Healthy relationships are what bring many people the most satisfaction and joy in life.
From friendships to relationships with coworkers, every person contributes something unique to your life.
Some people make us laugh, while others are there to lean on during hard times. Some people do both of these things and are extra special.
Whether you’re navigating a husband-wife, parent-child, boss-employee, or some other relationship, prioritizing your mental health should be your focus.
While healthy relationships improve mental health, you also need to know how to maintain good mental health while in these relationships.
Why? The reality is that even though relationships are incredibly life-giving, fun, and fulfilling, they also can be a source of grief, anger, and frustration. No relationship can be all smiles all the time and tend to be complex.
If you’re wondering how to create a healthy relationship or are having problems with the people in your life, BetterHelp can match you with a qualified counselor who will provide you with support and advice.
Relationships will always be tricky and complicated, but everyone needs other people in their life, so they will always be worth it. The biggest trick to maintaining your mental health in all of your relationships is having healthy boundaries.
Boundaries describe any sort of rules, lines drawn, or limits that you place on the relationships in your life. They are incredibly helpful and healthy to have; everyone needs them in every relationship they have in life.
Setting boundaries is harder for some people than others, especially those who are people pleasers.
When someone has a hard time saying “no” or can’t stand up for themselves, it’s a clear sign more boundaries are needed.
Boundaries aren’t unloving or selfish, they are necessary for maintaining balance in any relationship. Consider the fact that you cannot pour from an empty cup; this is how boundaries operate.
The more you are able to help yourself, the more you can help others. Here are examples of healthy boundaries in various relationships:
Romantic Relationships: In romantic relationships, you’ll have emotional and physical boundaries as well as rules surrounding topics of conversation and time constraints.
For example, some topics may be off-limits because it’s too early in the relationship. Or you may just not want to talk about them.
You might have physical boundaries surrounding hugging, cuddling, sex, or holding hands. Communication is key in a romantic relationship. Be clear about your intentions, expectations, and desires. Don’t leave the other person guessing.
Family ties: Deciding on boundaries with family members will depend upon the relationship and the ages of those involved. For example, adult children will have different boundaries with their parents than they would have as a child.
As a child, parents set certain boundaries like screen time, bedtime, and when chores or homework needed to be completed by. When that child becomes an adult, they get to choose how little or how often they talk with and visit their parents.
This is the natural shift from total dependence on one’s parents to becoming an independent adult. Adult children should talk with their parents and make boundaries clear from the start.
The biggest mistake made is to under-communicate, leading to misunderstandings and resentment from either party.
Workplace relationships: Whether you’re a CEO or an employee at a company, you still need healthy boundaries with your coworkers and bosses. If you’re an employee, it’s important not to take on more work than you can handle.
Saying “no” is hard, especially when you want to impress or help your boss, but you’re human and don’t have endless time and energy. This doesn’t mean you need to say no every single time something is asked of you.
The key is knowing your limits and when you need to take time for yourself. If you’re a CEO, manager, or boss, you may need to set up boundaries that ensure a professional relationship is maintained in the office.
You might also need to learn the art of delegation instead of doing all the work yourself.
If you’re a workaholic, you can practice setting boundaries by not taking work home with you on the weekends or turning your phone off when you get home. When it comes to coworkers, boundaries are necessary for maintaining a professional work setting.
Boundaries are the best way to maintain positive mental health in all relationships because they promote self-awareness, self-respect, and consistency.
You will find that you have more time, energy, and confidence when you set up limits for yourself and those around you. If you’re having trouble setting healthy boundaries, consider speaking with a mental health professional.
Those who struggle with codependency, people-pleasing, or saying no will have more difficulty with boundaries, but a counselor will be able to help you move past these obstacles.
Being a great friend, parent, partner, boss, or employee starts with taking care of yourself first. Remember that what may appear as selfishness to someone else is really in their best interest as well as yours.