Why Set Boundaries?

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Being aware of our boundaries and limits in crucial in having healthy relationships, both as children and adults.

A boundary or limit lets me know how far I can go with comfort in a relationship, either personal or professional. It lets me know where my psychological and physical space ends and yours begins. This knowledge of how far we can go with comfort is necessary for love, intimacy and trust.

It is necessary for all members of a relationship acknowledge the edges and recognize when they have stepped over the line

Our boundaries are invisible, but always there.

A good way to think of how healthy boundaries work is to relate them to cells in our bodies. The outer wall of a cell is semi permeable, which means it lets in those things which are beneficial and keeps out those that are not.

Healthy cells and people know who and what they are. A brain cell never gets confused and thinks it is a stomach cell. . It knows intuitively when to duplicate, when to expel waste and when it is hungry for supplements. It demonstrates intelligence by discriminating between nutrition and poison.

Healthy boundaries define who we are

Our boundaries mark who we are, what we stand for: our beliefs, standards, values, thoughts, feelings, choices, decisions and experiences. The key to establishing boundaries with other people is to know our inner self.

If we allow others to set, invade or consistently cross our boundaries, we are in essence saying we are not sure who and what we stand for. We are giving permission for others to set the standards of a relationship, without any regard for what we want or deserve.

A healthy core of self knowledge

Speaking up for who we are and what we need in relationships keeps us from being co-dependent, abused or misunderstood. By letting others know in a firm but kind voice what our boundaries are and how we like to be treated will produce respect.

If the other person chooses not to honor your limits, then you have choices to make. You deserve to be treated in a respectful and non combative manner.

I urge you to be consistent in setting boundaries and honoring those of others in your circle of friends and family. When you know who you are and how you want to be treated, it will assist you in treating others in a respectful way.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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