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Setting Boundaries at Home, with Friends, and Significant Others

Posted by on Mar 15, 2020 | Comments Off on Setting Boundaries at Home, with Friends, and Significant Others

Setting Boundaries at Home, with Friends, and Significant Others

Boundaries teach others how to best love and respect you. But no one is a mind reader – not your parents, not your significant other, and not even your best friends. It’s important to tell others what our boundaries are. Here’s the best part: you set them for yourself.

But you don’t need to set your boundaries alone. Ophelia’s Place is here to help. OP Therapists Rikki and Ana share some tips on setting boundaries at home, with friends, and with your significant other.

At Home

We may love our families, but being in the same space with anyone for an extended period of time can take a toll.

  • Take time for yourself. Ask siblings and guardians to respect your alone time by having a respectful conversation with them.
  • Create a sign to hang on your door that lets your family know that you are taking some time for you. This can turn into a fun family activity to do together: everyone can make their own sign, and discuss what they need from the rest of the family when they hang it up.
  • During your alone time, do what you like to do best: read, relax, journal, meditate.
“It’s important to have a balance of your own individual time with yourself, and time with your family,” Rikki said.

“Words carry a lot of weight. It can be easy to say things that you don’t really mean when you are upset in the moment, so it’s important to set boundaries around conversations,” Ana said.

For example: “Sister, I’m feeling really overwhelmed right now and need a break. Can we please talk about this later?” Take some time to regulate your emotions and thoughts, and then approach your sibling by asking, “I am ready to continue that conversation. Do you have some time to do that right now?”

Remember that boundaries are going to look different in every home, but they all begin with the same thing: a respectful, honest conversation.

With Friends

Friends are an important piece of growing up and feeling connected, and you can still prioritize your feelings and needs.

  • We don’t need to agree with our friends on everything, but it’s important to respect everyone’s right to have their own ideas. If a certain topic usually leads to a fight, set an intellectual boundary by asking to talk about something else.
  • Having emotional boundaries requires respecting each other’s feelings. No one can tell you that your feelings aren’t important, because they are!
  • You don’t have to share everything with your friends. While conversations with your friends are fun and important, you can keep some things to yourself if you don’t want to share them. That’s your right to privacy.

“You and your friends might be in different places, and that is okay,” Rikki said. Some people may be comfortable discussing the news, while for others, it might be overwhelming. It’s okay to say “I don’t want to talk about this right now.” It is also important to respect our friends’ boundaries as well!

Think of ideas as clothes. If we all dressed the exact same every day, the world might be a pretty boring place. Thankfully, we all have different styles, and we all have different ideas too. It’s this diversity of thought that makes communities so great and unique.

With Your Significant Other

Romantic relationships, especially new ones, are exciting. Take care of your feelings and needs in the process.

  • In any relationship, it is good to set boundaries up front, so you know where each other stands. These conversations might feel awkward at first, but they will save a lot of trouble later on.
  • In respecting physical boundaries always ask for consent, and remember that no means no.

Encourage your significant other to ask you for consent. “May I hug you?” is the perfect example. Some people like hugs more than others, and sometimes you just might not be in the mood for a hug. It is always okay to say no.

“No one is a mind reader,” Ana said. “And no one automatically knows what another person wants or needs. Let’s normalize asking others what their boundaries are, and asking for what we need or want.”

Your boundaries are for YOU to decide, not anybody else. Things that make someone uncomfortable might not make you uncomfortable, and vice versa. You can always gauge how well someone respects you based on how well they respect your boundaries. If you feel that your significant other isn’t respecting a boundary you put into place, talk to a trusted adult.

Interested in learning more about boundaries from the Ophelia’s Place Therapy Team? Contact us at (541) 284-4333 or info@opheliasplace.net.

Ophelia’s Place also has online activities and workshops. To get more information click here.