Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and, really, a healthy life. Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many of us don’t learn. We might pick up pointers here and there from experience or through watching others. But for many of us, boundary-building is a relatively new concept and a challenging one.
To have better boundaries we should know what are the characteristics of unhealthy and healthy boundaries. Here are certain pointers which you might find helpful :
Signs of Unhealthy Boundaries
- Telling all.
- Trusting no one or trusting anyone or black and white thinking.
- Not noticing when someone else displays inappropriate boundaries.
- Not noticing when someone invades your boundaries.
- Talking at an intimate level at the first meeting.
- Being overwhelmed by a person.
- Acting on the first sexual impulse.
- Being sexual for your partner, not yourself.
- Going against personal values or gifts to please another person.
- Falling in love with someone who reaches out.
- Falling in love with a new acquaintance.
- Accepting food, gifts, touch, sex that you don’t want.
- Touching a person without asking.
- Taking as much as you can get for the sake of getting.
- Giving as much as you can give for the sake of giving.
- Letting others define you.
- Letting others direct your life.
- Letting others describe your reality.
- Believing others can anticipate your needs.
- Expecting others to fill your needs automatically.
- Allowing someone to take as much as they can from you.
- Falling apart so someone will take care of you.
- Sexual and physical abuse
- Food abuse
Signs of Healthy Boundaries
- Appropriate trust.
- Moving step by step into intimacy.
- Staying focused on your own growth and recovery.
- Maintaining personal values despite what others want.
- Noticing when someone invades your boundaries.
- Saying “No” to food, gifts, touch, sex you don’t want.
- Revealing a little of yourself at a time, then checking to see how the other person responds to sharing.
- Putting a new acquaintanceship on hold until you check for compatibility.
- Deciding whether a potential relationship will be good for you.
- Weighting the consequences before acting on sexual impulse.
- Noticing when someone else displays inappropriate boundaries.
- Being sexual when you want to be sexual, concentrating largely on your own pleasure rather than monitoring reactions of your partner.
- Asking a person before touching them.
- Trusting your own decisions.
- Defining your truth, as you see it.
- Knowing who you are and what you want.
- Becoming your own living parent.
- Talking to yourself with gentleness, humour, love and respect.
- Respect for others not taking advantage of someone’s generosity.
- Self respect not giving too much in hope that someone will like you.
- Not allowing someone to take advantage of your generosity.
- Recognising that friends and partner are not mind-readers.
- Clearly communicating your wants and needs (and recognising that you may be turned down, but you can ask).
Which category do you want into? It is okay to oscillate between unhealthy and healthy boundaries as long as you are more on the healthy boundaries side.
Source : Pinterest