I’m a huge fan of setting healthy boundaries but we must ensure we comprehend the difference between boundaries and barriers.
What Is A Boundary?
A boundary is you defining what is ok and not ok with you in terms of your emotional and physical health. This can be regarding everything from your space to your personal belongings, time, feelings, thoughts, ethics, culture, and religion. A boundary is what you need to feel safe and ensure that your needs are met and that you are never pushed to or beyond your limits. Boundaries should be clearly defined, and you can set consequences. For example, “You are welcome to come to the birthday party this weekend, but it will be a politics-free party. I would really like you to celebrate with us but if politics come up, I will have to ask you to leave.”
What Is A Barrier?
Barriers are also set to make you feel safe, but they often do more damage than good. They create safety for you but uncertainty for others, often shutting you off from authentic connection and intimacy. For example, refusing to talk about your feelings with your partner. You may be trying to protect yourself from the discomfort and uncertainty that comes with being vulnerable, but overtime your barrier will damage your relationship.
It’s a bit of a balance and you have the right to be selective with who you allow close to you.