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Setting boundaries is an essential part of maintaining healthy relationships. Yet, it’s your responsibility to set those boundaries that are beneficial for your mental health. You might often find that people will understand you more and appreciate that you’ve explained your limitations. They will also expect the same respect when they’ve set boundaries for themselves. Still, you might have others in your life who repeatedly cross those boundaries, don’t respect your space, and feel entitled to your time and energy.
For many of us, setting boundaries happens as we grow. But for others, especially those struggling with mental health, setting boundaries can bring about feelings of guilt, shame, and even isolation. Brain Forest Centers works with people of all ages to help them navigate setting boundaries and healing as they go through their neurofeedback therapy.
What are boundaries?
Personal boundaries are guidelines, limits, or rules that you put in place for yourself and how you expect people to interact with you. Yet, these boundaries are not just a one-way street. They are also there to help you respond when someone crosses the line. Here are some examples of how people can violate your boundaries.
Emotional Boundary Violations
Violators of your emotional boundaries will prey on your self-esteem, often using what you told them in confidence against you. They’ll even lie to you, criticize, demean, or judge you for the choices you make. Their only goal is to make you feel guilty and responsible for them or a situation.
Physical Boundary Violations
When someone enters your personal space and makes you uncomfortable, they are violating your physical boundaries. This violation can look like inappropriate touching, handling things that belong to you, or violating your privacy by going through your computer, phone, or social media accounts.
Verbal Boundary Violations
When someone violates your verbal boundaries, you’ll know it. You may find that they don’t allow you to speak up, they use their voice above yours, and they say things that are derogatory or inflammatory. Their actions can leave you feeling defeated and unworthy.
How do I set boundaries?
While it can seem intimidating to set boundaries, it’s not only essential for your physical health, but your mental health as well. Here are some tips to get you started.
Take responsibility for yourself
Only you can set your boundaries. When you take responsibility for this, you determine who gets to come into your circle and how you expect them to behave. This includes how they speak to you, if and how they can touch you, and how they treat you emotionally. The beauty of being responsible for yourself is that you’re not responsible for how your boundaries make others feel, how they react, and what their beliefs are for the lines you’ve drawn.
Heed warning signs
When you learn to set your boundaries and take responsibility for yourself, the red flags are more apparent. Some people have their own agenda for interacting with you, often invading your space with little regard for how it makes you feel. When you resist their attempts, they become indignant, aggressive, and often angry. These are the warning signs that your boundaries are working, just not at the pleasure of the other person.
Develop respect for yourself
Your entire life’s experience, including the mistakes you’ve made and your accomplishments, help shape your character. No one outside yourself can define you, nor should you allow them to persuade you any differently. Having a healthy level of self-respect for yourself will ensure that you’re able to set healthy boundaries and stick to them. When you respect yourself, you’re less likely to allow people to walk all over you and you’ll call out others for violating your boundaries. If you treat yourself with respect, then others will, too. If they don’t, then it’s best not to engage.
The best way to determine how people will treat you is to get to know yourself. This means you need to learn which things are really important to you and what you value in a friendship, work relationship, or romantic relationship. When you get to know yourself, you become more aware of your own beliefs, emotions, feelings, and ideas. This intimacy with yourself will allow you to stand up for yourself and create boundaries that will protect you from future mental or physical harm.
Take Back Your Mental Health with Neurofeedback Therapy
Setting personal boundaries is difficult when you don’t have a grasp on your mental health. Furthermore, constant violation of the lines you’re attempting to draw can cause more anxiety and stress. However, when you take back control over your mental health with neurofeedback therapy from Brain Forest Centers, you can set healthy social restrictions and maintain more beneficial relationships. To learn more about how we can help, contact us at (317) 288-9828.