By: Abby Glaser
Encompass Community Advocate
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to talk about a key factor in protecting and improving your mental health: Boundaries! The topic of boundaries has become much more popular in the past decade, but many don’t really know what the term “healthy boundaries” means or how to go about implementing them.
I read a quote recently that said, “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” I thought that was such a great description. Boundaries allow us to not only love others in a healthy way but also help us love ourselves by not allowing things that may be harmful to us! The Oxford Dictionary defines boundaries as “a limit of a subject or sphere of activity”. Boundaries differ from person to person and are affected by culture, personality, and social context. Boundaries appropriate at work would seem odd at a birthday party with our family. Setting boundaries defines our expectations of ourselves and others in different kinds of relationships. In simple terms: boundaries are the things we will and will not allow from other people.
Setting boundaries requires awareness of yourself and what you want, effective communication skills to convey those wishes to others, and the assertiveness to do so.
If this information is new to you, it might feel scary or overwhelming. If that’s the case, there are lots of great resources out there to help you learn more. You could also try “practicing” with someone you feel safe with. Over time, you will find yourself both more aware of what your boundaries are and more comfortable expressing them!
Are you having difficulty establishing boundaries in your relationships? We can help! We'll give you some valuable tools to use and walk alongside you through the process or if you feel more comfortable, you can choose a virtual option. Get in touch or learn more by following the links below!
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.