Tips for Building Better Boundaries

Tiffani Davis, M.A., M.A.C.P

If you want to have healthy relationships in life, boundaries are crucial. However, setting and sticking to boundaries is a skill that can be difficult for some people to master.

When you set healthy boundaries, it means you understand and know what your limits are. It helps you to improve relationships, become happier and better fulfill your needs. The question is, how can you build better boundaries if it isn’t a skill that comes easy to you? Below, you’ll discover some great tips you can follow.

Identify your limits

It will be difficult to set boundaries if you don’t know what they are. Each of us has different limits we are willing to accept. So, start by writing down your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional limits.

Think about what makes you feel stressed and uncomfortable. What are you willing to tolerate and what things are not OK with you? Once you have a list of your limits, you’ll have a better idea of the type of boundaries you need to set.

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Say no without giving a reason

A great tip for setting better boundaries is to start saying no without providing a reason. Have you noticed that when you want to say no to something, you feel like you need to give an excuse? Often, this leads us to make up an excuse, leaving us feeling guilty afterward for lying.

Learning to say no without giving a reason is much healthier. You don’t owe anybody an explanation for not wanting to do or accept something. This may be a tough tip to follow, but you’ll be surprised how free you feel when you start saying no without explanation. 

Give yourself permission

The main things that set us back from creating boundaries are self-doubt, fear, and guilt. It could be that you are worried about the other person’s response. Or maybe you feel like you should be able to cope with doing certain things, so don’t feel comfortable saying no.

Give yourself permission to set boundaries. Realize that setting boundaries is healthy. Not only do boundaries contribute towards better relationships with others, but they also build up your self-worth too.

Step back from toxic relationships

Many of us have a toxic relationship of some kind. Whether it’s an unhealthy relationship with our friends or family, stepping back is one of the best ways to build up boundaries. If a relationship is no longer serving you, taking a step back is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. Putting yourself first in a toxic relationship is never selfish or cruel. If anything, it is necessary for your happiness and well-being.

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