One truth I've come to realize in the last couple of years, is that many adults have no concept of creating boundaries in their life. They may consciously know what they are uncomfortable with, or they realize what they're uncomfortable with when they get a funny feeling being exposed to a specific stimuli, but in general, they do not practice learning, setting, communicating and enforcing boundaries.
What do I mean?
If hearing gossip makes me uncomfortable and I'm around a friend who likes to gossip, I will honor myself and say, can we not talk about that, may we talk about something else, or I am uncomfortable hearing you gossip about someone else, can you not do it around me?
The boundary: staying away from gossip.
The communication: letting the gossiper know how it makes me feel and how I don't want to be involved in the exchange.
Now the enforcement really kicks in, if after you share the boundary, the offender continues to do it. You can speak up say, hey, this is not ok for me and if you continue to do x,y and z, I can't be around you. Now people will leave according to their own prerogative, but if its someone that "cares" about you, the hope is that they will be respectful of your request.
Why are boundaries important?
Simply because we all have breaking points and we all have stimuli that we are sensitive to. In practicing the 5 Commandments of Self Love and honoring your self, its important to take inventory of the people you'resurrounding your self with, the type of environments that you are in, and what you are being exposed to.
Boundaries also exist in putting limits on your interactions with certain people. I'vesaid for many years, its ok to love someone from afar. Some people are just really not healthy for you to be around or talk to often. Some people can be triggers for certain emotions. Some people, you can even allocate an amount of time to spend with them. For example, there are some people I can't be around for more than 3 or 4 hours; some, I can't be around for more than 2 or 3 days. Boundaries.
Once you personally avknowledge them, then its about being mindful how you navigate those spaces and people. If limited with them, bothers them, choose to walk in your truth and be honest with them about why you have an expiration time. Sometimes when people get insight into why you feel what you feel about them, it makes them more cognizant of their behavior.
Start practicing boundaries. Step back from toxic people. Stop over commiting your self and learn to say no. Know when to go and grind vs. when to stop and chill.
Boundary setting will change your life.