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  • Writer's pictureThe Archivist

The Importance of Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries are a way to guard your personal and mental space. Your freedom. Your mental real estate in a way. It is allocating space for certain parts of your life, your career, family, relationships, self. Imagine you owned 10 properties, but you only maintained one of them. Over time, the other properties would rot, and eventually need a lot of maintenance just to make those places livable again. Similarly, if you are putting all of your energy into one aspect of your life, and not maintaining the other parts, not giving them enough time, those parts of your life will begin to disintegrate and disrupt all of the other sections of your life.

Balancing boundaries is an art that takes time and experience to figure out. When these boundaries get blurred in even one part of your life, it can mess up the equilibrium in your life.

Blurred boundaries in our relationships can create toxic relationships. Whether it is oversharing with a friend, or not saying “No” when you should, you set certain expectations. You may make yourself vulnerable, and put yourself in a position where you are becoming overly dependent upon one particular person for emotional support, or for their validation for the decisions you make in your life.

Simple ways to enforce boundaries in our lives:

  1. Be able to say “No” and not feel guilty about it.

  2. Recognize when you are overextending yourself. Whether in your career, or for someone else.

  3. Have healthy time and space in your relationships. Whether in terms of spending time with each other, contacting each other, or sharing things. Privacy is important. Autonomy is important. And space is important.

  4. Be self-reliant and not handicap yourself with dependence upon another person. You do not want to develop a habit of needing constant validation for the decisions in your life, for your appearance, for what you said, or did.

  5. If you find yourself seeking external validation for your identity and decisions, it may be time to pause and take a moment to self-reflect, what is causing you to seek this validation? Are there acute or chronic underlying issues that you need to address?

  6. Respect your time and your schedule.

  7. Have the strength to exit conversations, gatherings, individuals, and commitments that do not align with our schedules, time, and mental health.

Many boundary issues usually stem from deeper issues, such as low self esteem, childhood trauma, tragic experiences, bullying, stress triggers etc. However it is imperative to raise awareness regarding the importance of setting boundaries , in order to identify and correct poor boundaries. It will be tough in the beginning, and it may take time for loved ones to acknowledge and get used to our boundary setting. But do not give up. It takes time, and persistence. It is an investment in our mental health, and our mental real estate. Our peace of mind.

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