Relationships form the cornerstone of our lives. In many cases, relationships can become an over-powering, all-consuming phenomenon. In such instances, maintaining boundaries becomes a must. This is especially important in the case of adolescents where relationships start assuming a lot of significance.
1 Strike a balance: Balancing relationships is the key to a healthy outlook on life and to ensure adequate attention to the different things. It is important to have a balanced approach — giving the right amount of attention to each without focusing too much or too little on any.
2 Maintain priorities: Remember, there are many activities that make life what it is, and not just relationships. This means one should have a fair idea of what is absolutely essential is not relegated to the backseat on account of relationships.
3 Care for yourself to be able to care for others: Never forget yourself. Keeping a check on yourself is most important if you are to care for and be involved in the lives of others.
4 Never feel forced to do things you want to avoid: Different people view things differently and may have a different idea about how things need to be done. You should be open to others’ points of view but never allow yourself to be forced to do anything.
5 Maintain open healthy communication: Have open channels of communication with the significant people in your life. This will ensure that you are able to strike the right balance. Openly discuss your experiences and share what you think and feel.
6 Do not hide it from parents: If you are linked with someone, hiding it from your family, particularly parents, does not provide any benefit at all.
7 Do not compromise your security: Your own self is most important. Any compromise on this aspect is not acceptable. Your safety and security are vital.
8 Do not be over-responsible: A relationship is not your responsibility alone. Relationships involve two people and the responsibility for it falls on both.
9 Exercise restraint: Try and control your impulses. Being impulsive is not the answer in any relationship.
10 Talk to a counsellor: If you continue to experience difficulties in your relationship and feel that you are unable to keep within the limits, then talking to an expert is an appropriate solution. By interacting with an expert, you can develop an understanding of what you need to do.
The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare