Friendship is not something that happens to us. It is something we choose and build and expand. It is the most valuable thing we have. It is our most intimate connection to other people, the thing that binds us most closely to our fellow humans, the thing that makes us who we are, and the thing we will miss most when it is taken away.
The limits of friendship are vast. It can bring us together in the greatest adventures and the most profound sorrows, but it can also tear us apart when our needs clash. Sometimes our friendships require space, other times they require time, but they always require our best effort.
When we set boundaries, we are saying that we have the ability to choose who comes into our space and when they do, we will be the best version of ourselves. This allows us to be honest with our friends and allows them to be honest with us without feeling like they are being rejected. It also gives us the opportunity to have the greatest friendships and build the most meaningful relationships.
How to Set Boundaries With Friends?
1-Express your value of the friendship:
Setting boundaries with friends does not mean hurting their feelings; it is actually the opposite. Make sure that you let your friends know how important they are to you before you start to talk about setting any boundaries. With this advice, you can be able to get through the conversation without causing any conflict.
2-Be honest with your feelings:
When you are feeling judged or disapproved by a friend, it is important to communicate this to them. Explain how their behavior is making you feel and why. If we do not express our feelings, the other person will not know and continue to behave in a way that hurts us.
Without knowing that their actions are causing issues, they cannot be expected to change their behavior. By communicating your concerns, you can make them more aware of the problem.
3- Time Boundaries :
Tell your friend that you’ll only be available for a set amount of time. If they are late, you may leave when you said you would, regardless of whether they are ready to go or not. It is also polite to explain that you feel disrespected or frustrated when they are late for meetings.
4-Protect your priorities:
Prioritizing your own needs is one of the most important functions of boundaries; they stop you from putting the needs of others above your own. Though it may be difficult, you always have to consider what is best for you before anything else you want to feel good about helping your friends, it is important to make sure you protect your priorities and are not resentful, stressed, or burdened. for example, Before you make plans with friends, be sure to check your schedule and to-do list to make sure you’re free.
5-Preserve your individuality and personal space:
It’s important for friends to maintain their individuality and not feel like they always have to agree, be like-minded, or do everything together. It’s totally fine if friends spend time apart, have separate interests, and don’t feel the need to be involved in every aspect of each other’s lives. Having different opinions, personal space, and privacy does not have to threaten the stability of a healthy friendship.
6-Don’t Be Afraid to Say No :
People who fear saying “no” frequently end up with an unmanageable amount of responsibilities and subsequently sacrifice their self-care. “No” is a powerful word that is recognized across many languages. It can be conveyed with simple gestures or facial expressions and is a strong word that can have a significant impact.
It is important to remember that every affirmative and negative response contributes to shaping your reality. You have the agency to decide how you will use your time and energy. If something doesn’t sit right with you, it is probably not worth doing. The word “no” is crucial for setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.
Related:Why Is Saying ‘No’ So Important?
7-Protect yourself from toxic or abusive friends:
When boundaries are violated, it often results in someone feeling offended, hurt or betrayed this is part of a larger pattern of behavior in a relationship, it may be indicative of the need to re-evaluate, or even end, the friendship. It is especially important to address this issue if your friend has been behaving in ways that are toxic or abusive towards you and the behavior has continued.
Related:How to Deal With Toxic People ?
As you start to prioritize your own life over your friends’ needs, you might find yourself doubting and judging yourself. it is important to remember that in a healthy friendship, both parties respect each other’s personal time and space. Reminding yourself of this early on is crucial, as it will help you establish healthy limits with your friends.
It is essential to have transparent communication about what each person wants and expects from the other in any healthy relationship.By communicating openly and honestly, you will be able to establish boundaries more effectively. The more direct and clear your communication is regarding your boundaries, the easier it will be to maintain them.
Before making your boundaries active, it is essential that you speak with your friends. Respectfully inform them of your concerns and explain why they are necessary. Furthermore, you must inquire as to their thoughts and feelings regarding the proposed boundaries.