What are boundaries in friendship ?

What are boundaries in friendship ?

Shehnaj Parveen Sarma

Boundaries are really about staying in alignment and harmony with ourselves and what we want in our live,so if you have boundaries, then you can opt to choose friends that are going to be congruent with who you are.


Why are boundaries important in friendships?


Although boundaries, in general, are important, it’s worth exploring their significance in friendships. Setting boundaries with our friends allows us to share our time and energy in a sustainable way, which supports our friendship in the long run. But remember setting boundaries doesn’t make us bad friends. You are allowed to say ‘no’ or are allowed to recognize your limits and still be a good friend.


My idea of friendship has changed over time, and I now see that there are some things I got wrong. I once thought that a good friend is there for you no matter what. However, this lack of boundary created unrealistic expectations not only for my friends but also for myself. I have since learned that having boundaries isn’t selfish it’s actually a form of self-love.Once I learnt to love and respect myself I’m genuinely able to love and respect others.In the process I learnt to say NO and gradually made it applicable.


Let me say no:


I had to learn it’s okay to walk away from friendships when they didn’t respect my boundaries. If I ever said no to a certain person for whatever circumstance, they would go to others in the friendship circle and say I was being unreasonable. As a person who is told my best trait is my compassion so saying no was also my biggest weakness. I had to learn that it’s okay to say no, and I don’t need validation from anyone. Slowly I learnt that NO is a complete sentence and I don’t have to explain myself unless it’s necessary for me to . The goal of such a boundary, says would be to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship. Without boundaries, it is difficult to trust others, to take care of yourself, and to make sure the relationship is mutually beneficial. Boundaries allow us to maintain our relationships long term.


How to set boundaries with friends:-


No.1 To understand your relationship patterns and where they come from, consider the following questions:


When is it hard for me to say no, stand up for myself, or ask for what I need?


How old is this pattern of behaviour ?


Why did I develop it?


How is it holding me back?


What am I afraid will happen if I stop this pattern now?


No.2 Check whether you need to set more boundaries


Openly express your thoughts and feelings, even when you disagree.


Address conflicts and problems in the relationship openly and respectfully.


Spend time apart from one another and have other relationships.


Set hard limits about what is acceptable and unacceptable.


No.3 Set hard limits about what is acceptable and unacceptable .

It’s healthy for friends to spend time apart, have separate interests and hobbies, and not feel the need to be involved in every aspect of each other’s lives.


No.4 Express your feelings, wants, and needs


Open communication is one of the most important aspects of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries with friends and can also help to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.


No.5 Protect your priorities


One of the most important functions of boundaries is that they help you protect your priorities instead of letting the priorities of others come first.


No.6 Address issues while they’re still small


Another important part of setting boundaries with friends is to be able to deal with issues and misunderstandings before they build up and become bigger conflicts in the relationship.


No.7 Be clear and consistent with boundaries


Good boundaries are clear, consistent, and are demonstrated through both your words and actions. When boundaries are unclear or not consistent, it can send mixed messages to friends about what you expect or need from them.


No.8 Nip the problematic behavior in the bud as early as possible . Start setting boundaries when you first notice a problem instead of waiting until you’re ready to explode.


No.9 Be assertive

While you want to be kind, and ensure the focus is on your feelings and not blaming the other person, you also want to make sure they know you’re serious about the boundaries you’re trying to set.


No.10 lastly but most importantly learning and practicing saying NO when you do not want to do or involve yourself into something. Considering NO as a complete sentence is an act of self care and self respect.


People pleasing and the need of healthy boundaries:


Our drive to please others comes from biology our ancestors depended on others for survival. Even today, we still seek social acceptance and connection, and caring for others gives us a sense of purpose. But when we are too focused on pleasing others, we might neglect ourselves. Setting boundaries is critical because people-pleasing often involves denying your own needs.


Connection of boundaries with mental health:-


Creating, setting and following personal boundaries will help maintain your mental health. Boundaries can also help you grow, save your emotional and mental energy, and act as a form of self-care. In reality, mental health I see boundaries as a crucial component of healthy relationships. Having clear boundaries in all relationships allows people to care for themselves psychologically, which is not selfish, but an essential aspect of well-being.


Show appreciation when friends treat you the way you want to be treated.

Treat your friends the way you want them to treat you.


Why is it important to set boundaries with friends?


Boundaries help keep our friendships balanced, healthy and reciprocal. Boundaries are important to make relationships equal, helping both people get their relationship needs met while also maintaining a sense of independence.


Boundaries help keep friendships balanced, healthy, and reciprocal. Boundaries are important to make relationships equal, helping both people get their relationship needs met while also maintaining a sense of independence.Like any other healthy relationship boundaries, boundaries in friendship is equally important.


No trespassing,No blame game – only healthy mutual relationships.

Shehnaj Parveen Sarma from Guwahati practicing NLP counsellor and Life Coach and has a Facebook Page called Mind Triggers related to counselling.