6 ways to set healthy boundaries in friendships
Having boundaries when it come to your friendships is probably one of the most important aspects.
Boundaries are the glue that maintains that healthy balance as you relate to one another. Without boundaries, chances of your entire relationship falling apart are very high.
When we were kids, most didn’t understand what boundaries meant and how important they were. But once we matured and begun to define the types of friends we want to have, we learnt that without that foundation of strict boundaries, no friendship can last.
Therefore, you should never ignore the need to have limits when dealing with friends. We look at a few ways you can set boundaries:
i. Have a meeting with yourself first
First, you need to think about the whole thing and clearly define what types of boundaries you would want to have in your friendships. What are some of those things that would completely break the friendship permanently and what are those that you can afford to compromise on?
You also need to clearly understand what your expectations are and be honest with yourself about those demands that may be over the top or petty.
ii. Get over the fear
Many people shy away from admitting that they want respect from their friends. Friendships are usually full of fun times and banter which can make having serious discussions quite hard. At the same time, there is the fear of losing friends because you might feel like you’re demanding too much from them.
You have to understand that you deserve respect and there’s nothing wrong with wanting your friends to consider how you feel.
iii. Be direct with them
Be serious about it and don’t start cracking jokes when talking to them about your concerns. How you get the message across will also determine whether they will take you seriously or not.
This process isn’t only about you. It’s also an opportunity for them to set their boundaries when it comes to you so that you’re on the same page. It should be like a discussion and not a dictatorial situation where you demand respect without letting them feel heard as well.
Keep in mind that a friendship is a partnership so everyone is entitled to their own point of view.
v Set an example
This is where the expectations are put to the test. They will have every right to call you out if you’re busted crossing someone else’s boundaries while demanding that they respect yours. It’s quite humiliating to find yourself in such a situation.
The good thing about encouraging boundaries is, it forces you all to become better individuals and friends to each other. This serves as an important lesson even when it comes to setting limits with others like family members.
The biggest benefit out of it all is that you learn to take responsibility for your actions.
vi. Take breaches seriously
Boundaries are basically useless if you’re not keen on consequences whenever someone disregards you. Sometimes people like to test whether your limits actually work by intentionally disrespecting you even after you’ve communicated what you need from them from the beginning.
You need to think about how you’ll be dealing with certain situations so that you’re not caught off guard. If they do something that you said you’d never tolerate, show that you’re more than ready to cut them off and actually follow through if that’s what you’ve decided to do.
Basically, you shouldn’t take disrespect lightly. People actually respect you more when they see that you’re 100% serious when it comes to your expectations.
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