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Healthy boundaries allow us to find the right people to participate in our care communities. But what does the relationship building process look like and how do we coordinate our relationship building process with others? In other words, how do we figure out and communicate our own healthy boundaries and build strong care communities?
One of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy relationships is finding out which needs are priority and what met looks like. How are these needs considered met for each person? Navigating these situations takes open communication, vulnerability, and a willingness to express ourselves to our care partners.
Identifying our own needs and communicating them to care partners in healthy ways lets them choose how to respond. Giving someone the choice to care, rather than requesting or insisting, allows us the distance and perspective to decide if they’re able and willing to be a healthy member of our care community. It allows us to distance our worthiness from their decisions.
Navigating Healthy Boundaries and Relationships
Forming our care communities and finding people who understand our feelings and needs and are willing to engage in a healthy relationship with us is like finding the right group at a party.
Upon entering a party, most groups have been formed. The dynamics have been set. It’s up to us to navigate these dynamics to find the right connection and community. We can walk in and choose to participate in any group but before we do, we know three things to be true:
- the group we choose first may not be right for us
- the group we choose first may not accept or welcome us
- we may have to navigate a few groups to find our place
Knowing these things won’t stop us from entering the party because we know we’ll find the right group. It’s up to us to make the choice to enter and participate regardless of our past experiences at other parties. The only way we’ll find a group to engage us is if we step inside and attempt to make connections.
Taking Control of Boundary Setting
Waiting to be invited inside the party surrenders control over getting our needs met or creating relationships and finding our community. Choosing to walk in and participate allows us the ability to manage our relationship building. Alternatively, to not enter the party is like waiting for someone else to discover our feelings and needs for us.
Taking initiative in identifying our feelings lets us to take control of how we prioritize them. We’re able to make decisions about what our met needs look like and who best can participate in our care community. Without prioritizing our feelings and needs we can find ourselves in inauthentic and unfulfilling relationships.
Getting our needs met, finding the right care community, and engaging in healthy ways is always within our control.
Periodically Reviewing Healthy Boundaries
Entering a party takes a display of vulnerability, it can be scary. Digging into our feelings and identifying needs that we’d like to share with care communities can also be scary. Ignoring our feelings and needs can feel easier because we’re able to avoid that vulnerable feeling but when we don’t identify our needs, we can’t properly prioritize them.
Working through vulnerable moments takes an endless replenishment of self worth. We’re able to build strong, supportive relationships with the right people when we know our worth and what our own priorities are. Occasionally we need to build new relationships or re-evaluate old relationships that may no longer be healthy. Healthy boundaries lead to knowing ourselves well enough to identify the right relationships.
People change over time and it’s important to have compassion for our own evolution as well. We will discover new truths about ourselves the more we explore which will become the catalyst for changing needs and relationships. This is a natural process and befriending the vulnerability required to get through will make the journey an easier one to navigate.