cheerful young multiethnic spouses smiling and looking at baby in stroller

Saying “No” is Not a Bad Word

There are is no doubt that having relationships with others is essential to our wellbeing. We are naturally social beings. Yes, even when we want to lock ourselves in the room and not hear from anyone for a while. A reason why most people don’t know why we socialize is because it gives us a unique sense of self. Another person gives us a direct comparison to who we are. That’s why it’s important to come into every relationship with your whole self. You’re not here to complete anyone else.

In order for you to make yourself distinct from someone else is to create boundaries within a relationship. This can be in relationship from co-workers to a married couple. Boundaries are what ensure that each person in the relationship knows where things begin and end.

The most crucial word used when creating a boundary is the word, no. No by itself is fine. There’s really no need to give an explanation if your answer is truly no. When society expects a yes, we are usually shamed into doing what they want, instead of listening to ourselves. So we say yes, when we really mean no. This adoption usually starts out young when a toddler begins to tell his/her parents no. Parents don’t typically like that.

Setting Boundaries

When talking of relationships, boundaries are limits that can be flexible. It’s not a “build the wall” situation, so please no chanting. It’s more of an invisible field that can be based in emotion. A boundary gives a sense of needed separateness from other people. This only works when the boundary is healthy. Meaning people are able to see your heart, but not able to grab for it without your permission. It is healthy to communicate these boundaries rather than leaving your partner in the dark. By doing this you get the choice of choosing yourself rather than doing what someone else wants you to do. The best part of boundaries is that it decreases the need to put up walls. A wall will protect you, but it will also cause loneliness because people won’t be able to get through.

Boundaries are not threats. Threats are a way to manipulate another person into doing something you want to do. That’s the very thing we are trying to avoid.