When we experience abuse or neglect what tends to happen is we learn unhealthy boundaries. Boundaries help us feel safe and give us a voice. We can have physical, emotional and mental boundaries and these help us separate who we are apart from others. This sense of self helps empowers our true nature and creates a safe space to say no or yes. When we learn to set up healthy boundaries we are setting ourselves and our youth up for a strong sense of agency.
Here are some ways you can set up healthy boundaries;
- Set limits: Know where your limits are
- Tune into your feelings: Know that discomfort and resentment are 2 red flags and that you boundaries are being pushed
- Be direct: Ask and say what you need. Do not expect the other person to know what you need.
- Give yourself permission: Feeling bad for saying no is ok. Give yourself permission to feel that. Once you have clear boundaries this will pass.
- Practice self awareness: When you notice yourself slipping away from your healthy boundaries…ask yourself what changed? what can you change or control?