How to Set Healthy Boundaries

Healthy boundaries are when we tell someone what WE will do if they continue a behaviour. It is never us telling someone else, what they should do. An example of a healthy boundary is when we say “If you keep shouting at me, I will leave the room”. And then, if they keep shouting, we follow through and leave the room.

We don’t get to control other people. Therefore, we don’t get to tell them what they should be doing. We just get to decide what WE will do, if we don’t like their behaviour.

Boundaries should be set from a place of love if possible. Love for ourselves and love for the other person. If someone is doing something that is violating our boundaries, we can tell them calmly what we will do if they continue. This is much more effective than shouting, yelling and/or getting angry. For example, if our mother is always late when she comes for dinner, we can say calmly, “Hey Mum, if you are late arriving for dinner, we are going to start without you”. And then we need to follow through and start without her, if she is late.

In this case, Mum gets to behave however she likes, and we get to behave how we like. Nobody is trying to manipulate or control anyone else. And no one is getting resentful or angry. Instead, clear healthy boundaries have been established.

An important part of setting a healthy boundary is following through and doing what we said we will do, if the behaviour happens, or continues. It is surprising how often we don’t follow through. For example, we say we will leave the room if the other person keeps shouting at us, but we don’t. Instead we stay and argue the point, or get upset. The reality is, if we don’t follow through and do what we said we will do, we are training the other person to ignore our boundaries.

Written by Lynda Timperley Btch, Dip Psych, Cert Life Coaching

©2020 Love Life Now Ltd

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