WHY BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
As human beings, we need love and connection in our relationships with partners, family, and friends. But having healthy boundaries within those relationships is actually the key to keeping them strong without losing yourself and depleting your energy.
Co-dependency isn’t romantic.
We’ve seen it on television and in movies. The princess is waiting to fall head over heels for the prince who rescues her from her mundane life. Jerry Macguire has that famous line, “you complete me.” Even Romeo and Juliet's tragedy romanticizes the idea that suicide is the better choice when losing the one you love.
But that isn’t how we’re made. You aren’t meant to walk around as half of who you are, seeking out another person who will fill in your gaps and make you feel whole again.
When you put in the work to be fully who you are and fall in love with yourself along the way, you are better equipped to create a relationship with someone who is wholly who they are. Neither of you is looking for someone to fill in gaps.
In a healthy relationship, both people are individuals whose mutual respect and ability to know themselves and one another create a strong bond. You don’t have to have exactly the same likes and dislikes to be compatible. Each of you being exactly who you are will complement your relationship without the added pressure of trying to be all things for one another.
Guilt and shame have no place in your decision-making.
Hear me when I say that you are allowed to say no to things without having to over explain (or even give any explanation other than, “I don’t want to”). Consider the following situation.
You had a long week, and Friday after work, you commit your Saturday to a Netflix binge-fest. But that afternoon, a friend invites you to go out to dinner for a girl's night. A little voice in your head says, “Nope. I want to stay home with my comfy blanket and popcorn.”
You start to tell yourself why you should go out. You feel guilty for not wanting to go. You may notice shame popping up, with thoughts like, “She went out to lunch last week when asked. It’s selfish not to do the same for her.”
We tend to think that by saying no to a friend, we’ll suddenly lose our connection to them. But the truth is, your friends are your friends because they care about you. In this situation, it’s okay to say that you had a long week and you just want to hang out at home.
Setting clear boundaries avoids conflict and confusion in the long run.
Choosing to set boundaries and express them out loud saves time and helps your partner, friends, and family members know where you are coming from without having to try and read your mind or figure out your body language.
Be honest with yourself and others. If there is something that keeps happening that you don’t like, sit down with those involved and have an authentic conversation. If they disagree or continue the unwanted behavior, you know that you did what you could and you then have the choice to decide whether the relationship is sustainable or if you can come together and create a compromise.
Understand there is a difference between creating a healthy compromise and submitting to the will of someone else out of a feeling of obligation. It’s okay to take some time to assess the situation or have a conversation about it with a neutral person.
We can help!
If you are feeling overwhelmed in your relationships, Divine Growth Coaching is here for you. We can have a conversation and help you understand where you can implement some boundaries in your life.