Boundaries are lines which set limitations. Geographically, boundaries divide areas of land. Emotional, boundaries help us set limitations on what we are willing to do and what we are not willing to do. Like a line in the sand, a boundary divides ourselves from others.
Autonomy is a political term applied to autonomous governments. Specifically, an autonomous government is one that has the ability to rule itself. Boundaries help with gaining a better sense of self. Without boundaries, we are easily influenced by everyone and everything. We aren’t able to demonstrate self-knowledge in a way that says, “this is what I want. This is what I need.” Setting boundaries helps us to grow and be ourselves in exactly the way we need to be.
Boundaries are not means of control. Ultimately we are never completely in control of things. However, boundaries are a way of setting up some guidelines for how you want to be treated and how you want to engage with others.
As a result, you are able to better take care of yourself. Child psychology frequently finds that children with a lack of boundaries growing up have a hard time later in life. They are challenged in taking care of themselves or having healthy relationships. When you set boundaries you will be better able to create time and energy for self-care because you prioritize yourself. Having a healthy balance in relationships is a form of self-care in itself as well.
When you set boundaries, you stop saying “yes” to everything that’s asked of you. You stop harboring resentments toward the people you aren’t saying no to you. You stop burning out and burning up in anger. Instead, you start saying no, with love. You have time to do the things you really want to do. You are freed from the prison of stress that comes from not setting boundaries or setting poor boundaries.
Setting boundaries can be confusing at first. With boundaries, practice makes…for better boundaries. There’s no such thing as perfect. In time, you will learn more about yourself and your needs, making your communication more clear and precise. Not only will you communicate more articulately about yourself, you’ll be able to ask more about others.
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