Boundaries are extremely important in any relationship. Be it a romantic relationship or family, boundaries help us to maintain sanity and know what is good for us and what is not. Often, in dysfunctional homes and toxic relationships, boundaries are broken. The sense of owning someone brings the tendency to break boundaries and privacy of someone else. However, this is extremely unhealthy and can affect the relationship negatively. In order to maintain the health of a relationship, boundaries should be in place. When we set boundaries, we should ensure to communicate to others why they are important to us and why they should be respected at all times.
However, there are certain misconceptions that we hold about boundaries. Therapist Klara Kernig addressed this and spoke of the myths that we often associate with boundaries:
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Myth: Boundaries are selfish.
Truth: Boundaries are not meant to make ourselves look selfish but prioritise our self-care. Boundaries help us to differentiate between what is healthy for us and what is not. This further helps us to look out for our mental and emotional health.
Myth: Boundaries are a way of punishing people.
Truth: No boundaries are set with the intention of punishing people. Boundaries help us to understand behavior patterns that are acceptable to us. This further aligns us to our value and belief system.
Myth: Boundaries are a way of controlling people.
Truth: The reality is we do not set boundaries to control people, but to make them understand behaviors that are acceptable to us, and those that are not.
Myth: Boundaries are confrontational.
Truth: The process of setting boundaries does not need to be confrontational – rather they can be done respectfully and through an honest conversation.
Myth: Boundaries are ultimatums.
Truth: Boundaries are not ultimatums, but a way of creating healthy relationships where mutual respect prevails.