Boundaries - setting & maintaining

By Samantha De Bono

Boundaries are important if you want healthy relationships.

To set and maintain boundaries, we must know what our limits are, so work out what you can tolerate, what you find acceptable, what you find unacceptable and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed.

Be direct if needs be. Some people will pick up on unspoken messages, but others will need a direct dialogue.

Boundaries aren’t just about healthy relationships, boundaries are about self-respect, so don’t feel bad about wanting yours in place.

Make self-care a priority. It’s okay to put yourself first. By putting yourself first, you give yourself the energy and positive outlook to be more present with others.

Be assertive. Others will not necessarily know what they’ve done to hurt or anger you, so it is important to assertively, but respectfully communicate with the other person when they’ve crossed a boundary and what is needed to work together to address it.

Give yourself permission to step away from relationships that consistently cross your boundaries despite previous discussions.

Boundary setting and sustaining can be difficult and at times even the most boundaried people can find the lines have been blurred. But it is a skill we can all master if we practise self-awareness. Know yourself - know your boundaries.

Lastly, if you struggle to put boundaries in place, it might be worth getting some support or help with working out where yours would be best placed and how to implement your decisions. Counselling or life coaching can be very helpful.