Relationships can be really tricky! There are an enormous amount of factors to consider; however, we are going to focus on two of the bigger ones: values and boundaries. Our values are based on what is important to us. These are things that align with who you are, or who you want to be. So, how do we determine our values?
1. Identify when you were your happiest, proudest, most fulfilled. Likely these were times when you were truest to your values and what you find important in your life.
2. Determine your top values based on these experiences.
3. Prioritize your top values.
Disclaimer: Your values can and will fluctuate over time and as you grow!
Want to start identifying your top values. Click here for an activity that will help you create a list.
Second, what are boundaries? They allow us to protect our values and what is important to us. Boundaries differ from person to person and by culture, personality, and social context. Boundaries look different between friends, family, school peers, and teachers. Boundaries allow the other person to understand your needs and give them the opportunity to respect them or not. So how do we establish healthy boundaries?
1. Find your values and notice what is important to you.
2. When setting the boundary, be clear and assertive (this does not mean be aggressive).
3. State your need directly, and what you would like to see. Try and stray away from focusing on what you don’t’ like.
4. Accept that there might be discomfort when setting your boundary.
*HINT: Boundaries are not the same as ultimatums. An ultimatum is typically communicated in the form of a threat based on someone’s wants.
Remember, values and boundaries are not easy to implement or understand. This is why practice makes progress!
Click here if you would like additional resources on setting healthy boundaries with others.