Are Your Relationships Out of Whack? How to Set Healthy Boundaries
Have you ever felt the lines blur between you and another person in an unhealthy way? Find out what you need to know about establishing healthy emotional boundaries.
Have you ever felt the lines blur between you and another person in an unhealthy way?
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Sometimes, we can’t quite put into words that something is wrong in our relationships or that boundaries between ourselves and others are not healthy. These relationships can exist in many spheres, whether with a significant other, neighbor, friend, coworker or boss.
“One warning sign of unhealthy boundaries might be the inability to say ‘no’ when you mean ‘no,’” says clinical psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD.
Other signs? He says watch out for feelings of anger in response to the sense that the relationship is imbalanced, that you’re giving too much, or not being listened to in a reciprocal manner.
“You may have the sense that you are a rescuer or savior. You may have this sense that your needs don’t count. Finally, you may feel that you have sacrificed your identity as part of the relationship,” he says.
“Interpersonal boundaries are important in helping you manage the responsibility of having your needs met,” Dr. Bea says.
Healthy boundaries allow us to:
“They also allow for your individual identity so that you can strive for personal goals, while expressing an appropriate level of interest in helping others,” he adds.
Setting good boundaries takes some courage. People may push back against newly established boundary-setting.
To do this, Dr. Bea makes these suggestions:
“Keep in mind that others may stimulate feelings of guilt that may stem from your childhood experiences in order to overstep your boundaries,” Dr. Bea says.
“Being educated and leaning on others can help you through it. Once you practice holding your ground, it gets easier.”