My friendships tend to outlast my romantic relationships—thank God for that! A significant amount of energy and care goes into maintaining the bonds I have with the women in my life. I am forever grateful for their company and companionship.
At the same time, however, I also understand the need for personal space. Sometimes it’s beneficial to think and breathe alone. If you’re having trouble setting boundaries with the people near and dear to you, here are five tricks to help you reclaim your sanity without jeopardizing your friendships!
Be honest with yourself. Think about the boundaries you’d like to set. Be through—I mean it!
I have found it super helpful to list everything I value from personal beliefs to life goals and aspirations and weigh them against those of my friends’. Doing so has helped me pinpoint situations and scenarios where we don’t get along because we don’t see eye-to-eye.
2. Address with finesse!
Dropping subtle hints is the best way to slowly introduce change in relationships. It’s important to address what’s bothering you as soon as the thing bothering you happens. If, for example, you’re uncomfortable being around a friend who is gossiping about a mutual friend, switch the subject by saying something positive about your mutual friend. Doing so will catch your first friend off guard and turn the conversation in a different direction.
3. Be honest.
If you think that having a one-on-one conversation is the best way to get your feelings off your chest, do it. There is no harm in taking your friend out to lunch or discussing changes you’d like to make to help grow your relationship. A loving and honest conversation only makes for better communication.
4. Respect Boundaries
It’s as simple as treating others the way you want to be treated. Showing respect for your friend’s boundaries will only benefit your friendship.
5. Be open to making adjustments.
At the end of the day, you only have control over yourself. It is not your responsibility to change other people. Adjusting is centered around acceptance. You either accept people for who they are or you don’t. Setting boundaries allows you to grow in a relationship you are more comfortable in. If your efforts are wasted and your friend is not respecting your boundaries, then you know that an adjustment needs to be made. This may require you to set different expectations for that particular friend.
I think we can all relate to having difficult conversations with friends. At the same time, friendships are so precious and deserve to be treated as so! Grab your main girl and enjoy life together, boundaries and all.
Wishing you light and love as we head into February!