A mental health professional is sharing some tips on how people can start setting boundaries for healthier relationships.
"The lack of boundaries can negatively affect every area of our lives, from personal relationships, work relationships, our schedules, and the most important relationship of all is the relationship that we have within ourselves. The best way to enhance our personal boundaries is to focus on developing a healthy sense of ourselves," says Terry Warburton, Clinical Director at Recovery of Hope in Winnipeg.
Warburton shares advice on how to start setting boundaries in relationships.
"Listening to that voice of caution when someone asks you to do something. Maybe your gut is already telling you that you don’t have the time or energy. But unless we’re listening to our inner wisdom, we will just ignore it and end up feeling taken advantage of, again," says Warburton.
She shares an example in her own life when she realized a change needed to be made.
"Personally, one of the things that helps me to know that I haven’t had good boundaries is that I begin to feel resentful. Learning to understand ourselves better helps us to read the signs within ourselves. If we’re struggling with setting boundaries, it’s likely that we have had some life experiences where others have not respected our boundaries."
It can be quite difficult for some people to set boundaries, with fear at the source, according to Warburton.
"It is often particularly difficult to set boundaries in relationships because we care about what people think of us. We don’t want people to be unhappy with us or we don’t want to hurt or offend someone. But what can happen is that in seeking to please others, we lose ourselves," she says.
If it's a true challenge, Warburton says talking to a professional counsellor can help in this area.
"Healthy boundaries in relationships often requires a lot of letting go, as we remember that the only person I can control is me."