“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how to use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor.
Do you ever struggle saying, “no” when someone needs a favor from you? If your answer is “yes”, then you need to start thinking of setting constructive boundaries.
Boundaries are the standards you set for yourself in areas of your life which other people cannot invade. Self-love and self-respect work hand in hand with boundaries; you cannot live by these two values unless you set healthy boundaries.
When you have love and respect for yourself, it becomes easier for you to make the right choices and follow the right path. Simply put, you become more confident about your actions and what works for you.
According to Stephanie Lyn, a life and relationship coach, boundaries are a means of teaching people how you want to be treated. Setting boundaries does not mean you will entirely cut people off from your life. It means you respect yourself enough to know what serves you and what does not. You know when to share your experience and when not to.
The most significant aspect of setting boundaries is learning how to say, “no” and not having to explain yourself. You need to do things for the right reasons and not because you are seeking validation. If you are someone who always relies on external validation to feel more confident, this is something in your life that needs reevaluation. To fully love and respect yourself and make others do the same, you need to stop worrying about what they think of you – particularly when you say, “no.”
So, what are the different types of boundaries, and how are they essential for self-love and self-respect?
- Emotional Boundaries
Emotional boundaries have to do with taking responsibility for and ownership of your feelings and separating them from someone else’s. Dismissing or rejecting inappropriate questions or topics that jeopardize your feelings is a way of setting emotional boundaries.
If you have the habit of justifying your feelings, then your boundaries might be a little blurred in this area. You have the right to own your feelings without having to justify them. Setting emotional boundaries will help you love and respect yourself more and push others to do the same.
- Physical Boundaries
Physical boundaries can also be called personal boundaries. They are boundaries that you should set to keep some people at arm’s length and prevent them from getting into your personal space.
For example, you can set physical boundaries by calling out or communicating your feelings towards a co-worker who makes inappropriate comments or advances towards you.
- Material Boundaries
We typically set boundaries in areas of our lives which we feel are being violated. Or we uphold certain standards for ourselves to show people how to love or respect us. Material boundaries are boundaries set on our assets like clothes, shoes, gadgets, or other belongings.
For example, if you lend your clothes to a friend, you have the right to state how you want them to be handled or when they should be returned. Additionally, it is okay to keep some of your belongings to yourself without sharing them with other people.
- Mental Boundaries
Mental boundaries are boundaries we set on our thoughts, beliefs, values, and opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, ideas, or views, and it’s okay if they do not coincide with the thoughts and beliefs of others. It takes a lot of courage and self-respect for you to be able to share your experience or opinions even when other people disagree.
Your self-love and self-respect are essential values that you hold, and they allow you to set healthy boundaries that teach other people how to treat you. What’s more, setting boundaries in some areas of your life, further enhances your self-love and self-respect.