Healthy Boundaries can be your best friend.
As a counsellor, boundaries are extremely important in the counselling relationship. Setting boundaries in the counselling sessions is the key to ensuring the relationship is mutually respectful, supportive and caring. As a human being, boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and, really, a healthy life. Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill.
Why Boundaries Are Important
At the most basic level, boundaries are the guidelines that we use to set expectations, responsibilities and limits for ourselves and other people. Good boundaries can help with self-esteem. Setting boundaries in relationships will allow you to feel more control of yourself and the life you lead. Giving you more autonomy and empowerment over yourself.
You have the right to personal boundaries
You need to take responsibility for how you allow others to treat you. You recognise that boundaries are filters that permit what is acceptable in life and what is not acceptable. Your boundaries can protect you and define you. You need to set clear and decisive limits that others can respect.
Signs of unhealthy boundaries:
Here are some brief statements that reflect unhealthy boundaries.
- Give as much as you can for the sake of giving
- Take as much as you can for the sake of taking
- Feelings of guilt and shame when you say no.
- You don’t speak up when you are treated poorly
- Allowing a person to touch you without your permission.
- You adjust your life to suit other people’s needs.
You may also have the need to rescue everybody and everything. You could also feel others are responsibility for the way you feel. Finally, you may feel the need to defend yourself all of the time. Good news is that it is never too late to learn new ways of setting healthy boundaries for yourself.
A good set of boundaries is critical to a life that works and relationships that are fulfilling. Here are some points to help you check your boundaries.
- Know that your opinions are important
- You have the right to your own thoughts and feelings
- Your needs are just as important as others.
- Trust your inner voice
- It is okay to say no.
- Stay true to your beliefs
The more you care about yourself and your own thoughts and feelings the healthier your boundaries will be.
Remember it is also okay to struggle with boundaries, as life is a learning process. Full of ups and downs,
“You are important, your feelings are real and your opinions are valid”.