How To Set Clear Boundaries With People: 23 Top Strategies

If you want to know how to set clear boundaries with people, you’ll love this article.

A boundary is a line separating you from someone else. Think of it as a gate or fence. You can control how physically and emotionally someone else approaches you by acting as a gatekeeper. By setting a boundary, you give the other person a chance to earn your trust before you let them into your personal space.

How To Set Clear Boundaries With People:

1. Recognize the function of healthy boundaries.

Establishing healthy boundaries gives you the flexibility to live your life as you see fit while protecting yourself from harm. People create their own boundaries depending on the lessons they have learned from past relationships, including those with parents, siblings, friends, and love partners.

2. Compare appropriate and inappropriate boundaries.

You must first be able to identify harmful boundaries so you can create healthy ones. Below are some harmful boundaries:

  • The constant need to be with your lover 
  • Controlling your spouse 
  • being unable to form friendships with others. 
  • Using alcohol and drugs to improve your connection with yourself 
  • desire a permanent partnership. 
  • lack of commitment or jealousy.

3. Be aware of your emotional boundaries.

The ability to express your preferences and wishes indicates that you have healthy emotional boundaries. Your emotional boundaries keep your feelings separate from those of another person. They defend your sense of worth. Healthy emotional boundaries, for example, “include beliefs, attitudes, choices, a sense of responsibility and your ability to be with people.”

You will not be required to put your own wants above your health and well-being.

You have the right to get respect.

Even if the other person tries to make you feel bad, you will not be coerced or forced to do something you don’t want to do.

You won’t put up with someone overbearing you, yelling at you or making you feel terrible about yourself or what you are doing.

You take responsibility for your actions and don’t let other people hold you responsible for things that are not your fault.

Although you have empathy for people you care about, you keep your emotions away from other people’s emotions.

You assertively express your own wishes and, if possible, try to cooperate with others. This ensures that mutual respect is maintained.

4. Set boundaries with your physical self.

The distance that separates you physically from another person is another facet of physical boundaries. There is less physical space between close friends or family members when they engage.

We experience inner discomfort when someone enters our physical area. It seems strange and out of character.

Make sure you are comfortable with how you physically express yourself to the other person when you are in a relationship. Talk to someone about things that make you feel safe and nurtured.

The biggest difference in personal space is seen among northern Europeans and northern Americans.

The smallest gap in personal space is seen among southern Europeans, South Americans, and Middle Easterners, where touching is common.

Eastern cultures view fondling or patting someone on the back as rude and forbidden.

5. Recognize the limits of your possessions at the physical level.

Personal space is a term used to denote physical limits. Physical items such as your home, bedroom, valuables, vehicle, etc. are considered part of your personal space. It is within your rights to set boundaries with people regarding their respect for your privacy and your possessions.

Going through another person’s belongings without their permission is a violation of physical boundaries. The healthy and courteous thing to do is to approach the person and talk to them, even if you fear for their safety or feel there may be a problem. Make sure the other person is aware that such behavior has crossed a boundary and is not respectful.

6. Set emotional boundaries to strengthen your self-esteem.

When you learn how to be the guardian of your emotional boundaries, you can get some results that will help you feel more confident in who you are. These consist of:

  • It is having a solid sense of self apart from anyone or anything else.
  • Realize that you have control over your emotions and your ability to act on them.
  • It is important to be able to control how much personal information you disclose to maintain self-respect.
  • Being able to be assertive and loyal to yourself when the situation demands it.

7. Decide to establish clear boundaries.

The first step is to acknowledge that boundaries need to be created or reinforced. Instead of hiding behind a defense mechanism against rejection or fear, boundaries are an extension of love and respect for yourself and others. They are a path to liberation from the desire to win the approval and affection of others.

For example, your roommate often takes your car. She never gives you money for gasoline or fills the tank. You can’t keep spending money on such a large amount of gasoline.

SEE ALSO: How To Stop Being People Pleaser: 10 Helpful Practices

8. Defend your boundaries.

Ask yourself what you want the limit to achieve. In a variety of contexts, including at home, at work, and with friends, you should define each type of boundary, both physical and emotional.

For example, you might decide that you won’t allow someone to waste your time or disrespect your personal space.

For example, you want your roommate to pay for gas when she uses your car.

9. Define the boundary.

With the people in your life, be open about your boundaries. That way, they will understand your requirements and expectations.

For example, politely and calmly inform your roommate that you need her to contribute to the upkeep of your car by paying for gas. She doesn’t have to service your vehicle if she doesn’t want to.

For example, if your friends often drop by without calling you and this annoys you, let them know that you would prefer it if they called first. By setting a boundary, you can also address situations right away and let others know that they are unacceptable, such as when someone takes something without asking. Be polite and calm during the conversation. Let your roommate know that you prefer her to ask for help before she uses your car.

10. Keep the lines drawn.

This is the aspect of having boundaries that many people find most difficult. By respecting your boundaries, you also benefit others. In addition, you retrain yourself.

Clearly but politely remind them, for example, if your roommate forgets to give you gas money.

You may make mistakes and then forget, but remember that it’s a process. Regain your resolve and steadfastly maintain your barrier.

You may discover that at first, people are reluctant to respect your boundaries. If people respect you, they will be flexible.

Remember that you are not trying to influence or change anyone else. Your focus is on how you want to be treated (1). Through your words and actions, you will convey this. For example, a buddy keeps dropping by without calling. This tactic politely enforces your boundaries in terms of respecting your time and personal space.

I’m sorry you’ve come all this way, but I’m in the middle of a project for work and can’t meet with you right now. Next time, I hope you will call first. “

11. Just say

A polite way to set boundaries with people is to be concise and precise. The opposite is to send contradictory signals by being evasive, whiny, or providing extensive justification. Here’s an example of direct speech:

You: “Tom, I’m tired and want to go to bed. We’ve been playing video games for hours. 
“Come on, it’s Friday night; let’s watch a movie or eat pizza,” John said. 
You: “I’m going to bed right now, Nick. You need to go out, buddy. “

12. Ensure your well-being.

Our fear of coming off as unpleasant or selfish makes setting and maintaining boundaries one of the most difficult aspects. Recognize and respect your emotions to put yourself first. This does not mean that you should behave selfishly toward other people or their emotions. The key to achieving boundaries is being willing to take care of yourself so you can support others.

Allow yourself to acknowledge and respect the boundaries you need to function effectively.

People can choose to respect your boundaries when you live up to them or not. You have the chance to affirm your boundaries in a self-accepting way when others choose not to respect them.

13. Remove harmful individuals from your life.

You have the right to get rid of harmful individuals from your life, even those who would abuse and manipulate you. Developing good boundaries takes time, but if you surround yourself with positive people who respect your decisions and you, you will succeed.

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be hindered by worry or low self-esteem.

When you maintain your healthy boundaries, you are not responsible for how others react to you.

14. Start modestly.

Set a modest boundary at the beginning as you master this new skill. Choose a non-threatening option.

For example, maybe you have a buddy who hangs around you or keeps an eye on you while you read your emails. Asking for extra personal space now is a great opportunity to practice.

You will find it easier to maintain your boundaries when you create and establish clear, healthy boundaries. At the same time, you’ll notice improvements in your relationships and confidence.

SEE ALSO: How To Avoid Dreaming About Someone: Top 9 Tips

15. When establishing relationships, be patient.

A healthy relationship can develop by setting boundaries. Deep friendships develop over time. They cannot be rushed by crossing acceptable social boundaries or revealing excessive information.

Even if you maintain appropriate boundaries, you can still feel a bond with the other person. But without being entangled with the other person, you will be able to respect yourself, your time, and your own demands.

You should feel free to socialize with others. In a good relationship, you don’t need to get approval before doing everything. Have boundary-setting conversations with your partner if he or she envies your socializing with other colleagues.

16. When establishing relationships, be patient.

A healthy relationship can develop by setting boundaries. Deep friendships develop over time. They cannot be rushed by crossing acceptable social boundaries or revealing excessive information.

Even if you maintain appropriate boundaries, you can still feel a bond with the other person. But without being entangled with the other person, you will be able to respect yourself, your time, and your own demands.

You should feel comfortable socializing with others (2). In a good relationship, you don’t need to get approval before doing everything. Have boundary-setting conversations with your partner if he or she envies you socializing with other colleagues.

17. When you need help, ask for it.

Ask your boss to assign someone to help you if your workload becomes too heavy. You can give advice on how to prioritize other responsibilities and reorganize your workflow to meet urgent obligations.

18. Establish acceptable boundaries with others.

To maintain a professional and productive atmosphere at work, certain boundaries must be respected. Your company may have rules that define boundaries, especially those regarding respect in the workplace, use of technology, etc.

If you are working in a management position, you may have a role in creating these rules to ensure appropriate boundaries.

19. Maintain order throughout your workday.

Set boundaries for your time, giving your day structure. Bring an agenda to meetings so everyone can benefit from the discussion. If you feel you are spending too much time responding to emails, limit checking them to 15-minute chunks several times a day.

20. Plan your strategy for dealing with boundary violations.

Someone will inevitably violate a boundary you have established. Think about your response. You can allow a single exception, but remember that boundaries that are inconsistent will not be respected as much.

21. Recognize manipulative and abusive actions.

Not all behaviors violate boundaries. Coercive and abusive ones happen. Below are some indicators of potentially abusive or manipulative behavior:

Physical harm: This can take the form of hitting, slapping, punching, or other physical acts.

Threats of violence: According to the Women’s Center at Northwestern University, “good relationships do not include threats.”

Using physical force during disagreements: Someone may try to physically hold you down or block your path so you can’t escape to safety.

A jealous person may question or follow their partner’s actions.

Someone may be so preoccupied with your actions that they begin to take control of your appearance and activities. Questioning someone about her whereabouts, activities, companions, or reasons for being late for dinner is controlling.

A stalker may coerce you into a relationship before enough time has passed for you to feel the need to commit and feel like it.

Isolation: Attempts to cut off contact with friends and family may fall into this category.

Cruelty to children or animals: A stalker will use this to force you to do what he or she wants, with little regard for the suffering of a child or animal.

22. Leave the relationship now.

It may be too late to discuss things if you see aggressive or manipulative actions in your relationship. Even if you set clear boundaries, your abuser’s actions may continue despite your efforts. If you can safely end the relationship, do so and get out of there as soon as possible.

23. Create a network of supportive people.

Create a network of allies who will take your safety seriously if you are unable to leave the relationship. These can be trustworthy friends or family members.

Create a code word or phrase that will let your supporters know that you need help right now. If your abuser is severely limiting your activities and never lets you be alone, this can be difficult to do.

Connect with people outside your network via phone or the Internet. Use strong passwords to ensure the privacy of your correspondence.

Have a list of places and people you can call for help, or know their phone numbers.

Thank you for reading this article about how to set clear boundaries with people and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here