Everything You Need to Know About Boundaries

How to use boundaries to improve the quality of your life.

Boundaries don’t just involve morals and scruples.

We can use boundaries to set some rules and guidelines for how we allow other people to treat us. We can also use boundaries with ourselves, to decide what we will and will not allow ourselves to say or do. Boundaries are a great tool for time and energy management. We can set parameters so that we can use our time effectively. We can also limit the amount of negative energy that we allow into our lives.

But, how does one effectively set and manage boundaries? Below, are some tips on creating and enforcing boundaries in your life.


Don’t create a rule that you aren’t prepared to follow. Be realistic. Is this something that you are going to be able to enforce? Are you prepared to consistently enforce this rule? Keeping boundaries takes commitment. If you don’t enforce your boundaries, it will be difficult for anyone to take your boundaries seriously. If you start breaking your own boundaries it may be more difficult to enforce other boundaries as well. Self-discipline is a key component to keeping your boundaries intact.

Let’s say you don’t want to take calls after 9pm, because you want to ensure that you have some quiet time at the end of the day. Are you going to make a commitment to turn your ringer off each night? Are you going to let a call go to voice mail if you see your phone ringing? Are you going to not let any calls through, or just calls from certain people? Why or why not? This illustrates the importance of clearly defining your boundaries and remembering the purpose for making them. Be clear about the boundaries you set, then make a commitment to stick with them.


Creating effective boundaries involves conscious decision making. Realistically, what will work for you? What will you be able to live with? What are and aren’t you capable of? What will help you and what will harm you? It’s important to get in touch with yourself and learn the most effective way of working with yourself. It’s important to practice setting boundaries, especially, if it isn’t something you have done before. Work on becoming comfortable with enforcing a boundary before creating a new one. Remember, you want to set yourself up for success!

For example, you may be frustrated because people seem to constantly be interrupting your work day. Upon further examination, you realize that you are allowing those interruptions. Before rushing to set a boundary that no one can ever interrupt you again, realize that you have been practicing this pattern of behaviour for some time. To elicit change, you need to practice a new pattern of behaviour, otherwise, this will be a very hard boundary for you to keep. Avoid radical changes. Perhaps, you can start by setting a smaller boundary. You may want to start by setting a boundary that you will be unavailable for one solid hour a day between the hours of 9am-10am. No phone calls, no messages, no emails, no interruptions. You can let people know of your new boundary. It will likely take some time for both you and other people to get used to this. To enforce this boundary, you may want to turn your ringer off, not check email, not check your messages. You may want to close or lock your office door and hang up a sign. Make small sustainable changes.


Be clear about your boundaries. If possible issue a direct statement about those boundaries. Beyond this, you do not need to explain yourself to anyone.

If, for example, you set boundaries for time management, it won’t serve that purpose if you constantly spend time explaining those boundaries to others. It is as though you have to set two boundaries, one for time management, and the other for yourself to not feel compelled to explain and justify yourself to others. Be prepared, people will challenge your boundaries. If you are not careful they may try to pull you into long conversations and possible drama asking you to justify your boundaries. It is your decision as to what you want your boundaries to be. Do what is right for you. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for doing what is best for you.


The more flexible a boundary the less effective it will be. If you start making excuses and exceptions to your boundaries you will find it very hard to keep your boundaries. Don’t feel guilty about having boundaries, they are normal and healthy. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about having them either. This goes back to making sure you only make boundaries you are prepared to enforce.

For example, you may have a boundary that you won’t engage in gossip. Yet, you have a very dear friend about whom you care very much. That friend begins gossiping to you. You’re afraid that you may hurt his or her feelings, so you allow it to continue. You now feel terrible that you have broken your own boundary. It will be much harder for you to try to enforce that boundary the next time because you have already made an exception once. The more you make exceptions the harder it may become to change the behavior. It will also be harder for the other person to take you seriously when you do try to enforce your boundary. 


