Setting Relationship Boundaries

Understand healthy and unhealthy boundaries

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Boundaries are important for any healthy relationship, but there are different types of boundaries and different areas in which those boundaries can exist. Knowing about boundaries will give you the power to create and maintain them in your relationships. Boundaries are not simply about keeping people out -- they’re about helping you create conscious connections with the people in your life. 

Types of Boundaries

  • Soft boundaries occur when there isn’t a clear definition and assertion of rights and responsibilities. Sharing too much about yourself too soon when you’re done getting to know someone, reacting to and feeling responsible for someone else’s strong emotion, or being vulnerable to manipulation are all signs of soft boundaries. 
  • Rigid boundaries are signified by not being willing to let someone else get close to you physically or emotionally, or both. Often those with a history of unhealthy relationships, trauma, or abuse can have rigid boundaries. 
  • Porous boundaries occur when you’re feeling unsure about what to let in and what to keep out. They are a mix of soft and rigid boundaries. It’s having inconsistent boundaries, which are usually dictated by the desires and needs of others. 
  • Flexible/healthy boundaries show when you’re able to effectively protect yourself. You choose what you share and what you keep to yourself depending on the situation. You’re not easily manipulated either. You have a sense of self and are able to say yes and no on your terms. 

Your Relationship Bill of Rights

To help you create healthy boundaries in relationships, know your rights! Review these anytime you need a reminder or you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in a relationship. Get inspired! Can you come up with other rights that fit with your own life? 

  • I have a right to say no without feeling guilty. 
  • I have a right to be treated with respect.
  • I have a right to make my needs as important as another person’s needs.
  • I have a right to accept my mistakes and failures. 
  • I have a right not to meet others’ unreasonable expectations of me. 

Are you a Ginger member? For the full activity card, visit the Ginger app, go to the “self-care” tab, and search for this title under the “Relationships” section.