First thing to ask is what are boundaries? Boundaries allow us to determine what we are willing to accept.

Establishing and maintaining our boundaries is crucial to our mental health and wellbeing. Our boundaries shape who we are and how we present ourselves to the outside world. If we don’t adhere to our boundaries this can lead to manipulation by others and feelings of resentment. This can have the knock-on effect of reducing self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem, it can increase levels of stress, anxiety, depression and our general ability to cope, etc.

Some examples of boundaries are; the amount of physical space we need or want, (you will find that this alters depending on the relationship you have with different individuals) whether we like to be formal on meeting new people (a handshake) or like to be more informal (offering a hug or a kiss). Again, you are likely to notice that this may change with different situations / people. You can have boundaries on how to dress, how much of yourself you are willing to show, (physically and emotionally). Who you allow to share your space, your belongings, your money and time. These are boundaries that need to be set by you. If someone tries to encourage you to abide by their boundaries which differ significantly from your own, consider the impact that this could have on you. Is it right for someone to tell you how to dress, how and when to spend your money, etc. Living by someone else’s boundaries means you are potentially losing your self-identity and living by the rules, morals and ethics of someone else. Your boundaries are there for your protection and help establish who you are as an individual.

As with many things in life flexibility is important, however, remember the difference between a mutually agreed compromise and someone showing rigidity / inflexibility.