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Setting and Communicating Boundaries

MCAPP News Release

Living in a small, unique community like Molokai, we sometimes don’t realize how important communicating boundaries are. Knowing who you are, your morals, your culture, your values, your needs, and your wants are important, and so is protecting yourself. Boundary setting is a lot more than just guarding yourself physically, but also guarding yourself mentally. Setting boundaries means being able to communicate with others about how you would and would not like to be treated, and protecting values that are important to you.

Boundaries reflect how we love ourselves and what we value most deeply. They impact our area at work, with authority, with our friends, family and our sexuality. Knowing when we want to say yes, when we want to say no, what feels like self-respect and where our own needs start and end are the foundations that build the sense of boundaries that control our lives. It’s never too late to learn about boundary setting, it gives us a sense of who we are.

The first step in boundary setting is to name your limits. You need to identify your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual limits, not just in romantic relationships, but in all interpersonal relationships, with our friends, family, coworkers and community. Remember, communicating boundaries is a two way street; if we want our boundaries to be respected, we need to make sure we respect others. Here are a view ways we can identify boundaries and skills to respect them.

Identify what are your personal boundaries. It’s our personal limits that we set to keep us safe, limits that reflect our comfort levels, personal boundaries really depends on the individual and their setting.

What are skills to respect others’ boundaries?

C – Check in and ask questions (Are you OK? Am I making you feel uncomfortable?)

P – Pay attention to the nonverbal cues. (Facial expressions, moving away, arms crossed, etc.)

R – Respect the answer, no matter what it is. (No, maybe later, I’m uncomfortable, ewww.)

What is the benefit of being aware of your boundaries?  It helps you to know when you are in a potentially disrespectful or harmful situation or being treated wrong. It can help you recognize and communicate discomfort, or do something to change the situation.

This topic on setting and communicating boundaries is information that is developed and incorporated with in our school presentations that is presented in our high school, middle school and elementary schools here on island. We want to teach our youth and children here on Molokai that you’re never too young to decide what is right and what is wrong.

“Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have” – Anonymous

For more information, contact Kealoha Hooper, Site Coordinator of Molokai Child Abuse Prevention Pathways (MCAPP), visit Molokaicapp.org, or call 808-660-2619.

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