5 Red Flags That Say You Need Better Boundaries
by Kristen Milliron, LCSW, Mental Health Therapist
A boundary is a framework of how emotionally close you let people get to you. A boundary is also where you “draw a line” within a relationship. Setting healthy boundaries is a very important part of self-care and important for any relationship that you have. The boundaries you have with friends, colleagues, family, children and significant others will be very different.
Boundaries are restrictions that we put in place to help us determine where our responsibilities lie; AND what our limits are in any relationship. They are a form of self-care in that we can teach people how best to interact with us. Setting and maintaining boundaries helps us feel more accountability and agency over conflict, emotional balance, and comfort.
While the outcome is worth it, the act of defining and stating boundaries can be uncomfortable. Start by being honest with yourself, and articulating your values. These are things important to you; beyond just feelings and emotions. Some examples of values include honesty, communication, and independence.
When you say “yes” to things that don’t align with your values, that’s when feelings of regret and shame creep in.
Emotional intelligence is paramount to setting (and maintaining) boundaries as it allows you to approach your emotions through a lens of non-judgment and not allow them to control your behaviors.
So how do you know if you need to set better boundaries and what are some Red Flags that indicate you need firmer boundaries?
You feel you are being taken advantage of or being “walked all over”.
You notice an increase in anxiety or depression when interacting with someone.
Increase in conflict and arguments when interacting with another.
You find yourself not being honest and not sharing your feelings.
You avoid seeing a person or feel resentment towards them.
If you find that some of the "red flags" apply to YOU: don’t beat yourself up because establishing boundaries is the first step in regaining control.
Here's how to get started: take the time to evaluate your own personal needs and values; say “no,” and stick to it when something is not right for you; take your time—there’s no obligation to respond to requests immediately; and, if you feel the need to leave a situation, do it.
Setting boundaries is needed for any relationship.
Setting a boundary and having good boundaries are...
Taking step back
Putting yourself first
Standing up for yourself
Being respectful of differences in opinion, perspective, or feelings
Taking another's feelings into account
The more we set boundaries, the more we recognize them.
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” —Brene Brown
I believe that prioritizing your mental health is a daily practice. Need help putting yourself first? Reach out.
Kristen Milliron, LCSW sees patients in-person at The Facility in Denver, CO and is accepting new patients (Telehealth and In-person).
Learn more about Kristen's Therapy Style here.
Ready to get started?
Book a FREE Discovery Call with Kristen to see if she is a good fit for you!
Want to use your insurance benefits for Mental Health Therapy? Book with Kristen using Advekit.
Our Favorite Books on Boundaries: