Boundary setting is one of the most challenging but important steps to take in any relationship. They are also essential to have whether it be in a relationship with a partner, friend, or colleague. 

Learning boundaries and how to respect them

As difficult as it may be at times, setting healthy boundaries works to create and maintain a healthy relationship and is well worth the effort. This blog post will explore why boundaries are necessary to create healthy relationships, challenging to set, and how you can effectively implement them into your valued relationship.

Why Setting Boundaries Is Difficult

The most common reason behind individuals having trouble setting boundaries is due to their early conditioning in childhood, meaning the modelling of relationships they observed in their environment. 

How children are taught through modeling in the home environment and at school to deal with conflict will greatly affect how comfortable they are in setting boundaries and respecting someone else’s. Unless children are taught how to have respectful communication that is both assertive and kind, they will be uncomfortable setting healthy boundaries. 

Being uncomfortable with boundaries, whether it be respecting others or knowing how to set their own, does not just impact the individual as a child. If boundary setting is not learnt as a child the individual will not out grow this inability but rather, it will stick with them in some capacity for the remainder of their life making boundary setting a significant challenge for them.

Why Boundaries Are Essential In A Relationship

Setting healthy boundaries is an act of clarifying, collaborating and creating emotional intimacy. When people are clear on what the expectations are, what might be a violation of another’s boundaries, on discussing needs and boundaries that fit for both parties – then this can help to create respect and a healthy relationship. 

It is very important to clarify expectations and set boundaries in the beginning of your relationship as it will help to prevent miscommunicated expectations and future conflict. With greater clarity as to each partner’s needs, values, expectations, and triggers the couple can create a foundation that supports a healthy long lasting relationship.

Couple who set healthy boundaries in their relationship

4 Ways to Implement Boundaries Into A Relationship

1. Communicate 

Healthy communication is the foundation of boundary setting. When we consider how boundaries can evolve, it’s easy to recognize the need to have communication stay open and connected.

2. Don’t Feel Guilty About Attending to Your Own Needs

It can be hard not to feel responsible for someone’s reaction to your boundaries. However, when someone has a negative reaction to a reasonable boundary you set, this is something that should be addressed. Remember why you set them in the first place, it is okay to put yourself first sometimes.

3. Hold Each Other Accountable

Both partners involved in setting boundaries must work together to create a form of accountability. This ensures that boundaries are upheld and respected. 

4. Practice Empathy 

Effective boundary setting requires us to see and feel beyond ourselves. It requires patience to set and respect boundaries, they teach us how to practice empathy and open-mindedness. 

Boundaries Are A Strong Foundation, But More Is Needed

Setting boundaries at the start of a relationship helps set the stage for a healthy relationship. But beyond setting boundaries there are other ways to create a healthy relationship. Learn how to improve your relationship to a more optimal and healthy level in one of our recent blogs. If you have questions about  this blog post or your relationship, book a 30 minute consultation with me below.

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