How to Set Boundaries: 65+ Proven Ways

Setting up boundaries is essential for being in a healthy relationship. It helps to recognize your feelings.

Breaking down the what, why, and how of boundaries in a clear, compassionate way, which would leave you confident, delegate, and also be prepared to tackle those heavy conversations. Boundary-building is really a challenging task and a new concept to many of us.

Here are tips to set boundaries.

Name your limits. Know your mental, physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual limits. Make sure you know what makes you uncomfortable and accept what makes you feel uncomfortable. 

Tune into your feelings. Make sure to observe every action of others as well as yours, to know what is triggering you or what is about this interaction, or why the other person is bothering you. When you feel such emotions it’s either because the other person has not been appreciated or taking advantage of.

Be direct. It’s not necessary to be direct about your boundaries. For maintaining a healthy relationship such boundaries are necessary and that should be the communication process, style, view, and personality. One might feel this attitude to be disrespectful for that the other person should work on his/ her personality skills.

Give yourself time and permission to set boundaries. It is okay to say no to any co-worker or a family member. Stop feeling guilty of the fact how the other person would respond to making certain boundaries. So, it is good to give permission to yourself for creating healthy relationships. It also helps to earn some self-respect.

Practice self-awareness. Boundaries are all about honoring your inner emotions. Be focussed and keep your sense organs active, make sure you notice when you are acting according to your boundaries.

Consider your past and present. Look into your past and act accordingly, if you have been a caretaker then it would automatically come as to impart care to others, draining all your energy to others and not thinking about yourself. So, think about people or relationships where you get back what you give.

Make self-care a priority. Make ample time for yourself, adore yourself, motivate yourself, respond to your needs and set boundaries that are required, so that people can’t take advantage of yourself. Make sure to know your wants and needs, serve yourself for your better well-being.

Seek support. If you cannot set up boundaries, or something that is affecting you then you must seek help. There can be situations where the other person is feeling uncomfortable or feeling disrespectful, make sure you give them the proper guidance and also seek guidance from your family, friends so that you don’t feel guilty about it.

Be assertive. It is not only advisable to set boundaries but also to make sure you follow them and be consistent in what you have set. People might feel hurt when they cross the boundaries, so it is expected to have very assertive communication with the other person.

Start small. Like every other new skill, communicating your boundaries also requires practice. It isn’t threatening to start small, as small steps will lead to something bigger, more successes, and also would incrementally increase to being more challenging.

Imagine how life will be different. Keep away from oversharing and people-pleasing, it would lead you to nowhere, imagine how valuable your life will be if you set boundaries and share what is required. Maintain that privacy in your life and you would see wonders happening in your life. Your relationship will become more authentic and your value of life will be richer.

Designate a cheerleader. Make someone your cheerleader, so that he/she can cheer you when you feel low or critical about yourself. Let your cheerleader know why you want to design him/her as your cheerleader and also make sure it doesn’t become unilateral, it should be bilateral so that your friend doesn’t feel himself/herself left out.

Creating a post-boundary-setting mantra. If you are a people-pleaser, then it might be difficult for you to set boundaries in the first go. So, for that, make simple boundaries like self-love or to feel safe. It would be very difficult, feeling guilty or sorry, embarrassed, selfish, etc might overpower you but you will feel better after a few weeks or months, all you need is to be consistent.

Take a break from a toxic friendship. It is important to realize to take a break from certain friendships that no longer serve you. There can be certain friends who keep on taking favors or come to you only to solve his/ her problems, then it’s high time you need to let go of that friendship.

Craft a VIP-only list.  You may share some personal details about yourself, but not on the first go, make it very clear about your boundaries. As it can make the other person uncomfortable and weird as well it would make you feel uncomfortable. If that person you can rely on or is a trusted person, then you can hang out freely and be who you really are.

Practice saying no thanks without any reason.  You might feel that it is necessary for you to say why do you set up boundaries, but that doesn’t happen often. So, make sure that you give stress to the words like no thanks, this would make confusion clear, also you can engage in small talk and also start small.

Express gratitude when others set boundaries. Respect people who have already set up their boundaries. Those who could not set up boundaries for themselves, often don’t like when the other person is so clear about their boundaries. Making boundaries takes a different toll on a person’s life.

Prepare your wellbeing disclaimer. Make sure to set the stage a bit compassionate when it comes to any sort of conversation about setting up boundaries. Be crystal clear why it is important for you to set boundaries and also make it believable for the other person.

Name your feelings in interaction with others. Make a list of your feelings where you should set your boundaries. Certain emotions like anger, frustration need to be set as boundaries when it comes to interacting with other people.

Be clear about what you want. Having clarity is very important while setting up boundaries. Know your whereabouts, your emotions well. If you know what to truly and actually want then it would make you grounded to certain situations which might get tough during the course of time.

Don’t apologize for your needs. Be who you are, you need not apologize for what you actually are. If people have a problem with it then it’s their take on it. While explaining your boundaries are direct and to the point, don’t try to elaborate or make apologies then people might think you to be guilty of setting up boundaries.

Expect and don’t let it deter you. Setting up boundaries might make people react coldly, keep away from certain people and make sure it does not bother you. There will be people who would take time to adjust to your new behavior. Also, there will be a certain type of people who would feel jealous and angry for making such decisions in life. Keep away from certain people.

Make it an ongoing process. You need to set boundaries for your child as a parent and make sure your child follows them and respects them. Also, make sure to repeat the process again and again. Make sure to have a transparent connection and conversation with your child. As an adult, you must do the same, where boundaries change according to their needs.

