Personal boundaries are the limits and rules we set for ourselves within relationships. People with healthy boundaries can say “no” to others when they want to, but they are also comfortable opening themselves up to intimacy and close relationships.
Boundaries should be based on your values or the things that are important to you. For example, if you value spending time with family, set firm boundaries about working late.
Your boundaries are yours, and yours alone. Many of your boundaries might align with those close to you, but others will be unique.
Know your boundaries before entering a situation. This will make it less likely you’ll do something you’re not comfortable with.
Know Your Boundaries
What to Say
You always have the right to say “no”. When doing so, express yourself clearly and without ambiguity so there is no doubt about what you want.
“I’m not comfortable with this” “Please don’t do that” “Not at this time”
“I can’t do that for you” “This doesn’t work for me” “I’ve decided not to”
“This is not acceptable” “I’m drawing the line at” “I don’t want to do that”
What to Do
Use Confident Body Language
Face the other person, make eye contact, and use a steady tone of voice at an appropriate volume (not too quiet, and not too loud).
Avoid yelling, using put-downs, or giving the silent treatment. It’s okay to be firm, but your message will be better received if you are respectful
Think about what you want to say, and how you will say it, before entering a difficult discussion. This can help you feel more confident about your position.
When appropriate, listen and consider the needs of the other person. You never have to compromise, but give-and-take is part of any healthy relationship