You may have
trouble in the beginning to assert yourself and set personal boundaries –
especially if you’ve been passive in the past. If you’ve been aggressive, you
may have handled boundaries with anger and lashing out. Dealing with boundaries
with passive or aggressive methods isn’t good behavior.
Some of the
issues you need to deal with before beginning to stand up for your personal
boundaries include the following:
1. Know your boundaries. Be clear with yourself about your beliefs and values – what makes you
feel uncomfortable and how you now handle situations which compromise your
2. Use clear and concise language. After you know your boundaries, assert yourself by using
clear language about how you feel when boundaries are being crossed.
3. Don’t be a “yes” man. Part of setting boundaries is knowing when to say “no” to people you
work with and in your personal sphere of family and friends. You lose your
personal freedom when you take on too much.
4. Pay attention to your internal boundaries. If someone offends or disrespects
you, ask yourself if what was said is true. Your internal boundaries are lines
drawn within yourself which prevent you from believing everything someone says
5. Know your rights. You shouldn’t feel guilty about expressing yourself and asking for what
you need in a respectful manner. You have every right to demand that you’re
treated fairly and with respect in all areas of your life.
setting personal boundaries by using simple and direct statements in a
non-threatening tone. You may feel uncomfortable for a while, but you’ll soon
feel a power that will make you stronger and more adept at drawing lines at
behaviors you will accept – or not accept – from others.
need to debate the issues of your boundaries or explain yourself to others. Be
firm and consistent in repeating your requests or statements and reinforce your
actions by staying determined.
You may need
to overcome guilt feelings when you begin to set personal boundaries. Remember
that you should first consider yourself in any dealings and make yourself the
priority – rather than someone else’s beliefs and feelings.