Has setting boundaries in relationships been an issue for you?
In this episode, Jay Shetty explains what types of boundaries you can set to improve your communication and partnerships.
Being a people pleaser is a common trait. However, saying “yes” means putting others’ interests above your own, which will eventually lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction for you. A second type of boundary crossing happens when you say “no” when you actually mean to say “yes.” Both behaviors indicate a misalignment between you and the other person.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Let’s look at some of Jay Shetty’s tips for finding this type of harmony.
Example of Breaking Boundaries
In newfound relationships, many tend to spend every moment possible with their partner. As time goes by, individuals often begin to feel the need for personal time again.
One example of boundary-breaking is when your partner doesn’t want to let you have a separate life outside the couple. For instance, Jay Shetty shared how someone told him about a boyfriend who didn’t like it when his girlfriend went out with her girlfriends. This pattern occurred even when he was not in town and couldn’t spend time together.
The girlfriend needed to set a boundary, so she explained the importance of her personal time to her boyfriend.
Setting Boundaries Is A Process
Many times, the boundaries we see as necessary come about because of mistakes we have made in past relationships. Without limits, each party can become frustrated, which can destroy a relationship. Communication about your own personal limits, likes, and dislikes is essential to a successful relationship.
Yet, it is sometimes difficult for us to identify our boundaries. Jay Shetty says, “the challenge is we are not aware of our boundaries. And so we are shifting our responsibility of that feeling, of that emotion, of how we want to be treated onto the other person.”
The first step to setting a boundary is being aware of it. Jay Shetty invites the listeners to reflect on their past relationships and identify boundaries they crossed or didn’t set in the first place.
He explained how, with previous girlfriends, he overstepped his limits by putting their feelings and needs above his own. Though this was detrimental to him, it helped him learn how far he could go and when to set a boundary.
Setting The Boundary
After identifying what you missed in the past and how you want to be treated by others verbally and physically, it is time to set your boundaries actively. In doing so, you need to clarify and articulate your limits.
It is vital also to explain why there is a limit to what you are willing to do and accept. Again, communication is key in this second step of the process. Jay Shetty explained that, in a healthy relationship, both partners understand the reasoning behind boundaries. It may have to do with past experiences or simply personal preferences. In any case, a brief explanation will make a difference.
“A boundary doesn’t just stop at yes or no. It has a component to it, which is why or how or when, or what,” Jay Shetty added.
Explain Your Boundary
People tend to express their boundaries in two ways: defensively or offensively. In both cases, this communication type may lead to conflict. Being defensive about your boundaries can lead to your partner feeling forced to defend themselves.
“What that does is that it assumes that your partner is malicious, controlling, or has that energy, and it now makes them feel defensive,” Jay Shetty clarified.
The second type of communicating a boundary is through an attack. You may use phrases like: “you always make me break my boundaries” or “you don’t let me live up to my boundary.” Expressing your boundaries this way can lead to finger-pointing.
Defining a personal limit needs to be done coherently. Give the other person time to digest your words. Allow them to soak in the information you just provided them.
What Are Boundaries
A boundary is not a barrier to keep others away. Instead, it consists of essential criteria you set for an easier and more comfortable life. It is important to set limits to ensure you don’t lose yourself when you allow others to cross them knowingly or unknowingly.
Jay Shetty refers to the boundaries we set as something that provide “a safe space of reflection.” It allows you to ponder over who you are in the present moment and who you want to be. Moreover, it helps you understand where you are going and prevents you from becoming someone you don’t want to be.
New relationships can be fascinating, and spending time together may seem to be the only thing on your mind. However, as Jay Shetty shared earlier, having a new relationship doesn’t have to mean you don’t get to see your friends anymore because your partner demands it.
In this case, you need to reflect and have a genuine conversation with yourself. Ask yourself if you need to set a boundary for your friends or your new love interest. If friends are essential to your life, you must make it very clear to your partner.
It is essential to understand that sometimes people get insecure, jealous, envious, or uncertain about their position in your life. And this is when setting boundaries and reinforcing priorities is essential.
When mingling with others, you get exposed to their ideas, and they get to learn about yours. Though there may be an exchange of opinions, in many cases, we stick to our initial beliefs and don’t change our minds to the other’s perspective.
Everyone is entitled to their way of thinking. However, when involved in a relationship, it is crucial to make it clear to your partner where your boundaries are. Of course, this is a two-way street. If you want your boundaries to be respected, you must also respect your partner’s.
Jay Shetty remarked, “chances are your boundaries are never going to be the same as your partners.” However, it is essential to create an environment where you can freely express your needs, even if they are sometimes different.
Before joining finances with your partner, you must first understand your own relationship with money.
Jay Shetty encourages listeners to audit their financial habits honestly. He suggests dividing your finances into four categories: savings, spending, investments, and wasted money. Then, ask yourself if you are living up to your ideal spending habits. Finally, if you still need to, reflect upon your perfect balance between these four areas.
Money will eventually become a topic when you get into a committed relationship. Having a model for your finances will facilitate a conversation with your partner. But it will also allow you to understand where your limits are and what you are willing to change about your model. Moreover, it can even serve as an example to your partner.
Alone Time Boundary
In the early stages of a relationship, you want to spend as much time as possible in each other’s company. However, you need time to recharge your batteries as the relationship progresses. This is why alone time is so important.
It is vital to make it clear to your partner early on in the relationship that you have a life outside of the relationship. Whether this means hanging out with friends, having separate hobbies, or simply enjoying your own company from time to time.
This boundary serves as an expectation management tool. Jay Shetty explained that people get used to each other in specific ways while dating. As a result, they are more available and willing to splurge on we-time over me-time.
However, when the initial excitement wears off, it is vital to have this boundary conversation. This way, both partners are on the same page regarding what is important for them and how much time they need to spend on their own.
According to Vedic teachings, if you protect your purpose, your purpose will protect you. Therefore it is crucial to keep it in sight, even in a relationship.
Sometimes we can get so invested in a relationship that we forget to protect our purpose. Unfortunately, giving it away for someone else’s sake is a slippery slope. It will lead to you losing yourself in the long run.
Therefore, Jay Shetty emphasizes the importance of knowing and understanding what you do and why you do it. Express it out loud for your partner to gain the same understanding. Explain to them why this is important to you. Then, set clear limits that will allow you to keep working toward your purpose, even if you are now in a committed relationship.
Knowledge Is Power
Jay Shetty advises us all to look inside ourselves to truly understand what we stand for. . Get a clear image of your boundaries regarding friendship, ideas, money, alone time, and purpose. Once you know them, you can communicate these with your partner. But make sure to also listen to and respect their boundaries in return.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “5 Boundaries To Set in Relationships & 3 Ways To Use Them Effectively” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.