Boundaries: Learning the Successful Approach to Setting Them

Learning How to Set Boundaries

The first step in learning to set boundaries is self-awareness. For example, pay close attention to the situations when you lose energy, feel stress or guilt, get upset, or want to cry. Begin by identifying the things that bother you.

As you set boundaries with people, always be respectful, control your emotions, and use a respectful tone. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but as you begin to see the power of setting boundaries and the freedom it gives you, setting them will get easier.

When you do set boundaries, don’t feel like you need to defend, debate, or detail your feelings. Instead, clearly explain your position; be firm, gracious and direct.

If someone apologizes when you set a boundary, simple say, “Thank you, I knew you’d understand and I appreciate you honoring my request.”

Caution: Make sure the boundaries you set are highly important to you. If you are constantly setting boundaries, people may get tired of living by your rules.

When you have set a boundary, you need to stand firmly behind it. Stay strong. When faced with resistances or repeat occurrences restate your position. If you give in, people won’t respect your boundaries and you will open the door for future abuse.

If abusive behavior continues, consider severing the relationship. No one has the right to take advantage of you or intrude upon your lifestyle. Sometimes you need to take a step back to go forward.

Setting boundaries enhances your personal power, frees you from abuse, and gives you greater control your life.

Note: These responses, along with many other helpful life tools are taken from the following website: