Setting Boundaries

Creating healthy boundaries is important for physical, mental, and emotional health. Boundaries are guidelines or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are safe and respectful ways for others to behave around them and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits. Setting boundaries is important not only for your own self-care and self-respect, but also to communicate your needs and set healthy limits in relationships.

Personal boundaries are unique to everyone. These boundaries can be difficult to define because the lines are unseen and can change over time. They determine the amount of physical and emotional space one feels comfortable allowing between themselves and others. Personal boundaries help one determine what types of communication, behavior, and interaction are acceptable.

When you identify the need to set a boundary, be sure to do so clearly, calmly, firmly, respectfully, and in as few words as possible. There is no need to justify or apologize for the boundary you are setting. It is important to remember you are not responsible for the other person’s reaction to the boundary you are setting. You are only responsible for communicating your boundary in a respectful manner.

The benefits of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries include empowering one to be assertive, enjoying equal partnerships, protecting physical and emotional space, and taking responsibility for oneself.