Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tips to Set Strong Boundaries

By Samantha Peters, Freelance Writer & HR Blogger

Navigating through life and relationships is by no means an easy task, and it often forces you to learn along the way.  However, you don't necessarily have to navigate through life blindly in order to obtain and maintain the life and relationships that you want.  Simply setting personal boundaries can make your journey much more easy and directed.

What Are Boundaries?
When someone mentions personal boundaries, they are referencing to the emotional honesty in which they live their lives.  Boundaries are what we achieve when we live with our authentic selves and communicate directly and honestly.  They allow us to walk through life without having to worry about the outcomes of everyday interactions whether in your personal or professional life. 

Why Are They Important?
Establishing boundaries is important as it is a way to protect yourself from negative feelings and emotions. It is also the only way to keep and maintain healthy relationships.  Without personal boundaries, a relationship can become imbalanced, leading to resentment and other negative feelings.   A person living without boundaries is also more likely to hurt others, or allow themselves to become victimized.

How to I Create Boundaries?
While it may seem strange or out of the norm for your personal behavior, setting boundaries means stating your feelings aloud. The following list provides you with guidelines for setting and establishing proper boundaries for your personal self:

  1. Consider how you need to be treated for your own well-being: When you are establishing boundaries for yourself, you need to be as honest as possible. What types of behaviors will you not tolerate from both yourself and others? Are their specific words or treatments that you feel like prohibit you from your goals? Take the time to actually determine which behaviors you will accept from both yourself and others in your life, and how you can provide yourself with the best emotional life possible.
  2. Assert your decisions: Once you have created boundaries for yourself, start living them. Don't simply create your boundaries and then set them on a shelf. They are there to provide you with better emotional health, and should be practiced from the start. So if one of your personal boundaries is maintaining personal responsibility, letting yourself skip a few advanced coursework classes or becoming apathetic during that large work project is no longer acceptable.
  3. Stand Up for Yourself:When others cross your boundaries, such as an inappropriate comment or intruding on your personal space or time, let them know politely and firmly that their behavior is not okay. That being said, should you catch yourself crossing your own boundaries, be willing to tell yourself “no.” If you aren't used to having boundaries, they will take some time to get used to, so be prepared to be accountable to yourself.
If you are looking for a better way to involve yourself in personal relationships, consider setting boundaries. Overall, boundaries should keep you emotionally honest and emotionally responsible. They not only provide you with a set of rules in which people should treat you, but also you with guidelines for how you should treat others.

About the Author:
This is a guest post written by Samantha Peters, who enjoys blogging on career and HR, covering topics of particular interest to women in the workplace.

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