Having the proper amount of emotional space is essential, and although emotional space is something that you cannot see, it is crucial to conserving your mental health. Boundaries are invisible bubbles used to preserve healthy relationships with our friends, family, and loved ones. If you are someone that has trouble keeping relationships, you should probably practice healthy boundaries.
You can have boundaries for several different things in your life. Still, most importantly, you should practice with your personal space, sexuality, belongings, emotions, and especially your own time and energy.
If you have trouble voicing that you need emotional space via boundaries you could negatively impact your relationships by letting that frustration build up with our loved one. Instead of keeping quiet, you should announce that you need some space and stick to it. Once you realize that your friend is impacting your mental health without knowing it, you could potentially strengthen your bond by telling them what you need. It has also been scientifically proven, that by having healthy boundaries, you could also develop more self-esteem.
The great thing about boundaries is the fact that they can be flexible. Once the person expressing that they need to practice healthy boundaries seems too rigid, this could potentially be a cause for concern. Instead of speaking in permanent terms, you are encouraged to consider the boundary temporary until things blow over.
Conserving your emotional energy is also one of the most important things you can do. If the person you are practicing boundaries with is supportive, you could potentially have a more positive interaction in the future and be more prone to being vulnerable.
While being vulnerable was often considered a sign of weakness in the past, it makes everyone stronger in the long run. If you are dealing with someone dealing with what seems like consistent drama, let that person know that you need a healthy amount of space. If they don’t get it, you may want to reassess why they are in your life in the first place and what they bring to the table with your emotional health. Your friends, family, and loved ones should provide consistent support to stay in your life, and boundaries are a chance to do that.
Dr. Catherine Barnes is a Jacksonville, Florida-based educator with over 25 years of experience. A graduate of the University of Florida, Dr. Barnes forms her educational philosophy around the belief that “kids deserve a fighting chance—even if you have to fight to give it to them.” She understands that, by adapting to modern students’ needs, today’s teachers can change the trajectory of a child’s life, and has allowed her to continuously embody success and vision in her field.