It’s important to exercise some forethought into making boundaries. What will happen if someone breaks one of your boundaries? What will the consequences be? Are you prepared for those consequences? More importantly, are you prepared to accept those consequences? Just because we set boundaries, that doesn’t automatically mean that people will follow them. Do you have a plan for what happens next?

Let’s say you have a boundary where you will not remain friends with someone who is not honest with you. Will you end the friendship after one lie? How will you measure their honesty? How will you handle the situation? Will you warn the person of your boundary when you start the friendship or after you catch them lying? The second part of this is that you must then stick to your own agreement. Both parties must accept the consequences of the breached boundary.


Doing anything new can be challenging. It may be a struggle. Try and be patient with yourself. Change takes practice and time. It took time to learn how to talk, walk, or ride a bicycle. It will take some effort before you master boundaries. It may help to find people who are skilled at making and keeping boundaries. You may be able to ask them for advice or support. As you are learning, be extra kind and gentle with yourself. Make sure you aren’t beating yourself up with negative self-dialogue. Find time for you and to take care of yourself physically and mentally. By looking after yourself you will have more patience with which to work. Don’t deplete yourself. Don’t give up! Boundaries are an effective tool for self-care, but you need to exercise self-care in order to enforce them.

Remember, boundaries are both healthy and necessary. There is nothing wrong with having or enforcing boundaries. We can use boundaries to improve the quality of our lives and our relationships with others. We can use them to let people know how we wish and expect to be treated.

Do you have any advice for how to create and enforce boundaries?


Akiroq Brost

Akiroq is a Human Potential Inspirational writer, who has a passion for helping others explore and harness the extraordinary potential that lies within each and every one of us.

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Jackie WilushewskiAkiroq BrostJessica Gilbertlisa waldrenLisa W Recent comment authors
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Jackie Wilushewski

Very lovely and informative article!

Boundaries really do help us to stay connected and honorable to self <3

Jessica Gilbert

Wonderful article! It’s always important to have boundaries for a healthy life.


I belive that if we will start to do it,then it may be a good example to others.thank you.😘😘😘


This is such a timely and interesting article. I agree that communication is an important tool for setting boundaries specially in relation to matters wherein you are experiencing negative effects like , suffering and chronic pain. If the other party listens and apply the necessary changes, well and good. If not, then the best solution is to avoid the person. If the person respects and values the relationship, he/she will listen.
Thank you so much for sharing Aquiroq, Jenni and Bryant😍 have a lovely day

Robina fazal

Realistic…Meaningful article.. Sweet !Akiroq Brost dear…💖💐To live a life with honour..dignity…self worth…to work for good of higher purpose…to be be healthy..happy…and to do productive have to set his,her boundaries….we can’t be all time available for people’s to do this that…to be under their command….of course…we have to all..we have to perform our routine tasks…responsibilities..but if we are extra available for care,ease them…they will not let us concentrate on ourownseĺves…own self care…is important to lead a life of be true to work on our passions..and desires.. if people mean to say relatives,Co,workers..who so ever…wanna cash our time and energy always they will make us slaves.. if they don’t consider us a full time labourer..They are fooling themselves..we are of course have to loving..caring..we have to have the patience…and will to do works for all…but we have to set our boundaries it’s must because we have a our own Soul ..mind and heart..we have to give our selves the liberty to be faithful. Loving..caring for ourselves..we have to manage time for our own selves.. our own positive.. constructive routines.. to live a stable.. healthy.. happy..and useful life..for this we have to set our own boundaries…and yeah let the others..respect and acknowledge our boundaries…So they they can no more try to take advantages from us…and utilise our time….rather than that.. they have to walk with us…respecting our boundaries..if we keep on setting boundaries.. in day to day routine…they also have to cooperate as you carry on your own routines.. with confidence ..and happiness…and set your boundaries.. as well give them time..and works.. with ease.. and proper timings.. they are bound to respect your self worth as they need your and help…so they no more cash your time and energy….So be a sensible person.. to love care.. respect..first for your own self..and then be loving ..caring.. compassionate for all..It’s wht you let your life to be …As strong you are to protect your self worth ..and Soul.. mind .body can do a lot good in life…💖💐Amen


Robina, Very well said!!!



