Boundaries Are For Ourselves, Not Others
What is a boundary? Boundaries are not telling others what to do; they are also not a way to argue with others, rather they allow us to preserve ourselves and our personal values. They allow us to continue to interact in unavoidable situations without compromising our morals and taking away from our sense of self. Boundaries are unique to each individual and will likely need to be adjusted over time.
Setting boundaries can help prepare ourselves for upcoming life changes or uncomfortable environments because they allow us to communicate our expectations of ourselves for other people. Even after a one is set, we need to work on ways to maintain or reinforce them because it is common for others to not easily accept them initially. Boundaries can include statements or answers that limit the amount of yourself that you offer to others and can also look like changing your environment and using support from others who are aware of your necessary boundaries.
It is important to consider the cultural dynamics of the people we will be setting boundaries with, as those may vary the external reception and the extent of resistance. As such, we cannot compare how others set boundaries to how we might set them. For example, East Asian and South Asian descendants of immigrants, will likely have to take into consideration the traditional cultural values such as patriarchal and age-based hierarchies in families and communities. This is becoming increasingly necessary as immigrant cultures merge with western cultures and create dissonance between different generations of the same heritage.
If you feel you could use some help clarifying your values and how to realistically practice boundaries in your life, feel free to book a session with me, Alex, using the link below.