When "Setting Boundaries" Goes Too Far

When "Setting Boundaries" Goes Too Far

In case you missed last Tuesday's podcast episode with Trina Glines, I got to have a great discussion with her about when the concept of setting boundaries is taken too far.

As a woman, friend to women, and women's community grower, I've heard the term "setting boundaries" pop up more frequently than ever before. And while it's important to establish healthy boundaries in relationships, I worry that the term is now becoming a trendy excuse to avoid conflict altogether.

It's crucial to remember that not all boundaries serve a positive purpose. At times, the "setting boundaries" mindset can be taken too far, leading to toxic excuses that keep people away, and ultimately avoid the healthy conflict that is necessary in any relationship. Let's explore how to ensure that boundaries are healthy and practical, without becoming a harmful way of avoiding a NECESSARY confrontation.

Do you feel "walked on" even by those closest to you?

The Revitalized Sisterhood can help you work through setting healthy boundaries, so that everyone {including YOU} wins.

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1. Recognize the potential for unhealthy boundaries.

While setting healthy boundaries can protect both yourself and your loved ones, it's important to consider the potential for unhealthy or harmful boundaries. When boundaries are used as an excuse to avoid communication or confrontation, they can quickly become toxic.

An example of an unhealthy boundary might be telling your loved ones that they are not allowed to bring up a certain topic because it makes you uncomfortable - even if it's a necessary topic for discussion. Make sure the boundaries you set serve a positive purpose and not just an excuse to avoid necessary conflict.

Two women communicating

2. Learn to communicate your boundaries clearly.

When setting boundaries, communication is key. It's not enough to simply state what your boundaries are - you also need to communicate why they are important to you.

For example, instead of telling your partner, "I don't want to talk about it," explain why the topic is a trigger for you, and how you would like to address it in the future. Clear communication can help avoid misunderstandings, and allow for collaboration on how best to negotiate appropriate boundaries.

3. Don't isolate yourself because of boundaries.

One of the most common ways that unhealthy boundaries can manifest is by causing isolation. While it's important to establish your boundaries, it's crucial to remember that relationships are a two-way street.

Setting boundaries does not mean shutting people out of your life altogether. Instead, take a proactive approach to ensure that your boundaries are not becoming an unnecessary obstacle in your relationships.

4. Practice conflict resolution skills.

Since avoiding conflict is a common side effect of overusing boundaries, it's crucial to learn and practice healthy conflict resolution skills. This could mean simply listening to others with an open mind and actively working towards a resolution, or it could mean seeking therapy or counseling to develop more in-depth strategies for communication and emotional intelligence.

Regardless of your approach, remember that confronting conflict head-on is an essential part of maintaining healthy relationships.

Couple holding hands

5. Recognize the value of healthy discomfort.

Lastly, it's essential to acknowledge that healthy relationships often involve some level of discomfort. While it may be tempting to avoid conflict or difficult conversations, these moments of discomfort are often pivotal to our interpersonal growth.

Letting go of the idea that boundaries should always be easy or convenient for us can help us recognize the value of healthy discomfort and ultimately build stronger, more meaningful relationships.

Stop Making Excuses to Keep People Away

When setting boundaries, it's easy to become lost in the idea that complete separation is the only option for self-care. However, it's important to remember that setting unhealthy or toxic boundaries is not the same as setting positive, healthy ones. By recognizing the potential for harm and practicing healthy communication and conflict-resolution skills, we can establish boundaries that protect us while also maintaining strong, meaningful relationships.

Boundaries are something that we talk about in the Revitalized Sisterhood on a regular {if not daily} basis. Join us in the Revitalized Sisterhood to work through setting healthy boundaries as well as many other personal development skills needed for a fulfilled life.

Don't let the "setting boundaries" trend lead you astray - prioritize healthy communication and collaboration in your relationships, and you'll find that even the toughest conversations can lead to deeper love and understanding.

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