Clear boundaries are the ability to maintain an appropriate emotional and physical distance, the ability to have and defend your own opinion. Strong boundaries make it clear which attitude you feel is okay with yourself and which is not.
When and how they are formed
We begin to build them in childhood. Much depends on what kind of example parents or other educators set for the child, because children first of all learn by imitating the behavior of loved ones.
Even in infancy, it is important for a baby to feel that there are certain rules: where you can crawl and where not, who can pick him up and who can not, what is dangerous and what is safe. As you get older, the system of rules and boundaries must grow and develop with it. It is important at an early age to introduce the child to the concept of personal space and to teach respect for others.
The system of our boundaries continues to change and develop throughout life, in many respects our safety, happiness and personal growth depend on them. However, if our boundaries in childhood were constantly violated or we were not appreciated enough, then we cannot create a zone of comfort and safety for ourselves. And in adulthood, we will surely have problems with personal space.
These difficulties will persist until we decide to build a system of boundaries for ourselves. When communicating with someone who has them unhealthy or weak, it often seems that the person himself does not know who he is, or does not value himself enough.
Those who were brought up in an atmosphere of codependency often feel bad about their own emotions and personal space (which they might have been deprived of in childhood). Some are afraid that trying to build boundaries will alienate loved ones from them and they will be left alone.
If early childhood instilled in you a sense of guilt or responsibility for the happiness of others, were not allowed to freely express your thoughts and feelings, or you were ashamed for basic needs and needs, all this could lead to similar problems in adulthood.
Our boundaries are expressions of self-love
Strong personal boundaries are very important in learning to truly love and value yourself. Those who, in childhood, were deprived of a sufficient sense of control over their own lives, constantly seek the approval of others, instead of learning to trust themselves and build their own identity.
Here are 4 tips for those looking to build stronger personal boundaries and better learn to love and value themselves.
1) Decide what kind of boundaries we are talking about
Personal, for example, can include almost anything: your opinions and feelings on some issues, your interpretations, personal space (including physical space), ideas about security.
For every person in your life, you set your own boundaries. By identifying the types of them that are most important to you, you will be able to more clearly understand when they are violated, and better understand what you are missing.
2) List your boundaries
Try to list in writing all the personal boundaries that you would like to establish and defend. This will help you determine specific goals. If you especially need personal space, decide for yourself what exactly this concept means to you in each context (at home, at work, at the place of study, etc.), pick up examples of violations.
3) Remember that you can protect boundaries with both words and non-verbal signals
Writing exercises also help. When you start setting boundaries, it is not uncommon to feel awkward or uncomfortable. You can start with non-verbal cues – for example, distance yourself from those who invade your personal space.
Write down in a journal how you feel when you violate your boundaries (someone is being too annoying or requires a lot of time, etc.). This will help you find the right words at the right time to express your resentment.
4) practice constantly
When developing any habit, while learning, the main thing is constant practice. Mastering this skill will also take time and effort.
Pay attention to which boundaries you have the greatest difficulty with. Every time you successfully protect them, write it down in a journal or tick the box. This will help track your progress.