Everyone should remember that they are not born with the instruction manual, and they do not walk with it, engraved on the forehead, so it is common for other people to cause them inconvenience. People can say what you are not ready to hear, they can call you when you are sleeping, or ask questions, which you are not ready to answer.

setting boundaries in a relationship

The issue of building boundaries is very important in the life of any person. If you don’t feel your personal boundaries, and you cannot correctly open and close them, then you will often be disappointed and, as a result, you will face apathy or even depression caused by a lack of mutual understanding with people and the world around. In such cases, the individual is often tempted to shift all responsibility for their failures onto other people and their behavior, but the root cause is the wrong boundaries in relationships.

What are boundaries in a relationship?

Psychological boundaries in a relationship are the understanding of one’s own “self.” These boundaries include everything that makes up your personality: body, feelings, intellect, character, abilities, values, behavior, desires, etc. Personal boundaries perform the same protective function as any other boundaries, and they are formed during the process of education, communication, and socialization. Adults teach children to recognize and protect their boundaries as well as to respect the boundaries of other people.

Personal space is not only a separate room with its safe haven, but it is also a freedom of action, which is not impaired by others, and in which you express your essence without fear for condemnation and reproach. Everyone should let their partner have such a space. Accept the fact that sometimes, people want to rest from everyone, even from the closest one.

Violation of boundaries in a relationship. Violation of boundaries in a relationship is an encroachment, which can be experienced as embarrassment, annoyance, shame, resentment, irritation, horrible mood, and other “unpleasant” feelings. If you feel something like that, then, most likely, your boundaries have been broken.

Everyone has their own boundaries, and what is good for one person, can be interpreted by others as an invasion of privacy. While someone does not mind round-the-clock messages or even calls from a partner, another person can perceive such attention as excessive control. The same thing applies to the situation when some people like uninvited guests and spontaneous tea parties, but their partners consider this the worst of nightmares.

Examples of boundaries in a relationship

how to set boundaries in a relationshipImagine the following situation: a married couple comes to a psychologist. A woman complains that a man constantly raises his voice and insults her, and the man claims that he does this just because she constantly tries to control him and can't mind her own business. When they begin to discuss the situation, it turns out that:

  1. She really tries to control him because she thinks that he pays less attention to her than earlier.
  2. He really pays her less attention because she constantly nags him.
  3. She really nags him because otherwise, he doesn’t do anything of what she wants.

This is one of the thousands of life situations associated with setting boundaries in relationships. As you can see, both emotions and behavior are affected in addition to responsibility for what you do in a relationship.

Examples of violation of boundaries in a relationship.

Sometimes, people unconsciously violate the personal boundaries of their partners, thinking that they do everything right and help them. However, as they say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Many relationship boundaries examples show the complexity of the situation.

  1. Violation of personal boundaries under the guise of care. “I’ve got you onto a pottery course. It is a very good course, and there are a few places. It’s so great that you will be able to attend it!” It would be nice to find out what plans and desires a person has, and whether they need your concernment.
  2. Violation of personal boundaries by devaluing the opinions and desires of others. “If I were you, I would do it differently...” Let your partner decide on their own.
  3. Violation of personal boundaries under the guise of replacing the point of view of a partner. "You got confused ..." It’s just unfair to the beloved one.
  4. Violation of personal boundaries with unsolicited advice. "You should do that like this." It is better to wait until you are asked for advice.

Setting boundaries in a relationship

On the one hand, rigid boundaries protect against unwanted encroachments, but at the same time, they make it difficult to establish a close, trusting relationship with a partner. And, on the contrary, too weak and pliable boundaries make a person dependent and too impressionable.

Healthy relationship boundaries are the very golden mean, which allows you to simultaneously value your opinion and listen to others, to know your needs and declare them, to establish a warm relationship, but not lose yourself in it. Christian relationship boundaries are the key to healthy relationships. If the boundaries are violated, it creates irritation and anger, which makes it difficult to communicate even with the closest person, not to mention the destructive consequences for the psyche and even the body. Healthy boundaries in a relationship are the basis of mutual respect and a happy future with your beloved one. So, how to set boundaries in a relationship?

