Ever wonder the question is setting boundaries selfish? Although setting boundaries can be seen as a selfish act, so is taking advantage of people. Learn how you can set healthy boundaries in your personal and professional life.
Creating boundaries with those you love is easier when you’ve already begun setting them with yourself. After all, the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself.
How you treat yourself indicates how you expect to be treated by others. Although people who set limits can often be perceived as selfish and rude, there’s more than what meets the eye.
Boundaries are set in place to protect the person and those around them.
Have you ever asked a busy person to do something and knew it would get done – just not at that exact moment?
The reason why a busy person gets things done is that they know two things: time management is key and so are limits.
What Are Boundaries?
A boundary is a line that marks the limits of an area or a dividing line, according to the Oxford dictionary. It’s also defined as a limit of a subject or sphere of activity.
Boundaries are limits you set with other people, letting them know what is and isn’t acceptable in their behavior with you.
What Are Examples Of Setting Boundaries?
There are various benefits to creating boundaries, such as improving your self-esteem, conserving your emotional energy, and giving you more independence.
With the use of boundaries, you can improve the relationship you have with yourself and those around you. Limits help make you a priority in your life and reminds you to create different boundaries based on your connection with the other person.
Boundaries with others can also help you set realistic limits in relationships. For instance, you know what your goals are, and you won’t allow anyone to deter you from achieving them.
Most limits are shaped by life experiences, culture, surroundings, and family dynamics. Understanding the need to draw the line with people and things is key to building a healthy perception of yourself and those around you.
What Are The 3 Steps To Setting Boundaries?
If you’re thinking about creating boundaries in your life, then there are 3 things you need to keep in mind.
One of them is knowing your rights. If you know your basic rights as a person, then you know what you shouldn’t tolerate.
The next thing to consider is what you’re feeling in your gut. If you feel something doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t.
Trust your gut and know the difference between what is okay and what isn’t.
Third, focus on your values. You can do this by creating a list of things that matter to you in life and in relation to others.
It’s recommended that you start out with 10 and narrow it down to 3 or 5 values that you feel are important to keep.
Setting boundaries can feel selfish during this stage. However, the more you create them, the better off you’ll be when engaging with others.
Creating limits helps you do the following:
- Be more assertive;
- Teaches you how to say no;
- Safeguards your spaces; and
- Gives you support.
Being assertive is essential to reaching your full potential in life, so is knowing how to say no to things that do not serve you.
This ties into the idea of safeguarding your space, such as setting non-negotiable times for yourself and things you enjoy. You can also set up a cutoff time for tasks in your day, i.e. reading emails and answering phone calls.
When you create limits you’re able to get support for yourself by not allowing certain people to continue to hurt you.
For instance, if you have a family or a friend who can be abusive or manipulative, setting boundaries with that person can be a blessing. It’s like putting together the ground rules to engaging with you.
You’re in control, and there’s no need to steer away from the rules you’ve put in place. Doing so causes more harm than good – on both ends.
How Do You Set Boundaries Without Confrontation?
There are ways to set boundaries without being confrontational. You can do this by respecting other people’s boundaries as well.
Understanding why limits are set in the first place gives you a clue as to why you need to give people their own space.
A perfect example is someone who isn’t comfortable with getting hugs. When the person tells you this, it’s important that you respect their decision not to give or receive hugs from others.
Forcing the person to hug someone can trigger past emotions or thoughts that they wouldn’t like to feel or think about.
You can also set boundaries without confrontation by communicating about them to others. Letting someone know about the rules you’ve set for engaging with them is important because it gives the person an idea of how to approach you.
Think of the use of limits as guidelines on how you’d like to be treated. This approach helps you define your limits without being mean.
10 Boundaries You’ll Need To Set In Your Relationship
Now that you know what are boundaries and their value, it’s important to note a handful of them that will elevate your relationship.
Setting boundaries in a relationship early on will save you the headaches later on. Here’s a list of 10 you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Go with honesty
- Respect opinions and emotions
- Ask about what’s acceptable
- Be grateful
- Handle disagreements accordingly
- Own your wants and needs
- Lead with love and listen
- Discuss issues early on
- Offer to help out
- Forgive and repair your connection
What Do You Do When Boundaries Are Crossed In A Relationship?
Setting healthy boundaries in your relationship can help you and your partner understand your needs and want. There are instances in which boundaries are crossed and you’ll have to decide what to do next.
Whatever you decide can greatly impact your connection with your partner. After all, boundaries in a marriage can be defined as the limit of what a person is willing to accept from their partner.
To help you deal with boundaries being crossed in your relationship, there are professionals such as therapists that can assist you in resolving the issue.
By doing so, you can use the help to identify your boundaries as they relate to your needs. Another way you can make use of professional guidance is by utilizing the tools and language to communicate your boundaries.
Lastly, an outsider can also help you establish appropriate consequences when boundaries are crossed in a relationship.
To answer the question: Is setting boundaries selfish? You have to think of the pros and cons of doing so.
These days, creating boundaries can be a blessing, but there’s more to it. With boundaries in place, it’s important to know how to respect them as well.
Knowing where to draw the line in your relationship with others can benefit both parties. Although communication is key, it might not be easy with your partner.
Seeking professional assistance is okay – it shows you want an unbiased opinion on your current situation. This is a great way to resolve underlying issues you didn’t know were there and rediscover the connection with your partner.
30 responses to “Is Setting Boundaries Selfish? Here Are 10 Good Relationship Boundaries”
I think these are things that should be there already in a relationship and definitely not selfish
I agree, Samantha.
Thanks for your feedback, Samantha!
My wife and I never really talked about setting boundaries but this was a natural process and It just worked out.
I have to agree with you on this. Sometimes you just know what to give because you wouldn’t expect anything less.
For me, setting boundaries is very important. Peace of mind and a healthy environment is my priority. I need to protect my peace.
Always! I feel at my best when I set boundaries.
I have gone a lot of time in my life feeling overwhelmed and often taken advantage of, in the sense that I have done a lot for others and not felt like it was returned. I have started setting boundaries so that I don’t overwhelm myself!
I love that you’ve started setting boundaries with those around you. You may already start to feel the benefits of doing so.
Setting boundaries is really important in any type of relationship. And if someone cannot follow your boundaries, it’s not worth having them in your life.
I agree, and it’s okay to not have them in your life. Better on both ends.
Literally for a while I automatically assumed that putting boundaries with my relationships were such a negative thing. Your post really reassure me that it isn’t
Thanks for checking it out, Joyce! Appreciate your feedback.
Setting boundaries is so important and not selfish at all. If you don’t set boundaries then you’re going to end up doing things you don’t want to or not being at your best, and you’re not being honest with your friends and those around you. If you set boundaries then others may feel more comfortable doing the same x
Yes! I agree– it’s a must to set them up with people you know — more so family and friends.