Setting boundaries is an important part of any healthy relationship. Without boundaries, relationship imbalances can occur, often resulting in unintended mistreatment. However, it is often the people we are closest to that are the most difficult to set boundaries with.
Families can play a key role in our mental and emotional wellbeing. Healthy and meaningful families can make us feel safe, loved, and provide a sense of belonging. Boundaries in family relationships are important to provide guidelines for mutual respect and acceptance. By setting boundaries, we can foster fulfilling family relationships without letting them define who we are.
3 Tips for Setting Boundaries
Believe in your value as a person. In family relationships, it can be difficult to distinguish ourselves as individuals from a family unit. By valuing yourself, you will recognise that you deserve to be treated with respect, gain confidence to stand up for yourself, and remain true to your wants and needs.
It is important to be clear and firm about what is important to us. With assertiveness, we can effectively communicate what we value without being too aggressive or passive. By being assertive, we can show respect for ourselves and our family members.
Your needs are just as important as anyone else’s and you deserve to say “no” without feeling guilty. You do not need to justify yourself or provide emotional labour to other people. Do not tolerate or excuse abusive relationships, even if you are related to the other person.
About the Author
Emily Law is a lived experience speaker and mental health advocate based in Melbourne, Australia. She has a background in psychology and technology and is driven by a passion to help others.