Defining Boundaries With Friends

To assume the best about people is almost an inherently selfish act, ’cause the life you change first is your own. But it can also change the lives of the people around you. You can’t know, without a doubt, if someone (who has been getting on your nerves) is doing their best. But if you can make the assumption that they are doing their best, then you actually feel more acceptance, less judgment, less resentment, and more accepting of your own imperfect, “needy” self, and maybe even recognize that you deserve support, whether any one particular person can give it to you or not. Generosity,” says Brené, “can’t exist without boundaries.  Empathy without boundaries is not empathy.  Boundaries are friggin’ important.  It’s here’s what’s okay with me, and here is what’s not.”  –  Brené Brown

All healthy relationships require boundaries. Boundaries generally get defined naturally  in all relationships depending on the proximity we share with each individual. Without them, friends can feel uncomfortable or even taken for granted.

Here are some thoughts on setting boundaries in a friendship.

If you observe yourself feeling discomfort and resentment during your interaction with a friend try measuring these feeling on a scale of,  2 to 10. Should you constantly feel during your interaction on the higher end of the scale, ask yourself, what is it about the conversation or situation that is causing the discomfort? Is it the persons expectation from you? Or, is it the persons emotional bullying to make you agree to something you are not comfortable with?

We usually feel resentful when we get a feeling that we are being bullied or being taken granted for. It may also be a sign of being pushed beyond our limits by the situation making us feel guilty (wanting to be a good friend) This discomfort is a cue that someone is crossing their boundary with you.

It is natural to worry about the other persons response on our boundaries, making many of us compromise on our own boundaries and saying “yes” – in order to avoid drama or even the fear of losing a friendship.

Boundaries are foremost a sign of self respect.

Healthy boundaries must be respected for friendships to grow and allow both individuals to grow emotionally independently and not be co-dependent. It is also okay to be flexible situationally with your boundaries. The idea is not to push your friends away but to define time and time again that you are not open to emotional bullying or unnecessary aggressiveness from people, just because they are having a bad day and they have expectations from you to make it okay.

Healthy friendships are about being yourself without apologising and accepting your friends for who they are.

 

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