5 Ways To Set Personal Boundaries

When is it time to start setting personal boundaries?

I am sitting at my desk in my bedroom, staring out the window as I try to write this. I hear the cars pass and my eyes fixate on a group of gnats circling a bed of red kangaroo paw plants. The rattling hum of the dryer in the hallway is somewhat soothing, and the scent of coffee is still lingering somewhere in the house. It is all quite calming…yet my mind can’t seem to find a place of comfort. And the blinking stalled cursor on my computer screen just stares back at me.

Truth be told, I have been feeling overwhelmed as of late. Maybe not with anything in particular.. but, also, maybe with everything at once. I’m not quite sure. As I begin to assess the cause, I realize that I have been saying “yes” to everyone and everything around me. I have been adding more and more to my plate, and I’m beginning to lose sight of me. Dinner invitations, running errands, footing the bill, taking on additional work, being emotionally supportive…it’s all there and it’s starting to weigh me down. In the midst of “yes yes yes”, my friendships, relationships and personal boundaries have begun to grow hazy. Today, I am clearing my plate and rebuilding my boundaries with the help of the following 5 tips:


Be self-aware. Notice the people, places and things that drain your energy and cause you to think or feel negatively. Take note of who, what and why.

Know and understand your limits. You must first know where you stand before digging your feet in firmly. It’s hard to set strong boundaries when you are unsure of your limits.

Meditate or say a mantra, prayer or affirmation to center and strengthen yourself. When your limits are being tested, rely on your inner strength and affirmations to refocus.

Tell people that your priorities have changed. Communicate them directly, genuinely and calmly. Stay strong and find support. If the people in your life do not take well to your new boundaries, maybe it’s time to rethink the relationship. There are people out there that will respect you and your limits.

It’s okay to be think about how you will be perceived. When we start to set boundaries and communicate them to the people around us, it can be a scary thing. But that’s ok! Not only are boundaries a sign of a healthy relationship, but also of self-respect.

+Do you have trouble setting boundaries? How do you stay strong?

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7 years ago

I have learned over the years that the need to please everyone around me is an exhausting, and truly impossible task. You do have to learn to focus on yourself a little more, and to learn to say no once in a while!

7 years ago

I’ve never set boundaries before. This is a great practice I am going to have to try and do for myself. I feel like it will keep everything on the same path.


7 years ago

I’m the boundary-setting queen. Seriously. I have a zero-tolerance policy for people with a sense of entitlement and absolutely no sense of personal space for others.



7 years ago

Love the idea of telling people my priorities have changed. I have never thought about setting my boundaries with those words. Thank you.

7 years ago

It’s interesting how “setting boundaries” as a phrase can be perceived negatively but, the practice of it is very healthy. I read a snotty Facebook status the other day about how people are wrong to set boundaries and that there are no such things as “toxic people.” I didn’t comment but, I think people who don’t appreciate the concept are typically the violators.
Personally, I set boundaries by focusing on my health. When someone or something is pushing my boundaries, I tend to stop eating and sleeping properly. With time, I’ve learned to halt that cycle and identify the need for new boundaries.

7 years ago

This post is perfection. Short and simple yet so true, with always loving the idea of setting boundaries however never following through the point of ‘telling people your priorities have changed’ makes so much sense and seems to be a necessary step in actually following through with the boundaries attempting to be created!

La Poz
7 years ago

Alcohol is sooooo terrible for you, so in an effort to be more healthy, I have cut out drinking. Let me tell ya, nothing minimizes your circle of friends faster than deciding to quit drinking and putting your foot down when they people to drag you out to do something where getting drunk is the main purpose of the evening. Cut out alcohol/bars/clubs for a month and see which of your friends are still calling at the end of that 4th week. It’s quite the experiment.

La Poz
7 years ago

Uuugggh, sorry about the typos!

7 years ago

I think that people are more selfish by the day. Instigating them to be even more selfish smells like counselling business to me.

Nancy R
7 years ago

First of all, coo do’s s for you La Poz!!!
My boundaries were totally broken down as a child, so learning them late in life has been quite the experience. Your article is exactly what I needed to read this week! Coming to light, and learning a very close friend has some very unhealthy traits, which indirectly effects me, has become something I haven’t quite known how to handle, or what to do. Your article was helpful, although I’m still not quite sure how to proceed. You’ve given me food for thought. Thank you!