Boundaries, by Whitney O’Malley

When living and working with your family on the road, boundaries are critical. Boundaries are the personal limits we set within relationships that allow for safe and appropriate connections with others. There are many benefits of boundaries inclduing protecting personal integrity, conserving energy, improving self-esteem, and allowing for self-care, personal space, and independence. Boundaries define where a person’s wants, needs, privacy and responsibilities to others start and finish. They are about the limits that are healthy for the individual. They are not a rule for another person, and it is one’s own responsibility to maintain them.

Boundaries help people feel more protected, especially in highly vulnerable situations. When you practice empathy and compassion and will be feeling emotions along with the person who is struggling, boundaries can help define which feelings are yours and which belong to the other person. If you need to work on setting healthy boundaries, consider seeing a therapist to help, or bringing the the topic into your current therapy. Groups like Al Anon and CoDa also focus on boundaries and may be supportive.