by Christina, Day-Riverside Branch
There will be times when you will encounter difficult situations; it could be with friends, family, or in the dating world. I hope that I can give you some resources to better understand what boundaries are and how to use them to keep yourself safe and true to who you are.
So, what are boundaries?
Boundaries are limits you establish in order to protect yourself from being hurt, manipulated, or taken advantage of. It also is an expression of self-worth! Boundaries can let other people know who you are, what your values are, and how you want to be treated.
It’s important to note that boundaries are different for everyone, when done right, they will help you set limits with others. Learning how to set boundaries can help you understand your limits within all of your relationships.
So, how would you set boundaries?
You may run into a variety of different scenarios in your relationships. You may have a friend or sibling who keeps borrowing clothes and not giving them back. You may have a friend who likes to tease people behind their back and you would like no part of it. You may have a friend that keeps borrowing money and not paying you back. These are all scenarios where setting boundaries can be useful.
Here are some tips for setting boundaries:
Find your feelings!
Learning to recognize and label different feelings is definitely not as easy as it may sound. It will take work and practice to stop and think about how you are feeling in any given situation. Being able to pinpoint how you are feeling is the first step in setting boundaries.
Trust Your Gut!
You should always trust your intuition. If something feels off or wrong about a situation, it probably is. You aren’t being dramatic or overly sensitive regardless of what the other people say. You need to be true to who you are and not what someone else expects you to be.
Key Phrase you can use and practice
Setting boundaries can be hard and takes a lot of practice. It is something that requires some thought and decision making. Here are some key phrases that can give you some time to think about your next decision. “Let me think about it and get back to you,” “No thanks. I’m not comfortable with that,” or “let me talk to my parents about that and let you know tomorrow”
Keep in mind that you may run into many different situations throughout your life that challenge your values and beliefs and knowing how to set boundaries can be an important part of growing as an individual. I have attached resources for boundary setting in romantic relationships, real teens telling their stories and self worth building.
Love Is Respect -non profit organization that addresses dating abuse with young people.
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