How to Improve Your Relationships & Create Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are a part of every healthy relationship. Not only do they set expectations, but they also set the standards of the relationship without sacrificing your happiness in the process. But what do you do when you need to rethink how to create a healthy boundary? Where do you start without making it a big ordeal?
Boundaries need to be clear to everyone. They’re not meant to be stonewalls nor are they meant to feel isolating. These are simple rules you’re setting for everyone to follow.
Sometimes, boundaries aren’t clear, or they just weren’t a focus for you before. Either way, creating healthy boundaries are easy to implement, but you need to be diligent in keeping them. Today, we’ll go over how to create them and have a solid foundation of healthy boundaries!
Boundaries are essential to your self-care journey! If you’re new to self-care, check out How to Start a Self-Care Routine, where there's actionable steps to implement now to start you off on the right foot of your wellness journey!
Self-care may be completely different from your normal routine, but this new routine will give you immediate benefits! Mentally and physically, self-care has been proven time and time again as to how influential a simple change in routine can be.
Already have a solid self-care routine? Check out the Self-Care tag. Here you will find activities and guidance to add to your routine as your needs change along your journey!
Looking to live more intentionally? Take a look at the Intentional Living tag! Here you will find guides on how to be more mindful, as well as how to build a solid, healthy mindset.
Knowing and understanding who you are and where you’re going is one of the main purposes of all self-care. Allowing time each day to focus on yourself will guide you closer to truly understanding who you are and who you want to grow into.
When you understand who you are, you begin to realize what your likes and dislikes are. Maybe you’re not the most open person in the world, but you enjoy sharing some details of yourself. In this example, knowing what you consider too much is key to setting a boundary for your relationships.
To get a better look inward on your true self, take time to reflect each day. Be it with journaling, meditation, or both, some alone time each day will allow you to know yourself better.
I recently started reading The Self Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser and it’s definitely a must read. Shannon’s book really opened my eyes to the importance of understanding and loving yourself before asking others to do the same.
In The Self Love Experiment, Shannon walks you through her own personal experiment, a simple plan that compassionately guides you through the process of removing fear-based thoughts, so you can fall in love with life.
Her compassion and empathy towards difficult situations fit perfectly for the more difficult boundaries I had to set up in my own life. Grab your copy here!
Being Honest with Yourself
When it comes to others and your relationship with them, your opinions may become someone else’s if the relationship is not divided equally. The power of suggestion can become a major part of your relationships if we’re unsure of who we really are. This leads to being led away from your path or giving away too much power to another person.
Once we understand who we are, we can look towards our relationships and ask: “Is this who I truly am or am I changing myself to please someone else?”
Write down each relationship, good ones and the ones who need improvement. Ask yourself that question for each one and see which relationship needs more honesty in it.
With the relationships that need work, write down what doesn’t feel honest about them. Is it something small or something that will take time? Identifying what needs more honesty will help guide you to the path that your relationships need.
Saying “No” without Guilt
We’re so eager to toss out the word “no” when presented with trivial, physical things. However, when our mental health and well-being depend on saying no to protect ourselves, we put other’s first. We’re afraid of maybe offending that person.
The first step to creating a healthy boundary is learning that saying no is okay. You’re allowed to say no, no matter whose asking. This goes back to allowing someone’s suggestions to become our honesty and giving too much power to another. The same can be said for just being a yes!-person without letting ourselves weigh the emotional and mental outcome.
Allowing yourself time to answer the question will let you become more aware of the outcome. Everything does not require an immediate answer. In fact, there are hardly any questions that need an immediate answer that someone could ask you.
Let yourself think about the question and give your decisions time to cook. After a night or two’s sleep, you’ll have a better understanding of what path to take.
As a recovering people-pleaser, I found a lot of fantastic, useful wisdom in Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty by Dr. Aziz Gazipura.
In this book, Dr. Aziz Gazipura, a world-renowned confidence expert, takes an incisive look at the concept of nice. Dr. Aziz uses engaging stories, humor, and disarming vulnerability to cut through the nice conditioning and liberate the most bold, expressive, authentic version of yourself.
Not Nice really checked off a lot of pain points as I read it. At first, saying no feels bad, it feels shameful, and most of all, it feels laden with guilt. Learning how to work through and process these feelings moving forward made these awkward moments feel more and more comfortable. Grab your’s here!
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Look to your Best Relationships
Why is it that some relationships with others just click? We find ourselves gravitating towards all sorts of personalities from all walks of lives, each being different in their own ways. What makes each of these relationships feel so effortless while others fall short?
Most of the time it’s from the other person just “getting it.” They understand you, without having to have a trial and error to find out who you are. In other words, they don’t have to cross a line to find out that you don’t like it.
Some people are inherently receptive and responsive to these nonverbal cues! Others… Not so much.
Looking at your “easy” relationships will give you guidance on how to improve the ones that need work. Take your list of the relationships and what you found to need improvement on. Have you experienced this with other relationships? What worked for those?
Once you correlate your healthy relationships to your ones who need improvement you begin to see where your path can lead you.
Opening a Conversation
Sometimes people just don’t understand that what they’re doing is making you uncomfortable!
Being vocal about your needs will allow you to let the others know that what they’re doing may not be the best for you and your relationship. Most of the time, people will change, and they’ll understand. Again, this goes back to some people just not being receptive of nonverbal cues.
Once you bring it up to the other person, you’re able to set the expectation:
“This is who I am, and this is how I need to be treated.”
When you create healthy boundaries, you set yourself up for a happy, healthy relationship. Setting the rules and being able to follow the rules will set you up for success.
The true key is being honest with yourself and being able to talk to others. When in doubt, you can always write down what you’re feeling before you have that conversation.
I know that these can be difficult but having respect for yourself and your well-being is the true key to your own happiness. Sharing this with others is both rewarding and freeing at the same time!
Allow yourself the joy of being able to celebrate your relationships and know that they understand you have rules for your own happiness.
Chances are they’re doing the same!
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