One of the important markers of healthy self-esteem is the ability to set personal boundaries for yourself – and to maintain them. Keeping boundaries intact reflects a sense of self strong enough to be able to take a stand against unacceptable behaviour from others. The limits you set are not always going to be well received by others, but they are essential for your own peace of mind and happiness.
Anytime you feel someone has taken advantage of you in some way where you did nothing to stop it, you are diminishing your personal integrity. And that doesn`t feel good. It can lead to feelings of worthlessness, anger, resentment, hurt and shame. These are all feelings that eventually lead to lowered self-esteem. The lower your self-esteem, the more you allow unacceptable behaviour, and the worse you feel in turn.
It takes some courage to establish personal boundaries, in particular where none existed before. People may have gotten used to relating to you in a certain way. And there is no doubt that putting limits on the behaviours of others toward you can in the short-term result in damaged relationships. It may in fact lead to the termination of some of those relationships. But if you maintain clear boundaries consistently, and explain them calmly so others can understand, you will keep those relationships that are worth keeping, and in fact gain the respect of others. There is always room for compromise in boundary-keeping, and ideally they are somewhat flexible, but there should be no room for accepting behaviours that don`t feel right to you. Your personal boundaries define you as an individual and sticking to them consistently will make you a better and more fulfilled person. And being a happier and more fulfilled person will lead to more positive relationships. Everyone wins.
There are several types of personal boundaries, but generally speaking, limits can and should be put on anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated, insulted, angry, or upset in some way.
Personal boundaries work both ways of course. Becoming aware of and learning to respect others` boundaries is equally important in building close and strong relationships.
- Setting boundaries, or dealing with the Crazy Person in your life (fiercelinguist.wordpress.com)
- What Are Boundaries? (giftofra.com)
- Setting Boundaries in Relationships to ensure that it lasts forever (boundariesinrelationships.wordpress.com)
- Establishing Healthy Boundaries, Emotional Completion, Diagnosing Addictions and Removing Lifestyle Stressors (identityisdynamic.com)