Setting Boundaries

Setting Boundaries

The Importance of Setting Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries is vital for mental wellbeing. Boundaries create a framework that helps us determine what types of communication, interactions and behaviors we are comfortable with versus those we find unacceptable. They help guide interactions in relationships, at work, and in life.

Why Boundaries Matter

Boundaries help us protect our time and emotional energy. They empower us to have more fulfilling, meaningful relationships. When our boundaries are repeatedly crossed, we can experience stress, resentment and burnout over time. Having clear boundaries benefits both ourselves and others.

How to Set Healthy Boundaries

Start by identifying your needs and limits. What makes you feel respected or disrespected? What types of communication or behaviors drain you? Use this awareness to articulate boundaries, communicating them clearly and kindly to others. You may choose to set boundaries around communication frequency, topics of discussion, or expected behaviors.

Tips for Setting Boundaries

  • Be clear, direct and firm about your boundaries
  • Reinforce your boundaries consistently over time
  • Check in with yourself about what you find acceptable
  • Communicate boundaries in a thoughtful, caring way

Responding When Boundaries Are Crossed

When others disregard our stated boundaries, it hurts. Remain composed and reiterate your boundary clearly. If needed, take space or end an interaction that repeatedly crosses your boundaries. Protect your peace. Enforcing boundaries builds self-respect over time.


What are some examples of healthy boundaries?

Not answering work calls/emails outside of work hours, limiting conversations about triggering topics, requiring mutual respect in relationships, etc.

How do I communicate my boundaries?

Frame boundary statements positively, using “I” language. Be clear, simple and concise. Follow through consistently with reinforcing actions.

What if others get upset about my boundaries?

Stand firm kindly. Boundaries reflect your needs and may highlight where others need to manage themselves better. Give upset people space if needed.

Can boundaries change over time?

Yes, boundaries reflect our evolving needs. Check in with yourself periodically about what feels right. Communicate any boundary changes clearly.

What if I struggle with boundaries?

Many do. Notice judgmental self-talk and show yourself compassion. Start small by identifying one boundary area to work on, practicing consistency.