Self Care: Setting Personal Boundaries

This article discusses the benefit of setting/having boundaries.
A critical key to a strong personal foundation in your life is to have and honor your personal boundaries. Simply said, a boundary is an imaginary line over which people, problems, and life may not cross because you've said so. You are in charge. You will find that as you extend your boundaries, you have fewer problems, less stress and more space.

Sometimes boundary invasion is very clear, like when someone crowds you physically or invades your space. Other times it can be more subtle and we don't even realize why we feel irritated or even if we have the right to feel that way. How about someone borrowing your things and not returning them? Or offering your help or making promises on your behalf? Even not respecting your time by keeping you waiting or not keeping appointments is a violation of boundaries.

Setting boundaries is about learning to take care of ourselves, no matter what happens, where we go, or who we are with. When you find a boundary needs to be set, do it clearly, without anger or blame, and in as few words as possible. Be prepared to follow through. Maintain a bottom line - a limit to how many times you'll allow someone to say no, lie, disappoint, or betray you before you admit the painful reality and move on. Know you'll be tested. The difference between setting a boundary in a healthy way and manipulating is: when we set a boundary, we let go of the outcome. Learning to set boundaries is a vital part of learning to communicate in a direct and honest manner. It's a necessary step in learning to be friends with ourselves!

About the Author

Christy Donner, owner of Innovative Strategies Coaching, specializes in coaching people in life and career transitions. She is a graduate of Coach U and Career Coach Institute, and holds the designations of Associate Certified Career Coach from CCI and Certified Professional Resume Writer from PARW/CC.