Setting Healthy Boundaries in friendship.

healthy boundaries in friendship, mental health, adult mental health, relationship boundaries

Healthy Boundaries In Friendship

Our lives are enriched by building relationships with the people around us. Our interactions with them have significant importance to us. These moments help us to develop a bond or connection with the people we meet, giving our lives a meaning and purpose. Good relationships with friends and family help us develop positive attitudes and maintain a healthy mind and body. A relationship is like a see-saw, an act of balancing between the good times and bad, between happiness and sadness where there's give and take and one person's wants are not met at the expense of the other. but when conflicts arise in relationships it can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety affecting our mind and body.

Finding your way through such situations can be quite a challenge. Setting healthy boundaries with friends or family members helps to build mutual respect for one another. However, the fact of setting boundaries with friends and family feels scary because we have established our relationships firmly and have patterns as to how we function in them. We often worry what other people might think when setting boundaries and are worried that people close to us might walk away. However, if you want to build healthy friendships and relationships, it is important that you establish healthy boundaries with all the people in your life - even the people closest to you.

Open, clear communication with friends is crucial to setting healthy boundaries, particularly in times when issues or conflicts arise. Open communication is one of the most important aspects of establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries with friends, and it also helps prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. Creating boundaries with friends can be as simple as having open conversations about what each wants and expects from the other, saying no to requests that make you feel uncomfortable, and being open about times you feel hurt, offended, or taken advantage of by your friends.

People who struggle with setting boundaries with friends often feel taken advantage of, like their friendships are not reciprocal. There are times we get into relationships where we feel like we don't even have a voice, where it feels like our friends just take us for granted and always get what they want without ever considering what we might need. In such situations it is important for you to understand, what you’re doing that allows others to treat you this way. Remember this: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. With unhealthy boundaries, there are plenty of times when someone feels hurt and used.

No matter how you frame it, boundary-setting still feels challenging, especially when a friendship has been going for a long time. Setting boundaries may seem like a terrifying concept, especially when you are talking about your family, friends, and partners. Every relationship requires effort, compromises, and sacrifices to make it work but any relationship that makes you lose yourself and prevents you from being the person you are, comes at a very high price. It is important to understand that you are a person who is worthy of dignity and respect and once you know and acknowledge your worth and understand your value in the relationship it is important that you make it clear to others. People need to know where you draw the line. Creating boundaries is a good way to keep relationships healthy and secure. Boundaries are not a sign of secrecy or distrust—it’s an expression of what makes someone feel comfortable and safe.

You can tell your friend about your boundaries in a gentle, loving manner. Let a friend know you are capable of setting healthy boundaries, especially if their requests impact your health and well-being. It is important to understand that you cannot change the people around you and not everyone will accept your boundaries, in such situations all we can do is tell them how we feel and find a middle ground, where things work best for both. If expectations from either side don't seem to meet, then you have a choice; to either accept the situation, or change the nature of the relationship, by creating boundaries that make you feel safe and at peace with yourself.

Creating effective boundaries in your life may be hard to do at first, but as you make the habit, you will feel calmer and confident. You are implementing new rules for yourself that may take a little getting used to, but the more consistent you are with your boundaries, the more comfortable you will feel setting them, and the more likely your friends are to learn from them. The specific boundaries you set with your friends will depend on many factors, including how close you are, how long you have known each other, and what both of you expect, want, and need out of the friendship. Knowing your friends, boundaries will help you to know where they are coming from. Your friends are going to always need you to be there for them, so knowing your boundaries will enable you to discern when it is time to sacrifice and when it is time to gently push back.

So to conclude it is important to understand that while you want to be gentle in expressing yourself, ensure that your focus is on your feelings and not on blaming the other person, you also want to make sure that they know that you are serious about the boundaries that you are trying to establish. Knowing that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent, will help you to take charge of your own life, to know your worth, and respect yourself. Sometimes we need boundaries as an expression of what makes us feel comfortable and safe, thereby keeping away toxic people from our lives. Lastly, setting a middle-ground to meet certain expectations from each other in a relationship can help us maintain healthy relationships with the people around us.

Also read,

Recoiling Relationships Bonds

Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Image credit: Freepic

Cleon D’Souza
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