How to Set Boundaries With Family Members?


Relationship with family members can be tricky at times, especially if it gets overbearing, unhealthy, or causes unnecessary anxiety. Earlier, Elijah Mcclain has spoken about how setting boundaries can be a good way to maintain a healthy balance in relationships with various family members, including parents and siblings. Setting boundaries with family can seem challenging at first, however, one must remember that clear personal boundaries can go a long way in enabling them to feel safe and protected. Here are a few tips to follow to set boundaries with family:

  • Spend time reflecting: First of all, one needs to identify their needs, limitations and values, so that they can set boundaries accordingly. Setting healthy boundaries starts with considering one’s personal needs and putting them first. A person needs to ask themselves what they need others to identify the boundaries they should establish
  • Communicate boundaries calmly and clearly: After one has identified the boundaries they need, the next step would be to articulate them. It is better to get the point across in a clear, kind manner, rather than beating around the bush. One must try to be understanding and kind in their approach, while also staying firm on their decision when setting boundaries with family. If one is nervous about how to approach their family, they can always practice what they want to say in front of the mirror or with a trusted friend.
  • Set realistic expectations for relationships: Setting realistic expectations from any relationship is very important. Even though almost every person is capable of change, it is also vital to recognize how much effort are they likely to make in maintaining personal boundaries. Setting realistic expectations for relationships is critical to maintaining personal well-being.
  • If someone violates the personal boundary, give them a chance to course correct:  There is no such guidebook that says what to do when someone violates a personal boundary. Even though there are situations where one definitely must not compromise, there also are cases where giving the family member another chance to correct their course would be better than entirely cutting them off. This should especially be done if the family member genuinely feels sorry about violating the boundary and wants to change.
  • Learn to say “no”: Saying “no” can be empowering and liberating, particularly when one is trying to establish boundaries and set expectations for others.  Saying no can be a huge challenge for natural people-pleasers with a kind-hearted, generous and giving disposition. However, even though saying no to family members does take practice, it is likely to get easier over time.
  • Avoid engaging in family gossip: Engaging in gossip with family members can result in conflict and resentment. Effectively establishing boundaries with challenging family members often involves the deliberate decision to stay away from familial gossip, regardless of the situation. Doing so can help in distancing oneself from toxic situations.

Earlier, Elijah Mcclain had spoken about how having healthy personal boundaries can actually help in laying down the foundation of positive relationships, where people genuinely enjoy each other’s presence.

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