One of the hardest parts of relationships and being around other people in general are the development of proper boundaries. In fact it is even harder to identify and understand your own boundaries then it is to understand someone elses, at least in my opinion.
In times like this, where we are all stuck in our houses for the most part with families, kids and roomies, it is even more important to have and know your boundaries so that we can live as in harmony as possible. For someone who tries to be as open as I can, I have to admit that I have some pretty hard set boundaries. I don’t like being touched except by particular people…some of which don’t make sense to most people. I don’t like being bumped into by people or being in crowds where strangers stand close like at concerts and the like. This makes sense but I also don’t feel comfortable with my parents touching me.
Physical boundaries are a big thing for me but living in a house with everyone does show other types of boundaries too. With it looking like we are going to be spending time together for a while longer, not going to work and not being able to go out to blow off steam, at least at the time I write this, it is essential to know , set and understand the people around you’s boundaries more then ever.
This is probably to most known boundary. It’s our bubble. They are boundaries involving physical touch, physical contact, proximity and sexual touching. They are the most obvious but that doesn’t mean that they are any easier to set. As stated before…I do not like being touched by my family. I don’t know why this is but for some reason my mother understands it even less. It’s very awkward and very uncomfortable when she tries to kiss. Remember that other peoples boundaries are not about you.
This can go in with physical boundaries but considering the predicament many of us find ourselves in at the moment I wanted to divide it out and talk about it on its own. Space is a huge part of boundaries and having your own space. It might seem nice the first week to be sharing an office with your partner or roommate. That second week though…well you might start to get annoyed. Having your own space where you can go to be in private is important no matter how much you like spending time with the other person. Understand that the other person wanting space has nothing to do with them not wanting to be near you. It has to do with them having their own time to themselves.
How much time we can spend with the same person, in a large group, doing a particular activity, working or devoting time to really anything or anyone is something that we need to be aware of. This was a problem I had for a long time. Working off the clock was a bad habit and something that I had to start setting limits on.
There are just some things that you cant talk about with some people. Some things are off limits to some people because of past experiences, phobias or just general dislike. This can include things you should and should talk about at work or with a particular friend. Understand what things are and aren’t private to you as well. This doesn’t make people less close, it is just respecting what can upset them or you.
Boundaries aren’t just with other people. Sometimes they are with the things that we consume; media for example. Things that you will or wont consume or things that you need to limit or be mindful of your consumption of. My general rule is that if it makes me feel bad, angry or depressed, I need to put limits on it. Yes news and what not is important but that doesn’t mean I need to keep a constant stream of it going if it effects me in a negative way.
Boundaries that are mutually agreed on with your partner or with your close friends as limits can seem daunting but understanding yours and your partners can save a relationship. It can be as simple as asking your partner to stay off their phone when you are together. Wanting these are not needy.