Own well being and not control others. Boundaries should not be a key to control others or punish others. It’s totally a healthy process that makes relationships strong and meaningful and also acts as self-care. It makes us free from overworking, overwhelmed, overcommitting. It is important to respect others’ boundaries and also you need to accept that you can’t make a person do that.

Say things only you mean. Make sure you are the master of your own words. People will ask questions if you say something and do something else. The biggest way to set boundaries is to communicate properly. If you cannot communicate then you will end up having failed, confusing relationships.

Let your behavior speak for you, not your words. Make sure that your behavior does the talking so that you must make your boundaries very clear. Then also people would disrespect you, take a test on you, but you should know that it would only get better as you know your limits and nothing can get emotional. The more you will be tested the more confident you would get. 

Decide the consequence ahead of time. Jot down the consequences on a piece of paper if you think there can be a situation where boundaries are crossed. Always remember to look into your needs when a certain situation arises, rather than judging the choice of other people. Make it about yourself.

You can’t change others, so change yourself. It’s human nature and from their experience people want others to change. But that’s not how it works. It’s always you who has to change as you can’t change their daily choices, their behavior, what they would spill out of their mouth. 

Core values. Make sure to know what your core values are, your triggers. Set boundaries for yourself first if you are having a difficult time in your relationship. Set boundaries with your phone if you think that you are addicted to technology, this would reduce your anxiety and stress not that you are distancing yourself from your loved ones.

Little self-esteem. If you don’t look for certain boundaries in life then you lack self-esteem. The lack of self-esteem is the first step that you lack in setting up boundaries. It is useless to say that we want to grow while not taking the initiative to grow or not giving any kind of extra care. 

If all else fails, delete and ignore. Remind yourself of your worth, and nobody has the right to make you uncomfortable for certain boundaries. List and preach your boundaries, then take action. Make sure you don’t feel guilty about your previous promises to your family members or your close ones.  

Practice makes perfect. When you try to preach about your boundaries, people might find you rude but that’s not what is called rude, it’s like you value yourself more now and it might be unkind to everyone around but it’s not. When you start doing things for yourself it’s for your own benefit, nothing should bother you.

Talk about what time you need for yourself. While in a new relationship you often go with the flow. As, the spark is new and everything seems exciting, and you might lose yourself in that relationship. So, speak to your partner about some me-time which is required for a relationship, where you would differentiate the right and the wrong.

Be straightforward about your needs. Assumptions can lead to miscommunication. Communicate well and be frank about your needs however it might sound stupid. Speak what you want to your partner so that fights can be avoided.

Make them understand the things you will not put up with. When your partner tries to control the relationship or their significant other. Make him/her stop at that moment itself, and make it clear that you are not okay with this behavior and stay strong to that decision made. 

Don’t forget your pace. This would make your partner feel trusted and comfortable. Also, he would know the boundaries and try his level best to respect those boundaries and vice-versa.  

Talk about your physical boundaries. This is very necessary to be spoken about when it comes to a relationship. It is important to let your partner know about your physical boundaries. Just communicate clearly and kindly what you need when you are in a relationship. And make sure it comes mutually.

Speak what your responsibilities are. There is always a person who keeps the whole family connected. You are the person who always arranges parties, get-togethers, solves conflicts. If you are that person then it’s good and if you don’t want to be that person then it’s better for you to own up and speak for yourself. Saying it would make you set boundaries. 

Let your family know that guilt might not work. Family members think that by the act of guilt and blackmailing they would gain their attention and work done. But it is not always the case. People might explode at a certain point in time and that guilt won’t work.  So, when limits are crossed make sure you set up your boundaries and speak with the same amount of respect but be stern in your decision.

Explain what behaviors you won’t accept. Make sure that you don’t entertain any sort of negative comments in your life especially when it comes to your career and your personal relationship. Be clear about certain things to certain people. Speak to them with the same respect so that it sounds more insulting to them.

Offer alternatives to what they want. You might have many friends but start recognizing who your actual friends are. You might share all of your secrets or might speak to them for hours, a friend who comes and stays in your place for hours. But you should make sure that you are comfortable in things, also you can offer them alternatives which again come with a lot of boundaries.

Give a warning. Friends, those who use up all you have and end up giving nothing in return are toxic. They might continuously break promises, take you for granted, do not return any favor. These are people who you don’t need in your life so offer them warnings and speak when you don’t feel right or do not make further plans with them.

Trust your body instinct. The mind and body work very effectively and it is almost right when it comes to making decisions and one must follow and listen to that instinct. We often don’t hear that instinct because we lack clarity and knowledge.

People will think and speak. Opinions are what people have about you if you start listening to what other people say then you would end up becoming mad. It is okay to have concerns as this is what people do and like to do. This doesn’t let go of their energy but when you start saying no then you would see wonders happening in your life. 

Be clear about what yes means. If you know what you want then it is easier for you to realize what you don’t want. Know your priorities then act and accept accordingly.

Listen to your feelings. It is important to feel certain emotions and sensations in your body every now and then. If there are certain sensations that are not good for your body as an increased heartbeat then you might take some action regarding that problem.

Start simple. Just keep it straightforward and simple. Any skill in life requires time and maintenance, so setting up boundaries is nothing different, it also requires those essential plans. 

Determine your values. If you value creative time and freedom in life then continue setting up boundaries around your free time and personal space. If you value small things in life then it is advisable to loosen your boundaries a bit. Whatever might be your value accordingly you must set your boundary.

The main requirement that makes us cautious, delegated in our relationships is what boundaries do to us. So, what is required is an ample amount of courage, support, consistency to set boundaries. You’ll feel more confident as you journey headway, and the truth is that it is our duty to make choices, not a right. Practice is all that is needed to attain perfection. Keep back up and keep going.

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