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Building Boundaries

Written by: Liz Murphy, M.S.W.
Building Boundaries

Learning and understanding how to build boundaries with your family, peers and coworkers is essential to forming healthy relationships. Having healthy boundaries with others can look different for each relationship you have in your life. Having more rigid boundaries with people may look like being emotionally distant or not being vulnerable to open up appropriately to others. Having looser boundaries may look like sharing too much information with others and having a challenging time to say no. Having healthy boundaries can help others know what to expect from you, and what you expect from them.

There are five distinct types of boundaries to have with the people in your life.

  • Physical boundaries are who is allowed in your personal space
  • Sexual boundaries are your expectations concerning intimacy
  • Emotional boundaries are with who and what you choose to share your emotions and feelings
  • Intellectual boundaries are based around your thoughts and belief system
  • Financial boundaries are choosing who and how you may provide for others

Here are several ways to start working on healthy boundaries within yourself and your relationships.

  • Set the boundaries early on in relationships to lessen confusion and hurt feelings
  • Try and be consistent with your boundaries as this can help with expectations
  • Communicate your needs with others and be open to discuss your boundaries in a nonconfrontational way
  • Advocate for yourself and your needs
  • Also understand and respect others boundaries and needs

“We can say what we need to say. We can gently, but assertively, speak our minds. We do not need to be judgmental, tactless, blaming, or cruel when we speak our truths” – Melody Beattie

You can contact Summit Counseling today to discuss working on boundaries within your relationships!