Acknowledging emotions and setting emotional boundaries in a relationship is important because it makes people more confident and self-aware. In fact, emotions play a crucial role in the quality of our person-to-person interactions. After all, humans are social beings that rely on cooperation to survive.
But a lack of understanding of emotions can become a serious issue. Have you ever heard of the phrase “love alone is not enough”? Are you aware of its true meaning? The message behind this phrase is that a relationship cannot survive only on love.
In a healthy relationship, there has to be mutual understanding, compromise, and respect. But you cannot expect others to respect you when you do not respect yourself. And you cannot expect others to love you when you do not love yourself. This may be hard to accept for some people, but it is the truth.
Self-awareness, self-love, and self-care need constant practice. People train their muscles to keep their bodies strong. In that same way, people must also train their emotions to stay mentally strong.
One of the best ways to maintain mental health is to learn how to set emotional boundaries. That involves separating another person’s emotions from your own. By doing so, you will not only avoid common relationship issues, but also protect yourself from abusive partners.
Remember, you are the captain of your own ship; don’t let anyone else take the wheel. Here are the reasons setting emotional boundaries in relationships is so important:
1. Relationships Work Better When You Are Honest About Your Needs and Expectations
Even though a partner may have spent some time getting to know you, they still aren’t able to read your mind. Being honest to others about your needs and expectations is crucial. In doing this, you are actually inviting them to have an open conversation with you. At the same time, you are allowing them to come to a mutual agreement or disagreement.
Yet, some people expect their partners to already know what is bothering them without having to mention it. The consequences of such behavior can be catastrophic and even result in an overwhelming build-up of disappointment, resentment, and jealousy.
As a wise man one said, “resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill our enemies”. Harboring such negative emotions within yourself is toxic and ignorant. By doing this, you are pushing people away without even giving them a chance to discuss the issue. That is why being clear about your needs and expectations is such an important practice.
2. It Will Lead You to the Right Person
Of course, it is in your nature as a human being to want to fit in. But a deeper truth hides behind the reason some people may choose not to set emotional boundaries. And it is not only because they have a fear of standing up for themselves.
The fear of loss and the fear of being alone are often much harder to accept and deal with. Unfortunately, this is the most common reason people may decide to tolerate toxic behavior. But it is important to acknowledge the fact that fear is a normal part of the human experience, and so is facing your fears and overcoming them.
To be a good partner to someone, you must be comfortable in your own skin first. Choosing to be alone instead of staying in an unhealthy relationship shows emotional maturity. It is also a sign of high self-respect.
The right people will accept you as you are. They will also respect your emotional boundaries once you have addressed them. And remember; the people who don’t want to respect those boundaries are not your people.
3. It Improves Your Self-Confidence
Once you realize that it is up to you to decide what you want or do not want to accept, your self-confidence will skyrocket. With this realization comes a sense of empowerment, a new respect toward your own self, and liberation from the emotions and people that used to hold you back. There is no better feeling than having the freedom to be who you are, and to be accepted as such.
You don’t have to be a prisoner of your own emotions. What’s more, you don’t have to be a prisoner to a partner who fails to acknowledge your opinions, needs, and expectations. You have the right to say no without feeling guilty and the right to not let anybody walk all over you. That is your decision, and yours only.
Emotional boundaries are there to not only protect you from unhealthy relationships but also from your own feelings of low self-worth, insecurity, and self-punishment. Hence, learning how to set boundaries helps you stay true to yourself, as well as maintain a positive attitude.
4. You Will Become More Understanding
If you want to set reasonable emotional boundaries, you must practice tuning in to your emotions. Also, you must pay attention to what your intuition is trying to tell you. Having a better understanding of your own emotions makes it easier to understand other people’s emotions, too.
For example, you must acknowledge that others have the right to say no to certain requests or behaviors without feeling ashamed about it, just as you do. So, the next time a person denies you something, it won’t be so terrifying as it was on some previous occasion. Once you have learned to set healthy emotional boundaries, you will have also learned to not take other people’s responses to heart.
Instead of taking their answer to heart, you can choose to see past their initial denial. You can acknowledge the fact that they, too, are trying to set certain emotional boundaries. Thus, these boundaries not only help people with their deep-rooted fears of loneliness and loss, but they also help them deal with their fear of rejection. When you respect other people’s feelings and their rights to set their own boundaries, you will be respected in turn.