The holidays are here and although it is a time of much celebration and festivity, the parties and joyful gatherings can also be overwhelming. Not only is there more reported financial strain during this time of year, but more often than not many of us are dealing with complicated relationship dynamics. Setting healthy boundaries is key in order for us to get a chance to experience the happiness this season can bring.
Setting healthy boundaries means telling people what we expect from them and what they can expect from us. They also remind us to respect our own limits. Boundaries are like fences for people; healthy boundaries enable us to maintain a sense of comfort and privacy in our relationships. We set boundaries for ourselves to let others know how to interact with us and vice versa, we respect the boundaries set by others.
Setting healthy boundaries isn’t just a good idea during the holidays, it’s a great idea year-round. When you’re new to setting boundaries, remember that it will take time to adjust, not just for those around but for yourself as well. It’s like a muscle that needs to be strengthened by consistent exercise. Healthy boundaries make it possible for us to maintain positive relationships even with our most trying loved ones. Below we’ve listed some ways you can start setting healthy boundaries today.
- Be clear in your speech.
- Explain what you mean and why.
- Ask questions so you can fully understand what the other person wants.
- Give choices.
- Encourage situations to be handled without your help.
- Be clear on consequences if rules are broken.
- And most importantly, ask yourself: “Is this working for me?”