Healthy boundaries are essential for our health, well-being, and even our safety. Setting healthy boundaries with others is empowering! By setting healthy limits with ourselves and others, we demonstrate self-respect, build self-esteem, and enjoy healthy relationships. Setting healthy boundaries is like building a fence around our property - It communicates "Please stay out, unless I let you in."
Here are some examples of healthy boundaries:
Practicing appropriate trust - Not divulging personal information to strangers or people you barely know.
Revealing information about yourself a little at a time, then checking to see how the other person responds to your sharing.
Putting a potential relationship on slow motion until you check for compatibility.
Deciding whether a potential relationship will be good for your mind, body, and soul before moving forward.
Being sexual only when there is mutual consent - concentrating largely on your own pleasure rather than doing things you don't enjoy or want to do in order to please your partner.
Maintaining personal values despite what others want/think.
Noticing when someone else displays inappropriate boundaries.
Noticing when someone invades your boundaries.
Saying "no" or "no, thank you" to food, gifts, touch, invitations, or requests you aren't interested in.
Asking a person before touching them. Letting others know when you don't want to be touched.
Having respect for others time and energy.
Not allowing someone to take advantage of your generosity.
Trusting your own decisions.
Trusting your intuition.
Clearly communicating your wants and needs (and recognizing that you might be turned down).
Recognizing that friends and partners are not mind-readers.
Talking to yourself with gentleness, love, and respect.
What healthy boundaries might sound like:
"I can hear that's important to you, but I can't help you with that."
"This isn't something I feel comfortable with doing."
"I'm afraid I can't say yes this time."
"I can understand that you're angry, but I won't be yelled at."
"Please don't text me about emotional issues. Here is my number if you want to have a conversation."
"Let me think about it and I'll get back to you."
"Please don't contact me anymore."
"Please text me before your call."
"Please don't come over without checking with me first."
"Please knock before you come in."
"Please don't call me names."
"That won't work for me."
"Please don't tell me how to think or feel. That's not helpful to me."