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  • Writer's pictureAcelli Crippen-Kok

Strategies for Drawing Personal Boundaries (When You Can't Take On Someone Else's "Stuff")

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

Certain people have a habit of oversharing, overstepping, and becoming the center of attention in every situation. Oftentimes, friendships and relationships begin between people in the most positive ways. It’s all mutual love and respect, and good times. However, if personal boundaries aren’t set early on in the relationship, it’s a recipe for a nasty disaster.

strategies for drawing personal boundaries - woman standing with hands on two walls in the corner of a room

More often than not, boundaries form slowly and naturally. Small things arise and friends, or partners, or co-workers just speak up and the boundary is set without having to have a big conversation. Other times, one person keeps pushing the limits, and the other person doesn’t feel comfortable drawing personal boundaries. When this happens, it’s a sure sign that things won’t end well. It may not end tomorrow, it may end 10 years down the line, but when it does it will have a bad fall-out.

If you truly want to preserve a relationship and want to create a healthy bond, you’ll need to draw personal boundaries.

Tips to Help Create Personal Boundaries

When you’re living life and feeling that something just isn’t right with a specific relationship, you realize something needs to be done. It strikes you that you need to create personal boundaries, but you aren’t quite sure about how to go about doing so. Understandable.

Creating boundaries needs a bit of strategy that requires you to ask yourself some important questions:

  • What are your values?

  • What are your priorities?

  • What are you not willing to negotiate about?

  • Are there things you can be flexible about?

  • Is there anything you can sacrifice without feeling resentment about the sacrifice?

It’s always going to be up to you to create the right set of personal boundaries that will make your life easier. Working with a professional can often help you develop boundaries that work for you.

Once you’ve asked the above questions, and created your trusted boundaries, it’s time to plan a bit to make sure you stick to your boundaries when faced with some stumbling blocks.

Implementing Effective Boundaries

Respecting yourself and your boundaries is often difficult to do when faced with those more problematic situations that arise. We tend to retreat into our old habits to keep the peace, or not lose someone you care about.

To keep from ignoring your new boundaries, it often helps to embrace and understand which of your newly minted boundaries are the most difficult and uncomfortable to follow through with. Think about old situations when the boundary didn’t exist, and how awful everything turned out. If you’re just starting to create boundaries, you may have quite a few of these memories that bring a dark cloud over you.

Now that you have the boundary in your self-care toolkit, imagine the positive outcome that will result because you spoke up and stood your ground. Most people want healthy boundaries in relationships because no one likes dealing with an issue that could have been avoided if everyone were on the same page!

Trust that you deserve healthy and happy relationships with all types of people that have varying personalities. Interpersonal relationships should bring you joy and feed your soul. Boundaries allow for positive interactions and experiences.

When You Can’t Take On Someone Else’s Stuff

Personal boundaries are imperative so you don’t end up knee deep in someone else’s life stuff. Putting in the work to establish healthy boundaries can feel overwhelming. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Reach out to a professional who can assist you in identifying the healthiest boundaries for you and your interpersonal relationships.

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