As you work towards a space of healing your relationship with your own body, you may begin to notice how others speak about their bodies, talk about others’ physical appearances, or maybe even make comments about your body. Part of entering a space of embodiment means exploring ways to set clear expectations or boundaries about the way that you communicate regarding your own, and others’, physical appearances. By setting clear limits on how those around us discuss, criticize, or interact with our bodies, we reclaim the power to outline our own self-worth and nurture a positive relationship with ourselves.
Setting boundaries may feel overwhelming in the beginning, so here are a few steps to make it easier.
- Explore what feels safe to talk about, and what does not. This will help you identify specific topics where boundaries may be needed. For example, it could be comments about your body size, appearance, clothes, or specific body parts.
- Communicate boundaries to friends, family, coworkers, or anybody that has made comments that do not feel safe. Be clear and communicate what type of comments are acceptable and what is not. Express your needs and speak to why this boundary is important to you. Example: From this point going forward, please don’t make comments about my physical appearance.
- Be prepared for pushback, but stick to your boundary anyway. It may be uncomfortable for others to acknowledge how past comments have impacted you, but this does not mean you need to adjust your boundaries to make others feel more comfortable.
- Remember that boundaries can be moveable. If specific boundaries you have set are no longer serving you, you have the right to communicate within your relationships and adjust as needed.
Boundaries are not walls, and setting boundaries does not necessarily mean shutting others out. We have the ability to set boundaries to protect meaningful relationships, and without boundaries, our relationships may not thrive or evolve into their full potential. Boundaries create a healthy balance between our needs, and the needs of others. You deserve safety and honesty within your relationships, and setting boundaries can be an excellent tool to help you reach that outcome.