Setting boundaries is telling people how you want to be treated. If you don’t tell them how will they know?

We tend to think they are a negative thing.

We don’t have to look at them this way. We can look at them like they are our guidelines for ourselves and others. The boundaries should align with our needs and our values.

Kid hands on wire fence

Everywhere I look boundaries have been popping up. With friends, work associates and clients.  

These are not easy for most people. But once you start setting boundaries, you will find them very easy to set and honor.

It is easier to start a relationship with boundaries in place. If you set a new boundary to an older relationship, there will be push back. People get used to treating you a certain way and get upset if that changes. You may even feel a bit guilty for changing the rules. Just like any change both parties will get used to it.  Holding to the boundary is very important.

How do you set boundaries and hold others to the new boundaries?

I think the best way is to know the reason behind the boundary. Why are you setting it?

In a business setting, boundaries are systems and procedures. With new employees this is easy but if you decide to add boundaries after employees have been there awhile, it can be a challenge.

Why are you adding the new boundary?

Start with an explanation when you present them to people. Tell them why, explain to them how the boundaries will help the relationship. Explain what hasn’t been happening and why it needs to change.

When I set up the systems and procedures for the coffee shop, I needed to figure out the systems first. We didn’t set boundaries in the beginning. We didn’t know what the boundaries were until we worked in the business. With the boundaries in place, everyone knew what was expected before they started the job. Then we could hold them to those boundaries.

Personal boundaries work the same way. When someone pushes your boundaries, you figure out what those boundaries need to be.

This has happened to me as I have worked on myself. I didn’t have many boundaries, at first. Now I do. I had to realize they were not a negative thing. They are honoring me and how I want to live and how I want my relationships to look.

Friends want to know how you want to be treated. If they cross one of your boundaries, you have a chance to kindly tell them what that boundary is. This honors them too. If you both know how you want to be treated your friendships will grow.

It is all about loving yourself enough to tell people how to treat you. It is honoring yourself. It is about having people around you that honor you too.

Remember the boundary is a guide to how you want to be in life, work and love relationships.

What new boundary are you going to set today?