1. Sort yourself out

The first thing, which you should do is to understand that you are setting boundaries in a relationship not for a partner, but for yourself. Let’s imagine that it’s about two neighboring states, in one of which you are the leader. You determine the laws in your territory. The neighboring state will somehow establish and determine everything for themselves without you.

2. Think about the limits

You cannot control the behavior of another person, but you are able to control yourself. Therefore, you should think about the following things. In what status are you in this relationship? Are there any physical boundaries in a relationship, which you cannot accept? Are you on an equal footing? What are you ready to tolerate? What will you do if something goes wrong?

3. Talk about "time for yourself"

What are some good relationship boundaries? While some people do not need to be alone, other ones cannot live without such moments. If you belong to the second type, then do not try to put up with irritation from the presence of a partner and ask them to give you time for yourself. Explain to them gently that it’s not about them, but that you need to remain completely alone from time to time. The same applies to your meetings with friends.

relationship boundaries examples4. Learn to accept people as they are

What are healthy boundaries in a relationship? It’s very important to learn to love and accept people as they are. If you do not do this, you invade their territory and try to control them in any possible way. If you want to be accepted, accept others. If you want others to respect your refuse, respect the refuse of another person. Do not try to control your partner, and it doesn’t matter whether you are in a committed relationship or not. Love your partner, even when they say no, respecting boundaries in a relationship.

5. Identify sexual restrictions

It’s best to say directly what things you don’t accept and what kind of sex taboos you have. If it is difficult for you to discuss such questions, play the game: first, you say what you do not like, then it is the turn of your partner, and so on. No matter how you are in love, you should watch your own boundaries.

How to set boundaries in a relationship with a narcissist?

A narcissist starts methodically violating the partner’s boundaries from the very beginning of the relationship. The partner’s boundaries prevent a narcissist from fully accepting the partner as part of themselves. However, when this happens, the partner turns out to be an outdated model. Therefore, they either break up or a partner is exploited as an extreme example of a disgusting and unworthy person, compared with a magnificent narcissist. To enhance this impression, emotional, sexual and physical violence take place.

So, if you are dating with a narcissist, you need to be aware of your self-esteem, think about setting boundaries in a relationship and make up the rules that cannot be violated under any circumstances. Yes, they can react to it, but precisely these boundaries will not allow them to devastate you emotionally. So, how to set boundaries in a relationship with a narcissist?

  1. Focus on your strengths.
  2. Resist gaslighting, one of the forms of psychological manipulation.
  3. Don’t tolerate barbed jokes, condescending tone, and constant sarcasm.
  4. Do not allow to shift the blame to you.
  5. Never stop keeping your psychological boundaries.
  6. Open relationship boundaries.

Open relationships are pretty common among young people. This is their way of knowing the world. However, it happens that couples, who are in committed relationships and who have been loyal to each other for years, understand that they want to experience something new. They want fresh sensations and lack of control.

  1. Nonetheless, before anyone decides to start an open relationship, they should set boundaries and specify the rules.
  2. Solve the issue of protection against pregnancy and infections.
  3. Take care of the emotional comfort of the partner.
  4. Think about whether you will tell each other details of relationships with other people.
  5. Decide whether a lover will be able to call and send messages as well as come to you in private.

Can relationships work without boundaries?

Sometimes, people “open” their boundaries, letting in everything and everyone. Someone tries to unite their boundaries with a partner and create a “common space.” This contributes to fantastic intimacy but can also lead to the loss of oneself. Nonetheless, healthy boundaries are a necessary basis for respect and self-respect, for growth and development, for self-disclosure and, of course, for strong and happy relationships. After all, harmonious relationships require attention to both their needs and the needs of a loved one. This means that it is necessary to constantly watch the boundaries between oneself and a partner.

The most destructive results of lack of boundaries are physical and emotional abuse. People who have not set personal boundaries allow others to manipulate themselves. Stories of cruel spouses can be heard quite often because the victim is not able to set boundaries to protect themselves from evil influence. A loving and kind person can constantly suffer insults just because their personal boundaries are poorly formed.

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