Gail Liming
Gail Liming

I knew of an individual that said, I need space, don’t invade my space, pretend there is a barrier around me that’s invisible. In other words this person needed time to think more constructively I assumed, needing some time alone with no interruptions. I would think this could fall in the same category as having barriers.

Kelli Wallen

I found this article extremely informative. I, never set boundaries in the past. I was always one to hold in my feelings…which just allowed me to be basically get walked all over. Used, abused and would give my last dime to someone if they needed it. Now, here I am, in a not so sweet situation in life, and it’s definitely a struggle. Many with whom I have gave a helping hand to, are no where to be found. It’s been 20 years of living hell. I have been kind for too long. I’m at the end of my rope and holding on by a string. I’m fighting to not fail, but, here I sit…feeling like a failure. I know it’s not over, However, I just cannot get anything right no matter how many different approaches I address , consider, or try. I usually always have an answer, even when I don;t, I find a way, or pray about it. Nothing I do is working this time and I have officially been abandoned by every human being I’ve ever interacted with. I’m trying to find ways to use up my time, but I’ve got another 3 weeks to find another answer to avoid homelessness…this is what working your %#ss off for 35 years gets you. Not even a call back… I’m trying to remain positive. The only thing I’ve learned to do is to not completely stress myself and to at least find some peace and calm before the next neverending storm that I never signed up for. And here I sit, alone, but still alive and breathing. So, it’s the next question to myself is where do I go next. I’m running out of ways to continue .. Change? I have, in so many ways. I have focused on things and others for so long…i’m not re…and i repeat.. RE… find myself and get back to how I was approximately 5 years ago….and or…better than i was. It’s rough when you have issues that need addressing and cannot get the issues addressed…or when everyone around you knows whats going on…but leaves you out of the equation of life…. Your article is definitely filled with solutions to set boundaries..which I have.. and will continue to do. Thank you for sharing..

Ruth E Barnhart
Ruth E Barnhart

I had boundaries with my 3 children all homework had to be done before I started Dinner once when I had 1 child in high school and one in the last year of middle school I had to have take out at least 3 times a week because I was responsible for helping the children with English, Social Studies and science while their dad was responsible for math economics history and Spanish some weeks we had sandwiches and canned soup because daddy went into overtime with coaching the kids in his subjects. We enjoyed helping our kids and tried to make the subjects fun, interesting. But no. Help after dinner that was our boundary and the children had to understand we needed to rest almost as much as they did.


Another great article! It includes so much valuable information and advice/suggestions/guidance. I never used to be great at keeping boundaries. I allowed people to cross the line too often, and sometimes I pushed boundaries myself, but not in a harmful way. I used to avoid people who tested my boundaries. Over time, life and experience, I learned to create boundaries. I developed better techniques, however, I still struggle. Eventually, I realise enough is enough and I stop it going beyond the ideal. I’ve still got things to learn about boundaries. Sometimes they can be hard to reinforce. It depends on many things. I also have to respect other people’s too. I took a lady from the gym class for a coffee as she had an hour to pass and said she had no money. When we sat down, she offered me 2 painkillers to lift me up! I should have said “no thank you”, I’m already taking medication. But instead, I took them and stuffed them in a Napkin. I pretended to swallow them, but I never. Then she asked me for 2 of my sleeping pills. I said I don’t carry them with me, but I should have said, I can’t do that for several obvious reasons. I set my boundary. And I had no intention of changing my mind. She never spoke to me again. I’m kind of glad. Pressure was off. There’s lots of examples. I don’t like people in my space or too close. So many things.