When people hear the word boundaries many times they view this as a bad thing. They define boundaries as limitations, blockades, or barriers. However, healthy boundaries within any relationships are essential to each person’s happiness as well as the overall success and well being of the relationship
So rather than looking at boundaries as a negative thing, lets view them as the positives they can bring to our lives. Let’s reframe it and view it as its core components. A relationship is one person trying to connect to another person. Try visualizing yourself on a hill and someone else on another hill. These two hills are separated by a river. In order for these two people to connect and understand one another they need to build a suspension bridge to cross over the river below in order to reach each other.
The bridge of connection between two people is then built.
In order to build the bridge we need planks to walk on. The planks that you walk on are constructed of the moments that you have shared together, the feelings you have expressed to each other, the things you know about that person from their favorite color to their history and their hopes. With each plank that you put in place the closer you are to connecting with that person. Also, the more planks that you put down on the bridge the stronger the connection between the two sides becomes.
Then it is important to build the sides of the bridge. The sides of the bridge are important because they keep the bridge sturdy and safe. A bridge without sides sways and moves unevenly making it nearly impossible to walk across without becoming injured or feeling scared. If a person tried to cross this bridge they may stumble and fall into the water below, missing their connection to the person on the other side. The sides of the bridge keep the travelers on track and safe.
The sides of the bridge are the boundaries that we create in healthy relationships. They make you feel safe and secure to continue to walk across and construct more planks to bring yourself closer to each other without injury or the bridge breaking. The sides can be boundaries such as personal space, topics that are too sensitive to discuss at the present tense, beliefs that you want remain respected, etc. The sides of the bridge not only provide you with balance to continue your journey to connecting to the person on the other side, but they provide you with balance from within.
No matter what the sides of the bridge may be made of, they are just as important as the planks that you place down. No one part of the bridge is more or less important than the other. In fact, you need them both working together in order to connect to the person on the other side.
For a quick checklist of healthy boundaries please feel free to visit the following website: