On Setting Healthy Boundaries

On Setting Healthy Boundaries

*The outfits in this post were gifted to me by the team at Femme Luxe 

The Oxford dictionary defines a boundary as 'a line which marks the limits of an area; a dividing line'. To me, it's where my comfort starts and ends, how I want to be treated and the limits of how far I can be stretched. As a woman in her mid-twenties, I now consider setting boundaries to be a key part of my self-care. I no longer ignore that funny feeling in my gut telling me that something's wrong. Learning how to speak up and tell people how you want to be treated will change your life for the better - I say that with confidence as it's changed mine. 

Make no mistake, I still have my wobbles, when doubts creep into my mind and my inner voice tells me I'm making a fuss. In these scenarios, I remind myself that impacts are just as important as intents. Even if someone hasn't intended to hurt you, the hurt is still there and it MUST be acknowledged. How can that person have a fighting chance of changing their behaviours without knowing they've crossed your boundaries? I find that hurt doesn't disappear when we ignore it, listening without defensiveness and taking action is how we heal hurt feelings.

It can be hard to set boundaries with the people we love dearly. Unconditional family love can make people complacent - it's especially hard to stand your ground with a parent. I think if you've given people chances to change and they still chose to hurt you then you must take action to protect your space.  A quote from Bell Hooks springs to mind here 'love and abuse cannot co-exist'. Family bonds need to be nurtured with mutual respect and reciprocal love, if someone abuses you, there is no love - walk away. 

Setting boundaries with my work comes more naturally to me, I keep them front of mind at all times. Success to me means balance, spending time with my loved ones and in peaceful solitude is VERY important to me. It can be easy to lose your balance when you're ambitious and looking to progress your career but remember that no one will set boundaries for you in a transactional relationship. Think about what makes you happy and work out how to get that balance with your career. When projects get intense, I put in extra hours to get things over the line but I also make sure to take rest when things are quieter. Don't be that person that piles up their plate too high - you WILL burn out. I also try not to tie too much emotion to my career. I see work as an outlet for my control-freak energy and channelling it there allows me to live a more spontaneous and carefree life.

In friendship, I've learnt that length of friendship is not a good measure of the strength of friendship. Someone you've been friends with for 20 years can still overstep a boundary and treat you unkindly. I've had to have some tough conversations with close friends recently as I had that funny feeling in my gut telling me this isn't right - I'm so glad I said something. I think you have to tell people what you will and will not tolerate as no one can read your mind, awkwardness doesn't kill. 

Do any of you struggle with setting boundaries? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram.

Teru xx

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