Relationship boundaries are difficult for highly sensitive people to maintain because HSPs are so attuned to the feelings of others. However, it is impossible for highly sensitive people to have good relationships without considering the subject of relationship boundaries – they are that important.
One of the reasons that relationship boundaries may be hard to tackle is because HSPs can have a lot of wounding around boundaries from a number of sources:
- childhood abuse, where any number of needs may have been unmet
- gender wounding
- past failed relationships.
- the lack of respect and validation that many HSPs experience regularly.
What Are Good Relationship Boundaries?
Healthy relationship boundaries allow for each person to be an individual and also to be part of a the relationship or team. Good boundaries have a solid, productive quality to them. They do not create walls that shut people out and are not so porous that one person benefits at the expense of the other. Good boundaries create a positive mutuality.
There aren’t any rules for boundaries since each person and situation is different and the boundaries need to be what works for the individuals involved. However, they usually include respect for each individual and their rights, a willingness to engage in constructive problem solving, and a willingness to seek what works for both parties. Healthy boundaries always have regard for the people involved.
Why Good Relationship Boundaries Can Be Difficult For HSPs
Sensitive people may be treated as inferior in our aggressive culture. All though that is not true, HSPs can be made to feel at a disadvantage in relationships. They can become too generous as a result. In addition, the natural empathy of the highly sensitive person will incline them to seek to avoid creating pain for others. Often it means that they will be taken advantage of.
One way that HSPs can improve their boundary setting methods is by insisting that their feelings, needs and priorities are as important as everyone else’s. That may seem uncomfortable in a world that devalues sensitivity. However, it is important to keep in mind that those people who respect other people including differences will be more than happy to meet you halfway. Those who cannot, are people you probably should not have in your life.