What happens when someone or something brings us to our limit – a feeling of repeated discomfort, guilt, or anger/resentment? This is an opportunity to set a boundary. We can think of boundaries as our limits. To better understand how to identify our limits, read my previous post on Identifying our Limits. Why set boundaries? Boundaries serve many valuable functions. They help protect us, preserve our physical and emotional energy, help us clarify what is and isn’t our responsibility, create work/life balance, and honor our needs, values, and truth.


We can have boundaries, however, they have no power to do any of the above, unless we choose to implement them. We do this by what we call setting a boundary. Setting boundaries is the way we communicate our limits to others, and in essence, put our limits into action. This respectfully lets others know what our limits are – in the form of healthy, open communication – and helps us honor the limits we have. This is empowering!

Here are several examples of when setting a boundary would be helpful:

You planned to meet friends and sit outdoors for lunch, which you discussed ahead of time, and all agreed upon. When you get to the restaurant and several friends feel it’s too hot, and decide they want to eat inside the restaurant. This makes you very uncomfortable given the current situation. What do you do? Do you honor your limit and set a boundary by letting them know you’re not comfortable and would like to consider other lunch possibilities?

Your family members or friends have a habit of giving you their unsolicited opinions about every part of your life – parenting, lifestyle, weight, finances, past choices, etc. This makes you feel uncomfortable, irritated, and even angry at times. What do you do? Do you set a boundary, and let them know that although well-intentioned, their opinions about your life makes you feel uncomfortable and less than? You would appreciate it if they would save their opinions for the times you specifically ask for their advice.

You are often asked to work during your lunch hour or into the evenings. This is increasing your stress and making you feel drained by the end of the day. What do you do? Consider speaking with your boss about your current work schedule, and your need for renewing daily work breaks!

Your clients call you during dinner hours, or late into the evenings. You notice you are starting to feel guilty for allowing this to affect your time with your family, and perhaps resentful toward the client who is not respecting your limits. Consider setting a boundary here. For example, you can let them know that you are available to speak until 6:30 pm each evening, otherwise, they can leave a message, and you will get in touch the next day.


This week, think about a relationship or situation which would benefit from setting a boundary. Ask your Self, how would setting a boundary make me feel…calmer, more in control, confident, etc.? If you are able, give your Self permission (and a dose of courage) and set one.

If starting to set boundaries feels very difficult, that’s okay! Boundary setting is a skill that takes practice. The more we do it, and again – start small – the better we will get at it, and the less intimidating and easier it will be!

Learning about boundaries and how to set them is an invaluable skill that will help you tremendously in your relationships, career, and life.

So go ahead, set one this week!

If you would like support in setting healthy boundaries, reach out to me at dgionta@gmail.com

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