If you are noticing yourself feeling the need to organize your wardrobe, redesign your living space, or revamp your storage, then perhaps you’re feeling that spring cleaning itch. Just like you might be having the urge to sweep up your space, it may also be helpful you consider what it might look like to clean out some other areas of your world. 

Some might see spring as a chance to start fresh— a chance to emerge from winter, to be social, and to experience more light in your day. If you are setting up these fresh ways of living in your physical space, then why not consider ensuring this freshness throughout your relationships? I am not suggesting ending all important relationships. However, I might be curious in inviting some introspection around how you might want your relationships to be and moving toward those preferences. 

You might be thinking, how do I even start that? Well, if you’re interested in some relational spring cleaning, then you may want to explore setting the big B’s. Yes, I am talking about boundaries.  If you’re thinking that you might want to start enforcing some new boundaries across some if not all your relationships this spring, then check out some tips below. 

A group of flowers and then the term Converse as a way to set boundaries for with your partner.

Step 1: Identify if boundaries need some establishing

Are you finding yourself hanging on the phone with a loved one minutes (if not hours) after you said you had to leave? Does someone close to you still talk about certain topics even if you’ve explicitly stated those topics make you upset? If those examples or something like them are going on within some relational settings, then it may be wise to begin exploring some boundary setting conversations. 

Of course, there are so many other factors to consider before deciding if boundaries need to be in place (cultural expectations, gender roles, existing relational roles, and so many more). However, if you are thinking you may want a change in those dynamics, then boundary setting could be the first place to start. 

A group of flowers and then the term Yours Vs Theirs as a way to set boundaries for with your partner.

Step 2: Identifying what the boundaries are for you

Boundaries may look different for each person. Perhaps you want specific and explicit rules by which to live in your relationships. Maybe you don’t want people calling when you’re at work, you want some conversational topics to be off limits, or anything else. Or maybe you want something looser that can be renegotiated in the future like how often you speak with your loved one. 

Whatever the boundary may be, it can be important to explore what specifically works for you. That’s the beauty of setting boundaries—they are designed to make your life easier! 

Try taking some time to either write down or think about how you might want these relationships to look and how you want to participate in them. Make sure to be clear and specific to avoid any confusion when your limits are communicated. 

A group of flowers and then the term Converse as a way to set boundaries for with your partner.

Step 3: Having the tough boundary conversation 

Although it may be tricky or difficult, communicating your relational boundaries can be one of the most important steps in enacting change. The person can’t read your mind, right? Therefore, it is important to be transparent and to tell your loved one what it is you need to change or put into place moving forward. 

Make sure that you’re able to have the conversation at a time and in a place where both of you can focus on the conversation at hand. Over a meal or in a comfortable setting can be ideal to make sure you are all nice and cozy before embarking on some difficult subject matter. 

You might receive some pushback, which is why it can be important to have specific language to fall back on. You may also be welcomed by your loved one sharing their new boundaries in return (which can be a beautiful thing)! 

Wishing you the most Jubilance filled conversations with your loved ones. Happy spring cleaning!

About the author

Becca is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Associate who gives us her expert perspective on Emotional Health and Wellness. She holds an M.A in Education with an emphasis in Counseling as well as an M.S. in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from San Diego State University.  Each month she writes about mental health and how to feel your best!
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