What do boundaries mean to you? Are your boundaries respected? How do you tell others you need boundaries? How do you know when a boundary is violated or needs amending?
Setting boundaries may help preserve your physical, emotional, and mental health, but sometimes it can be difficult to know how to set boundaries with friends. Why are boundaries so important in friendships? Here are some potential benefits of setting friendly boundaries:
Boundaries Can Change Patterns
Sometimes, we get into patterns that we want to change. This can be relevant in friendships as well as other parts of life. When we want to change a pattern, our needs might also change. For example, maybe you are in a pattern where one friend is always taking care of the other. Setting boundaries may help you change that pattern.
Boundaries Can Prevent Resentment
One of the challenges many people face when setting boundaries is that they feel it will hurt a person or their relationship with that person. However, in many cases the opposite is true. Boundaries may prevent resentment and support a healthier friendship with no underlying negative feelings.
Boundaries Can Promote Self-Care
Boundaries are a way to take care of yourself. For example, your friends may pressure you to stay out later than you want. If you have to get up early for work the next day and know that you need eight hours of sleep to function at your best, then set a boundary that you need to go home by 9:00 pm. This is taking care of both your mind and body.
Boundaries Can Increase Confidence
Setting boundaries is a practice of understanding and asserting what you need. It can serve as a way to show yourself that your needs matter and deserve to be met. Boundary setting can help you practice direct communication. This significant skill can boost confidence and self-esteem and help you in social situations, school, the workplace, etc.
Boundaries Can Make You A Better Friend
When your needs are met, you may have the capacity to be the best version of yourself with other people. If you set boundaries, your friends may realize that they can do the same in their own lives, and you can be there for them as your healthiest self.
Here are some good tips to prepare yourself for setting boundaries in your friendships:
Identify them before setting them. Be ready to explain what you mean and what that will look like when put into action.
Talk to a therapist about your needs and limits to process why they are so important to you. A therapist can help you identify things that are hard to see on your own.
Prepare yourself for the follow-through if the needs are not met. Is there any flexibility? How will you react if an agreed-upon boundary is broken?
Explain your boundary openly in a calm way with the other person. Leave space for them to react and ask questions.
Sometimes, setting boundaries can lead to negotiation. Remember to stick to your core needs, but be open to meeting the other person’s boundaries.
If you get stuck, reach out to a therapist for relationship therapy. You can bring any loved one or friend to a session to work on boundary issues.
Begin Working With A Therapist in Marietta, GA
If you are facing difficulties related to creating boundaries in your friendships, please consider reaching out to a qualified therapist. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to offer support with in-person and online services from our Marietta, GA-based practice. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
Other Services Offered at Remain Connected Counseling
Our team knows you may experience more than boundary related issues in your friendships. This is why we are happy to offer a variety of services including teen therapy, anxiety treatment, and EMDR therapy. In addition, we also offer life transitions therapy and depression counseling, and more all under a Christian counseling lens. By using online therapy, these services are available to anyone in Georgia. Learn more about our team of dedicated therapists and contact us for more information.