Boundary: “something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent.”
Within life there are many opportunities to develop boundaries. They range from safety boundaries, like not drinking unless you have a designated DD - to emotional boundaries like not allowing someone to tear you down. Since boundaries are something that everyone has, then why is it so hard develop them in regards to relationships?
You often do not realize that you need to set a boundary until someone does something that harms you. For example, a friend may tell a joke at your expense that tears you down in the process. You might decide that this is not something you are OK with, so you can set a boundary. You might decide that the first boundary is to talk to your friend and ask them to stop, and from there you can adjust or change the boundary depending on what happens. From then on you know that this is a boundary, and if you encounter a similar situation it will be easier for you to handle.
To prevent the sting of being hurt we need to start making boundaries at the beginning of relationships rather than waiting until the harm has been done. Taking the time to set boundaries allows you to take the time to invest in yourself. In the process of creating and maintain boundaries you learn more about who you are and who you want to be.
I believe that everyone needs to take the time to set down and list out their boundaries when it comes to relationships, all relationships (even close ones). As a relationship progresses, new boundaries need to be created or old ones can be altered. For example, when you first meet someone you may have a lot of boundaries but as your relationship grows and you develop trust then those boundaries will start to change.
Boundaries within different life settings:
Boundaries within the family allow each member of the family to understand their place within the system. For example, the child understands their role as the child due to the boundaries that have been put into place by their parents. The parents are the rule setters and enforcers rather than the child. You might want to place boundaries on your parents as well. Boundaries are especially important when you are dealing with a person within your family that is struggling with an addiction. In this instance, setting boundaries helps you to not enable the unhealthy individual.