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Effective Ways of Setting Healthy Boundaries You Need to Know About

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

Are you a people pleaser who finds it very difficult to say no even if you want to? Do you often feel drained due to the inability to say no? Then this article is for you.

Setting up personal boundary

Setting boundaries is an important skill that everyone needs to have. But sadly, even though it's important it's not always easy to do. From our childhood, we are told to be accommodating so others don’t feel bad or uncomfortable.

It might have been just an “Oh, come on hug your grandma or she’ll feel bad”. But these things shape us as we grow.

People with low self-esteem have a hard time setting boundaries. But is setting personal boundaries really that important? Yes, it is. You are hurting yourself by saying “yes” to everyone and trying to accommodate everyone.

So, is making others comfortable and catering to their needs a bad thing? Of course not! But there’s a limit to everything. Research established that violation of one’s personal space causes discomfort.

So, What Exactly are Personal Boundaries?

Personal boundaries are a set of rules or limits you set for yourself. They can be physical, emotional, or mental boundaries. A person with healthy personal boundaries is capable of saying “NO” when required.

Our core values, beliefs, past experiences, etc., play a major role in the way we build personal boundaries.

Types of Personal Boundaries

There are various types of personal boundaries:

  • Emotional Boundaries: Such boundaries are meant to protect your feelings and emotions. Violation of emotional boundaries might affect your self-esteem and your identity as an individual.

  • Physical Boundaries: They are meant to protect your personal space and privacy. You don’t like it when someone stands too close to you, right? That’s because that person is invading your personal space.

Physically boundaries for a girl

  • Intellectual Boundaries: They are related to one’s ideas and thoughts. It involves respect for others’ ideas. The ones with healthy intellectual boundaries don’t belittle others’ thoughts and ideas.

  • Sexual Boundaries: Boundaries in intimacy, consent, agreement, sexual preferences, etc., are referred to as sexual boundaries.

  • Material Boundaries: You need to have certain boundaries when it comes to your material possessions and properties. Such boundaries are known as material boundaries.

  • Time Boundaries: Your time is important so setting time boundaries is really important. It involves recognizing your priorities and refraining from overcommitting so you have enough time for every aspect of your life.

Why are Personal Boundaries Important?

When you fail to establish boundaries and let others make decisions on your behalf, you begin to lose your self-confidence; you feel taken advantage of. This in turn leads to resentment, anger, etc.

Imposing healthy boundaries is a kind of self-care. Boundaries clearly define what is acceptable to you and what is not. When you set clear boundaries, you remain happy.

They increase your self-esteem and empower you to take healthy decisions. Personal boundaries help you take care of your needs by preventing you from over-compromising for others’ sake.

Increase self esteem

Over-compromising and over-committing yourself for others’ comfort can lead to burnout. If you set clear boundaries, you can save yourself from exhaustion and burnout.

Do personal boundaries have positive impacts on yourself alone? No, they impact your relationships too. A lack of personal boundaries in relationships can make them very toxic. There needs to be a balance of interdependence on each other and independence.

When we talk about relationships, I’m not only talking about romantic relationships. Boundaries are needed in every relationship.

You might have seen a lot of Indian youngsters complain about the lack of privacy in their homes. Yes, there should be boundaries between parents and their children too.

How to Set Personal Boundaries?

Setting personal boundaries is not an easy task, especially for people pleasers. Yeah, I get it. Saying “NO” can be pretty daunting. But you need to start saying NO for your own sanity. So, here are some ways you can get started on this path of denying others the right to violate your boundaries:

Small Steps

Every big target is achieved by taking one small step at a time. Establishing boundaries one fine day is not possible. You can try doing that but if you’re someone who has no boundaries then setting them can be overwhelming. So, try starting small. Take one step at a time. How about starting by saying no to a small request?

Doing a task into small steps

Set them early

Setting boundaries in pre-existing relationships can be pretty difficult as the tone of the relationship has already been set. So, it is advised to establish boundaries in the early stages of a relationship.

Doing so will decrease the chances of you getting hurt. Having said that it doesn’t mean that you cannot establish any sort of boundaries in existing relationships. You can set some boundaries if you express them clearly to the other person.


Self-reflection is something that many of us don’t do even though it's needed. It helps us understand and process things.

How is this helpful in enforcing boundaries you ask? Self-reflection helps you understand why someone is important to you and how they benefit you and what sort of boundaries can be established in that relationship.

It also helps you understand what are non-negotiable for you and what you can be flexible about.

Importance of self reflection

Sometimes someone’s actions make you uncomfortable but you don’t know why. Self-reflection helps you understand why.


Communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Do you feel like someone is crossing their limits? Then talk about it with them. Express your feelings and tell them how their actions or words hurt you.

Okay, you are scared of doing that. You don’t like confrontations. But you know what! It doesn’t have to be confrontational. You can politely but sternly assert your boundaries.

Wrapping Up!

Establishing boundaries can be very hard and some people might not react to them in a positive way. But know that you are not responsible for that person’s reaction to your boundaries, Boundaries are important and constant violation of them will affect your mental health and self-esteem. Learning to enforce boundaries is a process and you have to be patient. Good Luck!

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