Accountability comes in all shapes and sizes.
A very common perception of accountability is projected on the accused, not the accuser. But the most healthy and successful way to keep accountability set-straight is through healthy boundaries.
If you’re anything like me, you may have a hard time letting go of your pride. Perhaps you’ve encountered a situation with a family member, your partner or a friend, where you’ve had to be the bigger person. Maybe this has happened one too many times and you’ve decided enough is enough?
Before resorting to heavy text messaging, angry voicemails or completely cutting them out of your life, consider evaluating yourself and proceed with creating boundaries needed to move forward.
The word “boundary” can be a bit misleading. It conveys the idea of keeping yourself separate. But boundaries are actually connecting points since they provide healthy rules for navigating relationships, intimate or professional.
By creating boundaries, you allow yourself to be a priority, whether that’s in self-care, career aspirations, or within relationships. But they also teach you to be vulnerable and honest with others. The importance of cultivating honest relationships helps build stronger bonds, develops a stronger sense of compassion towards others and helps us stay accountable for our actions.
If creating boundaries is something new you to you, don’t fret. I was there myself, and it took me some time to merely understand that I am a priority, but I am also accountable for my own actions.
A good checklist I like to keep in mind whenever I’m trying to check my behavior/attitude and consider what boundaries I need to create in my relationships are:
Self Check List:
- Is what I think an objective perspective that can be proven to be true with facts?
- Can I articulated my feelings enough to explain without hesitation?
- Is this a situation that I have full control over?
Check List to create boundaries:
- Does this relationship make me feel safe enough to communicate my thoughts?
- Does this relationship enable good habits?
- Does this relationship provide opportunities for growth?
You don’t need to have the same boundaries or comfort level for everyone. By using this checklist, I’ve come to realize that the boundaries I create have a different radius depending on the situation or person, which also helps me maintain enough energy to care for myself.
Understanding that just because you may be happy to lend a hand to your best friend on moving day doesn’t mean you also have to do the heavy emotional lifting when someone texts about their latest drama.
Although boundaries give us space to grow and be vulnerable, vulnerability and oversharing are different.
We all deal with complex emotions and thoughts. Shared vulnerability brings people closer together over time. Oversharing, on the other hand, can use drama to manipulate, hold another person emotionally hostage, or force the relationship in one direction. This is why healthy boundaries help us understand ourselves in ways that keep us accountable too.
A good checklist to keep your actions accountable before creating boundaries are:
- posting personal rants and attacks on social media
- sharing personal details with new people in hopes of hurrying the friendship along
dominated, one-sided conversations
- expecting on-call emotional therapy from friends and family
All in all, the first step towards healthier relationships and mindset is staying accountable of oneself. Only you have control of your own life and the decisions made in it. Setting healthy boundaries will help you understand yourself better, while also keeping your actions on check!