The Underrated Importance of Healthy Boundaries

By Melody

The image featured here holds different meanings for different people.  What does it mean for you?
For me it represents healthy boundaries ~ the possibility of thriving within a somewhat impenetrable shield that we’re still able to see the world through, but that keeps us safe from the negative aspects of life that inevitably come our way. Within this shield, our values and self respect remain intact, enabling us to live a more happy and fulfilling life.

This requires some resilience, and the maintenance of healthy boundaries. Are these easy for most of us? Not usually, no.
Is creating and maintaining healthy boundaries essential for a happy life? Absodefinitelutely (yes).

When we’re young, it’s surprising how little we learn from society in general about building healthy boundaries. This is an essential part of creating our world, and without healthy boundaries, we may question ourselves, our rights, and sometimes even our own needs.

Without creating and defending them, many people will try (and many will succeed) in trespassing on our boundaries. This is why it’s so important to be aware of where our boundaries should be, to listen to ourselves when we’re made to feel uncomfortable, or when something isn’t right, and to create boundaries that protect us, inside and out, while respecting the rights and boundaries of others.
It takes conscious effort and practice, but one day these boundaries will take little to no effort. They’ll come naturally, and protect not only ourselves,  but our loved ones as well.

Some truths when it comes to boundaries;

  1. People will rarely (if ever) grow in respect for us if we fail to consider ourselves – putting others’ wants ahead of our needs.
  1. A lack of respect for our boundaries is a lack of respect for us, on both our part and on the part of others.
  1. We teach our children to respect themselves and their own necessary boundaries, by protecting our own. Leading by example… and so on and so forth.
  1. ‘No’ is always an acceptable response.

Some pointers that may help when it comes to maintaining healthy boundaries;

  1. If a situation feels uncomfortable, listen to how you’re feeling. Consider what you want and need. Even the feeling of anger can show you what you’re passionate about and when your boundaries are potentially being violated. Give yourself the time and space needed to understand and process circumstances to see where healthy boundaries need to lie.
  1. Grant yourself the time needed to respond in a way that validates your boundaries and values (while not invalidating those of others). This is your right. Taking this time may not be easy to begin with, but this too becomes easier with use.
  1. If giving in is easy now, things may be more difficult later. If saying ‘no’ is somewhat difficult now, you may be making things a lot easier in the long term, without compromising what matters to you. This is what we need to aim for and become more adept at.

‘Your heart may race every time you’re about to speak up for yourself. This doesn’t mean it is wrong. It means it didn’t feel safe when you spoke up in the past. Have grace for yourself, breathe through it, and speak. Your voice deserves to be heard’ – Saadia Z Yunus

Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries takes time and practice but we deserve them, and we all need them.

Feelings of guilt or shame in these circumstances are often misapplied and undeserved, and they often come from that place mentioned in the quote above. They may also be triggered by someone who is trying to manipulate us into giving up what we need for their own personal gain. 

Misapplied feelings of guilt quieten when we give voice to our values and self respect. Always consider your safety when you’re insisting on healthy boundaries.

What are some times where you’ve found it difficult to keep healthy boundaries? How have you handled those situations?

If you’d like additional help and support with building and maintaining healthy boundaries, you’re not alone. Book a one-on-one phone session with me here. I’m available Australia wide –

With much love, Melody
Velvet Couch Counselling


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