Setting Up and Upholding Healthy Boundaries With Family

Woman setting boundariesDo family dinners or get-togethers often turn bitter because of certain family members overstepping your comfort zone through criticism, shaming, or lack of consideration for your feelings? If so, then there is a clear need to create functional boundaries that will make you feel safer, valued, and even protect important family relationships. It’s not an easy thing to do but is a healthy and often necessary practice.

Introspect About Personal Boundaries

Introspect About Personal Boundaries
Establishing and maintaining boundaries is about self-love, self-care, and ultimately, about protecting relationships. There’s no external source that can tell a person which boundary needs to be put in place. It’s an individual introspective journey that determines whether the goal is to establish a better relationship with a sibling, gain more independence from one’s parents, or even cut ties with someone who’s repeatedly caused you harm, emotionally or otherwise.

Use Visualization Aids

Boundaries Visualization Aid
Sometimes, to put our thoughts into focus, it helps to be able to clearly visualize them. This can be done by making a boundary circle on a piece of paper. Within the circle, write down what you need to feel safe, heard, and appreciated. Outside of the circle, place behaviors that you won’t tolerate, such as body shaming, belittling dreams and opinions, revoking personal freedoms, or anything else that applies to your personal experience. It’s important to keep in mind that boundaries can be flexible as they will change along with the person that sets them.

Contemplate the Repercussions

When making a boundary that’s potentially life-changing, such as ceasing to communicate with a person that willfully continues to cross a line, it’s very important to take the time to really consider the repercussions that will follow it. Consider if the cost is worth it and whether or not you truly believe that what you’re doing is the right course of action. It’s important to believe in and be comfortable with your decision.