Have you failed to set healthy communication boundaries with your friends or family?
If you’ve been getting into fights about money or politics, the answer is probably yes.
Setting boundaries for what you’ll discuss with who is critical to maintaining healthy relationships.
If you want to maintain strong communication with the people close to you, you have to have boundaries.
Sharing the story:
Jen and I went out for dinner shortly after the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, and I was dying to talk about it.
In the cab on the way home, I tried to start a conversation about it.
However, Jen has a very strict (and smart) boundary when it comes to discussing the news.
As I tried to engage Jen in a conversation about the news, Jen shut me down. She wasn’t interested and at first, I was really upset. I wanted to vent.
However, I recognized just how selfish that reaction was for me to have.
I failed to recognize the importance of the work that Jen was doing for herself: setting communication boundaries.
Shortly after that interaction, I started to set boundaries for myself.
Since I know that consuming news – specifically around politics – is stressful for me, I only allow myself to do it between 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. every day.
I swear by this timeslot because it isn’t too early that it derails you from your day.
When you read the news at 3 p.m., you’ve pretty much finished up the majority of your workday. This means you minimize its’ ability to distract you.
Similarly, you wouldn’t want to read it too late because that could keep you up at night.
I recognized that I was feeling extremely anxious by reading news articles whenever they appeared in my newsfeed.
So, I took action to apply more intentionality to the behavior by setting a 3o-minute time limit for when I can consume this type of content.
It’s important to recognize what we need and respect ourselves enough to create habits around that.
If you know that talking about politics stresses you out, you need to minimize doing that. It’s an act of self-care and self-protection.
It’s about being mindful that everyone is discussing different things with different people.
When we respect the boundaries that we, and others, have set, we create stronger relationships.