As we go through life, we set boundaries to make us feel comfortable and safe. We often use past experiences as a basis for our boundaries and put them in motion with new people that we meet.
Boundaries vary from person to person, but everyone needs some form of boundaries with other people. Survivors of interpersonal trauma particularly benefit from strong boundaries, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to set them. When you experience interpersonal trauma, you may feel a lack of control as you try to move forward.
While you can’t always control others’ actions, you can take control of your boundaries — let’s look at some ways to do it.
What Is Interpersonal Trauma?
Interpersonal trauma refers to incidents where we have been hurt by other people. Many people may experience interpersonal trauma throughout their childhood, in a friendship, or in a romantic relationship.
Sometimes interpersonal trauma can come from strangers or casual acquaintances, too. The pain you endure from interpersonal trauma can make it hard to move forward with your life, especially when you experience multiple incidents.
You may struggle with anxiety, and depression, and have a hard time trusting new people.
Why Boundaries Are Important
When you’ve been hurt in the past, it may feel difficult to be vulnerable to new people. The fear of being hurt again is powerful enough to stop many people from even trying to find meaningful relationships. Fortunately, with boundaries, you can move forward with confidence and control in new relationships.
We can’t control things that other people do. However, we can control our behavior; and with other people, our boundaries reflect this. You can choose the boundaries you set with family members, friends, coworkers, and potential romantic partners.
Depending on what kind of interpersonal trauma you’ve endured, you may have different boundaries for different people. Remember, you don’t have to justify your boundaries to anyone — if they don’t accept them, then they likely aren’t a person with whom you want a close relationship.
Learning to Set Boundaries
There are many types of boundaries that people may set. If you’ve experienced childhood trauma, you may set stricter boundaries with your parents because of it. For example, if you have children of your own, you may want to restrict the time your parents spend with them. Or you may want to be there to supervise.
To set these familial boundaries, you’ll need to have a difficult conversation. It isn’t easy to set boundaries, especially with family members, but you will feel much better and much more in control in the long run.
It’s also common to set boundaries in romantic relationships. If you’ve had an abusive relationship in the past, you may be nervous about entering new ones. It is perfectly reasonable to ask a potential partner to take things slowly.
You may want to keep things casual for a while until you feel comfortable moving forward. Again, your boundaries are up to you. When you set them, you’re taking control of your life and how you cope with your trauma.
Maintaining Your Boundaries
The best thing you can do for yourself is to figure out what your boundaries are and stick with them. As time goes by, your boundaries may change, and that’s okay. However, you should never feel pressured to change your boundaries to accommodate other people.
Over time, it will get easier to establish and maintain your boundaries.
Interpersonal trauma is difficult to recover from, but setting strong boundaries is a great place to start. If you struggle to cope with your trauma, consider seeking trauma therapy to help move forward.
Not only will therapy help you cope with your trauma, but it will also help you understand your boundaries and take back control of your life. Remember, you are in control — and your boundaries will help you realize this as you move forward!
Our Counseling Centers are located throughout the valley with locations in Phoenix, Anthem, Biltmore, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale. Contact us at 623-680-3486,text 623-688-5115, or email email@example.com.
Begin Working With A Trauma Therapist in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and online in all of Arizona
Our team of trauma counselors would be happy to support you in learning these coping skills from our Phoenix and Scottsdale AZ-based counseling practice and across the state. You can overcome past trauma today. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:
Other Services Offered with Crossroads Counseling in Arizona
We understand there are a variety of mental health concerns individuals can face. This is why our team of therapists is happy to offer a variety of mental health services in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and across the state via online therapy. We are happy to offer support for children, teens, families, women, and men with both individual therapy and group programs. Mental health services offered include anxiety therapy, treatment for depression, trauma and PTSD, grief and loss, relationship counseling, and premarital counseling.
In addition, our team also offers affair counseling, Christian affair recovery, and couples counseling for one. Feel free to learn more about our practice by visiting our about page, FAQ, and blog, or read more about our staff members to start finding your best therapeutic fit!
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