3 Ways to Create Healthy Personal Boundaries

Struggling to say “yes” or “no”? Experience other people’s pain or problems? Find it difficult to let people in your life know what you want, need or how you feel? Don’t worry you are not alone!

In this post I am going to talk about –

  • What is a Boundary?
  • What are Personal Boundaries?
  • Why have Personal Boundaries?
  • 5 Quote on Boundaries
  • 3 Barriers to Creating Boundaries
  • 3 Ways to Create Healthy Personal Boundaries

Let’s get started!


What is a Boundary?

Let’s start with some definitions of a boundary. A boundary is –

  • “a line which marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.” ~ Google and Oxford Dictionary
  • “something (such as a river, a fence, or an imaginary line) that shows where an area ends and another area begins.” ~ Merriam-Webster
  • “Something that indicates a border or limit.” ~ The Free Dictionary


What are Personal Boundaries?

Personal boundaries are similar to the boundaries described above, however the lines relate to people and their behaviour. The lines are similar to property lines and –

  • define where your responsibility begins and where it ends,
  • help keep us safe and see who we are and who we are not,
  • clarify your needs in a relationship,
  • provide a moral compass,
  • are held in place by decisions and actions,
  • is a limit that promotes integrity,
  • evolve throughout our lives,
  • can be visible (i.e. physical boundaries like fences) or invisible (i.e. emotional boundaries),
  • contribute to healthy relationships, and
  • allow us to see our responsibility for ourselves and to others.


Why have Personal Boundaries?

There are many reasons to have personal boundaries, however they really depend on the individual as every person is different and has had contrasting experiences in their lives. Personal boundaries can help you –

  • define who you are,
  • protect your time and energy,
  • provide a clear moral compass,
  • practice self-care and self-respect,
  • communicate your needs in a relationship,
  • set healthy limits in a relationship, and
  • make time and space for healthy interactions.


5 Quotes on Boundaries

  1. “The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.” ~ Tara Brach
  2. “When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.” ~ Brené Brown
  3. “Boundary setting is really a huge part of time management.” ~ Jim Loehr
  4. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” ~ Warren Buffett
  5. “You best teach others about healthy boundaries by enforcing yours.” ~ Bryant McGill


3 Barriers to Creating Boundaries

It seems obvious that no one would want their boundaries crossed. So, why sometimes do we allow our boundaries to be crossed or upheld? There are many reasons why and three (3) of the most common include –

  1. Fear of rejection and/or abandonment,
  2. Guilt, and
  3. Not being taught healthy boundaries growing up.


3 Ways to Create Healthy Personal Boundaries

There are many ways to create healthy boundaries, however I am going to focus on the following 3 – practice and cultivate self-awareness, know and develop your own boundaries,

  1. Practise and cultivate self-awareness – knowing and honouring your boundaries links to practising and cultivating self-awareness and intuition. Tune-in to and monitor your feelings by using your emotional intelligence in different situations. As you do this, ensure you make self-care a priority, use your self-compassion and get support if you need it.
  2. Know your own limits – are you clear on your own and limits and non-negotiables? If not, why not spend some time identifying them? There are many types of limits or non-negotiables to consider that link to the difference types of boundaries (i.e. legal, social, emotional, physical, sexual, mental and spiritual), but the most important thing is to make sure they are your own.
  3. Realise that you can’t please everybody – know who you are and know what is important to you and follow your heart. Basically this quote says it all – “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” ~ John Lydgate.

I hope this post has increased your knowledge and understanding of personal boundaries as well as given you some ways to start creating your own. If you have any comments, please leave them below or if you are ready to start developing courageous boundaries, please click here.

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