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Why Boundaries are Important, Even in Close Friendships

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Baylor chapter.

I’ve met some great people at college. Friends that are my future bridesmaids and with whom I want to share everything. And thinking about that is a beautiful thing; however, sometimes there is so much trust in a friendship that we cross boundaries without even realizing it. This can harm a friendship slowly without you even noticing, so it’s very important to set limits, even in a close friendship.

I want to start out by saying that I’d never realized the importance of setting boundaries until college. In high school, you don’t live with your best friends, so you get a chance to have your personal space and think about things a little more clearly. However, in college, living with three of my best friends often makes it hard to set boundaries, mostly because you think there shouldn’t be any. But in fact, they are indeed needed. For example, I’m a person that values my alone time a lot, and one of my roommates loves being accompanied mostly every second of the day. In this instance, when we first moved in together, I didn’t want to be rude and just tell her to leave my room. However, I understood that it was really important for me to have a talk with her and tell her about how I was feeling because if I didn’t do that she would’ve just kept coming in whenever she wanted and it would’ve annoyed me slowly until I couldn’t handle it anymore. Setting boundaries is often uncomfortable because you don’t ever want to make your friend feel bad; however, in the long run, it will only make your friendship stronger.

Moreover, I also realized boundaries are important when I crossed them once myself. I am a very open person and I love to talk about literally anything. This means I have no problem sharing personal problems, having sex talks, or being direct with what I am feeling. In the past, I didn’t see that as a problem; however, I now understand that everyone has different levels of comfortability, and the fact that a friend doesn’t want to share her family problems with me, for example, doesn’t mean that she doesn’t trust me. It just means that she thinks, shares, and manages her feel different than I do. Similarly, it’s no secret that we all have insecurities. My friends and I love to joke around every second of the day and to be honest, there are times when they joke about something that I am insecure about and I get hurt without them knowing, and I sometimes do it too! At the end of the day, no one truly knows how you are feeling, so sharing these insecurities with your friends and telling them that you get hurt each time they joke about a sensitive topic is deeply important. Consequently, your friends will be more aware of what they say and not feed into your insecurities.

Furthermore, I think something very important in a friendship is the “boy talk.” Everyone has had different experiences when it comes to dating and thinks differently about boy boundaries. I would personally be uncomfortable if one of my friends dates an ex-boyfriend of mine, but I know people that don’t care at all. Talking about what you think about similar situations such as the one I mentioned and setting those boundaries on things that might make you feel uncomfortable will help avoid problems that might occur in the future because you already set those boundaries from the start. 

Ultimately, I trust my friends with my life and I can be my genuine self with them. That’s what they are for, right? However, it doesn’t matter how close a friendship is, setting boundaries is necessary to preserve a friendship in the long run. Each person has a different way of thinking and acting, so establishing these boundaries will help y’all be even closer considering it is a form of showcasing respect for the friendship. Thus, having this present will make you more mindful of your friendships because it will make you think of the other person before you talk. Consequently, your friend will feel even more comfortable and secure with you considering you are respecting what they want. Ever since I had the boundary talk with my friends, we have been closer than ever. And some things might appear along the way and that’s totally okay, but always make sure to speak your mind if something is bothering you no matter how close of a friendship it is. I promise it will make the friendship stronger and the tie even more unbreakable!

Hey there! I am Anabella and I am a psychology major with minors in apparel merchandising and entrepreneurship at Baylor University. I am really passionate about sports, fashion, the human mind, and my Spotify playlist. I really love to create meaningful connections with people and live by kindness!