How healthy are your boundaries?

When your psychological boundaries are healthy, you can be assertive about expressing your needs and desires while still being respectful of the rights of others. Having unhealthy boundaries can make you appear position, which will make it more likely that your rights will be infringed by aggressive people. Alternatively, you may seem overly pushy when maintaining your rights – which will make you look aggressive.

So how can you tell if your boundaries are healthy? Here’s a quick checklist. The following are some indicators of healthy boundaries:

  • You are receptive to other people’s ideas and opinions
  • You accept there are some things outside of your control
  • You accept you won’t always agree with other people
  • You recognise you can still love or like other people, even if they don’t do what you want or disagree with you
  • You recognise you can still be loved or liked even if you say “no” or disagree
  • You are able to say “no” when you really don’t want to do something
  • You are able to confront situations that you find uncomfortable or challenging
  • You make decisions based on rational reasons rather than with your emotions
  • You feel able to express your emotions honestly and openly, but while still being respectful of other people’s feelings
  • You believe you have a healthy balance between your work and personal life
  • You know when to pursue something and when to let it go
  • Your personal and work relationships are reciprocal – fundamentally they are about give and take
  • You don’t let other people’s problem behaviour or negative emotions affect your mood or how you feel about yourself
  • You recognise your right to be treated with respect and courtesy
  • You feel free to live your life and make choices that are right for you

If you agree with most of the above statements, it’s a sign that your psychological boundaries are healthy and you’re doing a good job of managing the impact that difficult people can have on your psychological well-being.

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