Having boundaries in every relationship is necessary, and friendship is no different. In the long run, the secret to healthy friendship is setting friendship boundaries. But what are boundaries? Boundaries are like a invisible set of rules implemented for the wellbeing of the people involved in the relationship.
There are times when friendships have gone kaput because individuals do not draw a line. For example, barging into a friend’s date, calling during odd hours, or giving their opinion, though no one asked for it, etc.
Due to the lack of boundaries, friendships can turn sour and hamper mental health. You have come to the right place if you are also caught in such a whirlwind. We will list some solid tips for setting healthy boundaries with your friends. Let’s go!
How to Set Boundaries with Friends in a Healthy Manner?
Indeed, some studies highlight that boundaries can boost your mental health too! So, they are good for preserving your mental and physical wellbeing. Let’s explore some healthy ways to set them.
1. Have a clear communication
Every problem can be solved with the help of concise communication. If you truly wish to retain your long-lasting friendship, it’s best to talk about it with your friend.
If something is bothering you in your friendship, let them know how you wish things should be in a way that is mutually beneficial for you both. With this, both will acknowledge their lines and retain respect in the relationship.
2. Do not delay in communicating
For the love of our friends, we avoid telling them anything or feel awkward, though they are wrong. In this process, we fail to acknowledge that this is like slow poisoning the foundation of friendship.
Therefore, one of the key points while setting healthy boundaries is to communicate things right away. Don’t wait for the “right” time to talk, especially when you wish to set things right.
3. Value your friendship
The boundary-setting process can be hurtful for some, especially when you are good friends. Therefore, tell them their importance in your life to make them feel comfortable.
Why do you think this friendship is important? Tell them the reason behind this conversation and why it is a good idea to talk and sort about it. It will emphasize how you value your friendship. If they truly are your good friend, they will understand your objective; if not, it’s best to walk away.
4. Keep in mind your personal space
Whatever friendship boundaries you set; don’t need to be agreed upon by all! Every person has their individuality and own set of hobbies, not necessarily that you have to do everything together.
However, while following boundaries, ensure to maintain your personal space. It’s absolutely healthy to stay apart for a while and not indulge in the same activities. Rather in a healthy relationship, if a person choses their personal space, it can never be a threat.
5. NO means NO, all the times
It is obvious that we don’t wish to hurt our friends, which is why we give in to every demand they put forth. Amid this, one of the key ways to set boundaries with friends is to start saying “NO.”
Remember denying something or going against your friend’s wish is not a crime. But do all this with grace. Do not be rude and deny respectfully. If you have an alternative, give them suggestions and ensure you are always with them.
6. Address every issue, even the minutest
Don’t wait for something big to happen to tackle friendship problems because even minute problems matter. They bear significance, too, as they might lead to bigger problems.
So, please measure the size of the problem and not just its intensity. While putting forth these issues, evaluate the root cause, too, as it becomes easier to express.
7. Renegotiate if you think you are not doing justice
Suppose you think that certain friendship boundaries you have put up are not up to the mark and coming in the way of a healthy relationship; it’s best to think about them over again.
Don’t spend too much of your time and energy on things that drain you. Remember, setting appropriate boundaries will never hurt anyone and help cherish the relationship forever.
8. Seek relationship advice
When everything seems impossible, and you cannot speak about friendship boundaries, it’s best to seek a proficient – relationship or friendship expert. They will help you set a boundary respectably. Not just this, they will help you save time and energy and show a way to cherish relationships in your life.
Well, this was all about how to set boundaries, but here we are also listing some boundaries that you must follow wholeheartedly. Let’s see what they are!
Friendship boundaries that you must follow
Now you know to build friendship boundaries. Now let’s see which boundaries you must implement in real life.
1. Spending time with each other
Being good friends doesn’t mean you have to spend every day and hour with each other. You have to chalk out your priorities and set time boundaries. If you are meeting for a coffee, ensure you respect each other’s time and materialize the plan unless you have something urgent coming up at the last moment.
2. Give priority to your mental health
If you think a friend is brewing too much toxicity, then ensure emotional boundaries are in place. Feel free to deny if they have some weird expectations from you in the name of friendship. Any expectations that hamper your emotional wellbeing should be curtailed right there!
3. Don’t let anyone take you for granted
Certain friends will call you only when in need. In such circumstances, communicating with them to not take you for granted is a very good idea. Every relationship needs equilibrium, so if you are giving your 50%, then the other entity has to as well. Then it will be a complete, 100% of pure relationship.
4. How much to share
Certain friends know everything about you, but that doesn’t mean they should also do the same. Some people like to keep things to themselves, so respect that! Mind you, if they don’t tell you anything doesn’t mean they are not your friends. Of course, they are, just that they are secretive, and that’s okay.
Besides, this also includes material boundaries like lending money, car, or valuables. Decide beforehand how and in what manner do you wish to lend your things to friends.
5. Cherish your friendship
It is one of the most important healthy boundaries, and no matter what, everyone must follow it in any relationship. A little tiff doesn’t mean the friendship is over. Speak and sort it out. Try your best to bridge the gap. Respect your friendship, shower it with love and kindness and cherish it forever!
What to do if friendship boundaries are disrespected
Boundaries are a great way to maintain physical and mental wellbeing. However, if your friends constantly disrespect you or forget the boundaries, it’s best to have a sincere conversation. Despite sincere efforts, if you think everything is turning futile, it’s time to respectfully step away from the friendship.
Before taking the drastic step, ensure that you gave 100% to this friendship before putting your guard down without any regrets!
Over to you…
Believe it or not, friendship boundaries can be quite helpful, and if you have a true friend, they will respect you. A good soul deserves a good soul in return. Above all this, if you cannot set boundaries, it’s best to seek help from a relationship or friendship expert!