The No BS Guide to Setting Healthy Boundaries in Real Life - Deepstash

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Defining Boundaries

Defining Boundaries

The word “boundary” can leave the impression of separation.

But boundaries are actually connecting points since they provide healthy rules for navigating relationships, intimate or professional.

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The benefits of boundaries

  • Boundaries improve our relationships and self-esteem. They protect relationships from becoming unsafe.
  • Boundaries can be flexible. It’s good to think about them occasionally and reassess them.
  • Boundaries allow us to conserve our emotional energy. Without them, self-esteem and identity can be affected, and you can build resentment toward others.
  • Boundaries give us space to grow and be vulnerable. 

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Determine your borders

Our boundaries are shaped by

  • our heritage or culture
  • the region we live in or come from
  • whether we’re introverted, extroverted, or somewhere in between
  • our life experiences
  • our family dynamics
Boundaries are a deeply personal choice and vary from person to person. You can investigate and define your boundaries with self-reflection.

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Examine your rights and needs

  • Once you identify your rights and choose to believe in them, you’ll find honoring them easier. For example, I have a right to be treated with respect. 
  • Check-in with your body (heart rate, sweating, tightness in the chest, clenched fists) to understand what you can handle and where the boundary should be drawn.
  • Identify 10 important values. Then narrow that list to three. To understand if you have strong and healthy boundaries, reflect on how often those 3 are challenged.

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Become a boundary-setting boss

How to draw your lines with confidence.

  • Be assertive. Assertive language is clear and non-negotiable, without blaming or threatening the receiver. Be assertive using "I statements."
  • Learn to say no. You can say no without an explanation and without providing any emotional labor to the person you’re saying it to.
  • Safeguard your spaces. For example, use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone and other devices.

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Other people’s boundaries

  • Watch for cues. Possible hints someone might want more space: avoiding eye contact, limited conversation response, turning away or sideways.
  • Be inclusive of neurodiverse behaviors. These are people who live with autism, are on the spectrum, or who have other developmental disabilities. Their social cues may be different from the norm.
  • Ask. You can inquire if a hug is OK or if you can ask a personal question.

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