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How to Set Boundaries With Your Friends

Relationships thrive when you set boundaries. Healthy relationships are built on mutual respect include limits. However, the idea of telling your friends or family you have limitations can seem scary.

Learning to set boundaries and let others know what is acceptable and unacceptable helps you maintain your mental well-being. Why? When you set limits, you protect yourself from feeling used or exhausted. At some point in a relationship, you must choose what is essential to remain friends with someone.

Emotional Boundaries

Everyone has good days and bad days. When you’re having a bad day, don’t be afraid to tell your friend it’s not a suitable time to talk. If they keep asking for advice but never take it, let them know how you feel. You don’t always have to listen or give advice.

An example of a relationship that requires boundaries is a friend who is an emotional vampire. These people tend to drain the emotions out of the people around them. In relationships like this, it is essential to remind yourself that limiting or stopping conversations with them protects your mental and physical health. After all, you can’t help anyone or yourself if you have nothing left to give.

Sometimes the best way to help your friend is to help yourself. Spend time doing something you enjoy or resting. Your mind and body require rest periods.

Being Respectful

Your thoughts and ideas are worthy of your friend’s respect. Feel free to stop the conversation for a friend who dismisses, puts down, or makes fun of your thoughts or ideas. You can tell them you can:

  • Agree to disagree
  • Let them know it’s not okay to be dismissive
  • Table the conversation

Maintain Your Personal Space

You don’t have to share everything with your friends. Keeping things to yourself doesn’t mean you don’t trust them. It only shows you limit what you feel comfortable sharing with others. It’s also important not to lose yourself in a friendship. Sometimes it’s easy to lose who you are when you’re with a friend. Set aside time to pursue your interests, hobbies, or time with other friends. Spending time apart can strengthen your relationship because you have separate lives.

Maintain Communication

Over time boundaries can change. Friendships evolve, grow, or end. During these changes, your needs in a friend can also adjust to the current situation. Communicate your needs and feelings to your friend. No one can guess what you need, not even a best friend. Communication is a crucial factor in every healthy relationship.

If you don’t discuss your boundaries with your friends, they won’t know what is or isn’t acceptable. Ask your friends to talk with you about what you want in a friendship. Without boundaries, you can experience emotions like depression or anxiety. Our therapists at The Guest House can guide you to find your strength and set clear boundaries. We excel at providing the care you need in the setting you deserve. Heal and grow with us on our 52-acre estate in Central Florida. Call us today at (855) 483-7800.