Emotional Boundaries with Family, Is It Necessary?
Hi KALMers! Even though our government has begun to loosen the regulations that are implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that our movement is still limited compared to before. We also have to adapt to all the changes that exist. One of them is that we’re required to stay at home more often. That means we will spend more time with our family members, right?
If we feel comfortable with our family being at home will be just fine. But KALMers, what if we feel uncomfortable with them? What if there are family members who always told us to do something that we don’t like, always want to get involved with our private matters, insist on doing everything together, or never give us any space when we are at home? These things can make us feel uncomfortable and even negatively affect our mental health and our emotions!
Then what can we do with the negative emotions that we feel, so that we can avoid the negative effects? As explained in one of our earlier KALM articles about Emotions (you can read the article here), we must Identify, Understand, and Take Action.
One of the steps is Taking Action to apply emotional boundaries between us and our family members.
Are KALMers not sure about emotional boundaries? You can read in this article [link]
How do we apply Emotional Boundaries with Family?
There are a few steps that KALMers can take to build healthy emotional boundaries with family :
Identify and Make a List
The first thing KALMers can do is identify what things your family members do that make you feel your boundaries have been violated. Think also the reason why those behaviours made you feel that your emotional boundaries have not been respected. From there, KALMers can make a list of behaviours or activities that you dislike when you are with your family and what are the limits that we want to apply. This is so we can know concretely what we need for ourselves and how to get it.
KALM Tip: If you are not sure what are the behaviours that can be included as breaking your emotional boundaries you can check KALM Instagram post about emotional boundaries in this link to help you identify them.
Seek Support from People That You Trust
Applying emotional boundaries with family members is not easy, KALMers! It is okay if we seek support from other people around us. Think about any family members who you trust who can help you apply the boundaries that you want. KALMers can also ask for advice about how to communicate the implementation of these boundaries to the guilty family members.
KALM Tip: If there is no family member you can trust to do this, you can talk and seek support from a professional counselor or psychologist. You can also talk to a Kalmselor (KALM Professional Online Counselor) through the KALM application [link].
Discuss Them With Your Family Members
Find and schedule a time with family members to discuss KALMers’ desire to apply these emotional boundaries with family at home. Make sure all family members involved are comfortable when having this conversation. Discuss and tell each other heart-to-heart about the feelings you feel when you’re with them. Tell them about the limits that you want to apply from the list that you’ve written down. Don’t forget to let them know of the consequences if these boundaries are violated.
KALM Tip: Use statements that begin with the word “I” rather than “you” so that you don’t appear to attack your family members. Example: “I need my time alone at night between 10-11 PM to wind myself down,” rather than, “You always come into my room at night and bother me.”
Get Ready to Stand Your Ground
When KALMers has determined what boundaries will be established in the family, KALMers must also be ready to stand by them. The reaction of your family members may not always be ideal to what we wanted to do. Or they might agree in the beginning but try to cross the line in the future. At this time, KALMers must be prepared to apply strict consequences to the family member according to the deal that has been agreed on.
KALM Tips: When you are trying to stand your ground and apply the agreed on consequences it can be a difficult experience. Prepare for yourself a list of coping strategies – things that can help you calm down. This can be doing a breathing exercise, taking a short walk, or listening to selfKALM [link].
Difficult But Necessary
KALMers, building emotional boundaries with family is not always easy, but is important to do to maintain our mental health and emotion. Remember KALMers, loving does not mean there is no need for any boundary. Creating boundaries does not mean you don’t love them. On the contrary, it is because we love them boundaries become necessary.
If KALMers still feel overwhelmed or need help in building good emotional boundaries with your family, ask for professional help. Don’t hesitate to talk to a Kalmselor by using KALM’s online counseling application service [link].
Author: Nur Alya
Editor: Lukas Limanjaya
Camins, S. (2020). Setting emotional boundaries in relationship. Road to growth counseling. Retrieved 2 June 2020, from https://roadtogrowthcounseling.com/importance boundaries-relationships/
Weiss, S. (2019, March 31). How to set boundaries with your family accourding to a life coach. Bustle. Retrieved 2 June 2020, from https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-set-boundaries-with-your-family according-to-a-life-coach 16980926
O’mara, L. (2019). 9 Ways to Set Boundaries with Difficult Family Members. Cope better theraphy. Retrieved 8 June 2020, from https://copebetter.com/9-ways-set-boundaries difficult-familymembers/