Setting Healthy Boundaries with Friends

Healthy boundaries will help you shape calm and happy relationships with friends, classmates, and coworkers. Healthy boundaries are about setting expectations and limits around how we treat ourselves and the people around us. Setting limits around how you allow yourself to be treated and how you treat other people can help boost your sense of self-worth and self-respect. It can be stressful when others test your boundaries, and even more stressful when you’re unsure how to address those situations. You may end up saying “yes” to things you don’t want to do, which can also cause stress.

  1. The first step to setting healthy boundaries is to check in with how you are feeling. If you’re feeling upset or stressed out, be curious about what is going on. Taking the time to understand how much a situation is affecting your emotions can help you decide where to set a boundary so that you can let others know your limits.
  2. After deciding to set a boundary, the next step is to advocate for yourself and be assertive. Assertive communication lets others know what your wants and needs are, while also considering the other person. Letting others know your expectations is a way to stand-up for yourself and how you want to be treated.
  3. Learn to say no! A difficult part of setting healthy boundaries is letting others know when you can’t take on anymore tasks or when you need time to yourself.

Lastly, it can be hard to develop and maintain boundaries. It will not always be easy to let others know how you feel and how you want to be treated. It will take practice and repetition. However, setting boundaries with others is a way to be kind to yourself. It’s important to recognize that setting boundaries is not selfish and everyone has boundaries. Check out Dr. Brené Brown’s 3 Ways to Set Boundaries for more tips on setting healthy boundaries!

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