own time. Creating these types of boundaries could free up a lot of time to do something that inspires you or excites you.
When you are intentional about your boundaries, you'll find that you actually have more time than you've thought.
Activity: take a sheet of paper, and draw two vertical lines creating three columns. Above each column, write the words, Physical, Emotional, and Time. Come up with three points for each column where you can strengthen your boundaries. From here, you will know what you have to do when the situation presents itself.
Wishing you the most prosperous evaluation.
peace + purple