Supporting loved ones while maintaining emotional boundaries

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
Emily N
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:28 pm
Age: 25
Awesomeness Quotient: I love to cook!
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/they
Sexual identity and orientation: pansexual
Location: Boston, MA

Supporting loved ones while maintaining emotional boundaries

Unread post by Emily N »

I am currently reading Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown (highly recommend!), and feeling inspired by her writing about liberated relationships. She reminded me of the importance of creating emotional boundaries in my relationships. I realized that as many of my friends and family are experiencing different forms of burnout and depression during the pandemic, I have a hard time disentangling my emotions and emotional reactions from others. So, I'm wondering, how do other people support loved ones when they are struggling while also maintaining boundaries to support their own emotional needs?
Sofi
scarleteen staff/volunteer
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Primary language: Spanish or English
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Sexual identity and orientation: Queer
Location: USA

Re: Supporting loved ones while maintaining emotional boundaries

Unread post by Sofi »

Something I started implementing a few years ago, and have practiced more during the pandemic, is letting my loved ones know that if I don't have the emotional capacity to support them at a specific time, I will simply say so, with the promise to come back to them when I do. So when they come to me I simply say "right now I am not in the right headspace, can I get back to you within the next few [hours/days/etc]?". Or if I'm the one approaching them to check in, and they need more emotional support than I can provide at that time, I say something like "I'm here for you and want to be supportive but I need a few [hours/days/etc] to be able to give you my 100%". It has worked so far because they know me well enough to know it is well intentioned and for the best for both of us. <3
Emily N
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:28 pm
Age: 25
Awesomeness Quotient: I love to cook!
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/they
Sexual identity and orientation: pansexual
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Supporting loved ones while maintaining emotional boundaries

Unread post by Emily N »

Thank you for sharing, Sofi! I want to start practicing using some of this language too, and hopefully it will start feeling more natural to set these boundaries after a few tries.
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