5 rights that need to be respected in our personal and professional relationships

Today is #HumanRightsDay, and in honour of this day, I'd like to talk about five rights that I find are important in our daily lives. These will help us live happy and fulfilling lives, and as we practice and uphold them, it will improve our lives and relationships in every area.

1. The right to set clear boundaries and stick to them

Looking after our best interests is sometimes tricky in our current society, as we are enlisted and encourage to look after everyone else's interests before ours. 

We are also told it's selfish to look after ourselves, so when we start setting boundaries we are classed as either selfish, not altruistic or just not being sensible and giving.

I believe that in order to look after other people in our life's best interest, we need to first look after ourselves.

We have the right to do so, and in fact it is a basic need to meet our needs in order to live healthy and happy lives, and be fulfilled in our relationships.

So if you're starting to practice setting clear boundaries, like saying no to lending money or doing a favour during your "me time", then good for you! Just remember people are going to challenge you, so plan ahead and have a script ready so you stay within your boundaries.

2. The right to personal space

This follows from the previous point. If you feel that someone is getting too close to you either physically or emotionally, you have the right to challenge this and move away.

We all have those friends that we go to the pub with and have a good time with, but that's it. We have other friends that we confide in with our deepest, darkest stuff, or who we know we can talk to about more serious life topics.

This is your right - to choose who you let into your physical and/or psychological space. Nobody else has a right to decide that for you, but you!

3. The right to shelter and food

This is a basic need, and seeing people out on the streets or kids starving because their families are struggling is hard.

There are some things that might need to change in our society for everyone to have shelter and food, but for the purposes of this post, I hope that you can keep yourself safe, warm and fed this winter and throughout the year.

If you've got a tight budget, make these items your priority before spending or thinking about anything else.

4. The right to healthy and safe relationships

Sometimes, due to different circumstances in our lives, we fall into the trap of being in unhealthy relationships that do more harm than good.

We have the right to say "no" to these relationships and get out of them.

Find someone or some organisations that help in the matters that you're dealing with, and do what you need to do to restore safety into your life and relationships.

It might take massive steps, or it might take lots of little steps, but what matters here is that you have the right to have healthy, positive relationships and be happy in those relationships!

5. The right to happiness and preserving our well-being

This point derives from the points made before. If we uphold those rights, then we will be more likely to be happy and be able to live well and preserve our wellbeing.

We all deserve to be happy, and we need to look after our wellbeing in ways that make sense to us.

As long as we're not hurting anyone in the process, and we are helping ourselves in a way that fits the laws and rules of the society within which we live, then there is no reason why we can't ask for our needs to be met or set clear boundaries to live healthy, happy lives.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Hove, East Sussex, BN3
Written by Karin Brauner, (MBACP Accred) BA PGDip PGCert
Hove, East Sussex, BN3

Karin Brauner (BACP accredited/registered) is a bilingual (Spanish/English) counsellor and supervisor in private practice, working online (Skype) and face to face (Brighton and Hove).

She has also recently published the 20 Self-Care Habits on Amazon.

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