6 Ways to Set Limits In Your Relationships

6 Ways to Set Limits In Your Relationships

Have you ever felt incapable of defining limits in your relationships?

Have you failed to draw a line with someone?

Do you ever felt misused when dealing with people?

Defining boundaries are considered as the vital aspect of happy and healthy relationships. It is as important as everything else but setting boundaries requires a lot of skill. How you set boundaries, depends a lot on your upbringing and past experiences. If in any case, you have not met with such things in your childhood then you should learn to define limits so that you don’t act too lenient or too strict with people.

In order to preserve healthy boundaries, let’s begin with the following process:


Recognize Your Needs and Your Feelings: This is the foremost step in setting limits in your relationships. You need to look within yourself and find out what you can tolerate and what you can’t. What makes you comfortable and what not. You need to separate yourself from the other person to self-reflect.

6 Ways to Set Limits In Your Relationships

Ask yourself the following:

  • What are your values that you can’t compromise with? Values play an integral part in defining the limits.

  • You should know your priorities because then it will be easier for you set limits with a simple yes or no.

  • What are the things that you will never negotiate? It can be your values, health, diet, preferences or your ethics that you don’t want to compromise at any cost.

  • List of things that you are flexible about: We all can adjust with some things happily or be lenient about.

Now that you know your inner self, let’s proceed to next step.


Observe where you had been mistreated: Think of all the instances where you felt used or you did something so that the other person doesn’t feel bad.

Is there someone who calls you late at night and you just respond to not make him/her feel bad? Or is your friend always asks for money and never pays you back? Do your friends always make fun of you in front of your colleagues? Do people harass you in office? Do people always make fun of your personality? Do you forgive your friend every time because you don’t want to lose the friendship?

Well, you can recollect many instances where the limits had been crossed and you just ignored and carried on with the same behavior. But it is time you need to set the limits for people so that they don’t take advantage of you.


Be Direct: This is the most important step to handle people and not letting them take advantage of you. Once you have made a list of what makes you sad, happy, stressed or bad, and then decide how you need to handle that person.

With some people, you don’t need to be direct because they follow the same approach as yours but with others, you need to direct and strict. For instance, you need to say ‘no’ to people when it disturbs your schedule. Or next time when a person asks you for the money you need to tell them to pay back the money first. There may also be a case when one of your colleague or friends always brag about his/her problems and this act of them drains your energy and hamper your work so you need to explain to them that you have some other stuff to do.

6 Ways to Set Limits In Your Relationships


Don’t feel guilty:  Most of the people think when they impose boundaries the people will feel bad and the relationship will suffer but they forgot that in this way they are unnecessarily forcing themselves to accept the things which they don’t like. People might feel guilty by saying ‘no’ to their friend or family member because they think to be a good son, friend or partner they have to compromise to keep the peace even if it’s at the cost of harming themselves.

But they fail to understand that imposing limits in your relationships is not just a sign of healthy relations but also very important to preserve your self-respect. So, allow yourself to draw a line between right and wrong because taking care of you is not wrong at all.


Be Confident & Make Strategy: Your task is not over yet. You should be confident in your approach and make proper strategies on how to communicate the problems or limits to other persons. Some people don’t understand if you don’t tell them so you have to communicate them that they have crossed the boundary. You can even convey them politely, the problem that is bothering you so that you can together work upon it.


Take Small Steps: Last but not the least, to master any skill you need to take baby steps and conveying limits takes practice. So, at first, start with imposing a little boundary that doesn’t disturb you and then carry on with more challenging boundaries. How well you convey and execute depends entirely upon you and you can master this skill with ingredients like courage, skill, and confidence.


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