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Setting & Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

Having healthy boundaries is essential for maintaining a positive, healthy relationship with yourself and with others. Defining your boundaries—what you will and won’t accept in a relationship—can help to protect your emotional well-being. But setting boundaries is only half the battle; keeping them can be just as difficult. Here are some tips on how to set and keep boundaries in all areas of your life.

Assess Your Boundaries

Before you can start setting boundaries, it’s important to take an honest look at your current relationships and identify where you need to draw the line. It’s also important to be aware of how you might be contributing to any unhealthy dynamics in these relationships. This exercise can help you pinpoint exactly what needs to change in order for the relationship to become healthier.

Communicate Your Boundaries Clearly

Once you have identified where you need to draw the line, it’s time to communicate your boundaries clearly and assertively. Make sure that both parties understand what is expected of them so that they know what behaviors are acceptable and which are not. Be specific about what behavior crosses the line; this will make it easier for everyone involved to follow through on their commitments.

Enforce Your Boundaries

It’s important that once your boundaries have been set, they should be respected by all parties involved. If someone crosses the line or tries to push past your limits, don’t hesitate to remind them of the agreed-upon boundary and reinforce why it is necessary. Establishing consequences ahead of time can also help ensure that everyone follows through on their commitments and respects each other's boundaries.

Boundaries are essential for establishing healthy relationships with yourself and with others. Taking an honest assessment of where you need to draw the line, communicating those expectations clearly, and enforcing them consistently will go a long way toward creating a safe space for everyone involved. With a little bit of effort, setting and keeping healthy boundaries can be made easier!


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