Kalyn’s Coffee Talk Podcast–How to Set & Respect Healthy Boundaries
Today we are talking all about boundaries! How to set them, how to make sure they are healthy for us, and how to listen to our intuition when it comes to the relationships in our lives.
There are two spectrums when it comes to boundaries, and we will inevitably swing from one side of the pendulum to the other at different points in our lives. It’s important to achieve the balance that is right for you by listening to yourself and what you need from relationships in this season of your life.
You might swing more to the closed side of the boundary spectrum, meaning you are often isolated, you don’t open up to the people in your life often, and you don’t allow yourself to be opened up to by others either. Having closed and rigid boundaries can hinder your ability to form close relationships, and can keep you from the benefits of true connection and community with other human beings. However, in certain seasons of our lives it might be okay or even necessary to be a bit more closed off.
On the other side of the spectrum, you can be far too open. A lack of boundaries in your life is characterized by sharing too much too often, dropping everything to do things for someone even when it might not be the best for your mental health, or shying away from time spent alone in favor of being around people all the time. An effect of having a lack of boundaries can be feeling like you are spread thin, and becoming so emotionally involved in other people’s problems that you are affected by their emotions to an unhealthy degree.
There is a balance to strike in all aspects of your life, and in some relationships you may need to have a more open boundary, while in others it may need to be more closed. In this it is so important to trust your intuition regarding what relationships you may need to protect yourself by having more closed boundaries and what relationships are safe enough for you to be more open.
Boundaries can also fluctuate depending on where you are at in your life. There may be times when we have been hurt by relationships in our life and need to either cut them off or really firm up our boundaries with that person. There may be times where we have been through a lot and we need to tighten boundaries in general. Or, in times like the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic we may be in a much more open place with all relationships as we are seeking to fill the void of human interaction that we all had for so long.
If you value things like kindness, empathy, intimacy in friendships and romantic relationships, and having a solid community surrounding you, it’s important to have very balanced boundaries. If we are too closed off, we may lose wonderful opportunities for relationships, but if we are too open we can damage our self respect and esteem, and get hurt, causing us to swing back to the other side of the pendulum again. We need to be consistent with our boundaries and our communication with the people who we have relationships with, but we also must have room to bend and grow to accommodate change in our lives and our dynamics with others. It’s all about achieving a balance between flexibility and consistency. In all of this, it’s important to be your own advocate. Listen to your intuition and to what feels best for you in the moment you are in.