Hi korang! It’s 2023! New year, new me and new beginnings, betul tak? With Safer Internet Day around the corner, Aqilah got thinking pasal the importance of healthy boundaries, both in our offline and online relationships. The truth is Aqilah rasa tak selesa and sometimes rasa powerless whenever people overstep my boundaries. And it turns out I am NOT alone!
Just the other day, kawan Aqilah, Viti, was chatting online with a guy she suka sangat. When diaorang tengah chatting, he suddenly asked Viti for her nude photo 😱. Although Viti got really uncomfortable, she mustered up the courage and calmly told him NO. Tapi, the guy kept on insisting for her sexy pic as proof that she likes him (scary kan?). After that, Viti terus block dia on all online platforms.
And guys are not exempt. My bestie Li Sheng was out with some of his friends recently. One of the girls who ada crush on him kept trying to get close to him. She was finding any excuse to touch him and when he told her off, she got really moody. After that, his friends semua marah Li Sheng saying he should feel complimented and just let her do what she wants. Some guy even said he wished it was him instead. Bestie I felt really guilty after and rasa macam dia yang buat salah!
“Kenapa diorang tak respect our boundaries?”
It’s these and my own personal experiences that made Aqilah realise the importance of healthy boundaries.
So, what are healthy boundaries? Generally, boundaries tu bermaksud a set of rules or guidelines on how you want others to interact with you. Healthy boundaries are important to:
- Help us to keep a sense of our own identity
- Prevent a relationship from going south
- Allow us to feel more in control
- Increase our self esteem
- Prioritise our physical, mental and emotional comfort.
- Increase one’s own self respect
- Protect us from being manipulated
Hari ni Aqilah nak cakap mainly about three types of boundaries: physical, sexual and emotional. Semua penting for our sense of safety and wellbeing.
6 Ways To Establish Healthy Boundaries Online atau Offline
1. Be aware of what you desire
When it comes to setting up healthy boundaries kita perlu tau exactly what we’re looking for. Kalau korang tak really sure what you want, you wouldn’t know where your boundary lies. Take the time to reflect and pinpoint what it is that you truly want. From there, baru korang would be able to better understand yourself and the situation you are in.
2. Say the magic word: ‘NO’
Nope, the magic word isn’t just ‘please’, it’s ‘NO’. After knowing what you want, the next step is to stand your ground and say no, especially to those yang overstep your boundaries. Kalau tak, macam mana nak set boundaries kan? It’s very important to not be afraid when it comes to saying “no” sebab dalam setting up boundaries, you kena kerap cakap “no”. So, do not be afraid when saying no.
3. Avoid Guilt Tripping Yourself
Tadi Aqilah mention that to set up a boundary, you kena kerap say ‘NO’. But…what usually comes after that? For me, it’s feeling guilty. Guilt is usually what causes you to go against your own boundaries and principles to please other people. Jadi, it is important to not guilt trip yourself after saying no. Prioritise yourself and your own well-being.
4. Be honest with others about your feelings
Effective communication is key. If you nak the other person to understand what is going on, you kena communicate with them. Kalau apa-apa yang diorang buat atau cakap makes you feel uncomfortable, tell them how you really feel about it. This would give them the chance to reflect upon what they had done and to better understand you as an individual.
5. See it (your boundary) through
Ever heard of the saying “Consistency is key”? Well, this time, Aqilah nak suggest to tukar jadi “Persistence is the key”. You have gotta be persistent and see that other people respect your boundaries. Letting things slide easily will only cause people to overstep your set boundaries more. Jadi, Aqilah nak advice korang untuk remind your boundaries from time to time to those around you.
6. Ask for feedback
Feedback is considered to be an important aspect here sebab it helps you make sure that the boundaries you’ve set are respected and that the other party understands them. This also allows you to understand their views to see if they have understood the right message.
One step at a time
With that said, it may be easier said than done tapi Aqilah nak remind korang to take it one step at a time. Slow progress is better than no progress at all. Different relationships may require different boundaries. This will take some time. Although things may seem to be taking a rough turn, you are not alone. Hang in there! ❤️
Let us all unite for a safer space online! 🤝