Setting Healthy Boundaries: Respect For Yourself

Setting Healthy Boundaries: Respect For Yourself

By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters

Do you long for the day that your partner will have your back and support you? Do your personal interactions  involve control, criticism or disrespect? Have you ever felt interrogated by someone and wondered why you answered all their personal questions? Intrusive and meddling individuals have weak boundaries and often cross other people’s.


Do you bond too quickly, allowing someone to hear all your most intimate details in the first conversation? Do you tell secrets you wish you didn’t? Do you have difficulty getting off the phone when you want to? Often when we had our boundaries crossed as children, we spend a lifetime trying to overcome this pattern. 

When our boundaries aren’t firmly established, we may feel afraid to ask for what we might need, for fear that our partner, or even our children won’t love us. A fear of making unpopular decisions was one of my fears when I was first in relationships. However, it wasn’t until I had children that I began to recognize just how poor my boundaries were. I so wanted my children to love me that I rarely gave them clear boundaries, with repercussions for unwanted behavior. I had a hard time saying, “No” when I meant “HELL NO!” I didn’t respect myself and didn’t even know. 

When we don’t have healthy boundaries, we may we end up crossing other people’s and don’t recognize doing so. We may vent to friends about our problems. This spewing of negativity may alienate our dearest friends due to too much drama. Drama is a side-effect of not having clear boundaries.

Whether we are single, married or have children, setting healthy boundaries may be challenging and feel foreign at first. Like any new behavior, it takes practice. Once we get the hang of it, practicing using boundaries, keeps us feeling safe and stable. Until we become comfortable with this new skill, we may become reactive and over-course-correct. We have to be sure that we let our loved ones know that there are repercussions for crossing our boundaries, but make the punishment fit the crime. 

If we allow someone to keep crossing our boundaries, it is an indication of a lack of personal respect. The two go hand in hand. If you have challenges with boundaries, your most likely don’t respect yourself or others.

What Is A Boundary?

We all have a personal bubble. Some people may come too close to us, standing inside our personal bubble. They may touch us when or where, we don’t want them to, or ask us to do things we don’t want to do. When our boundaries aren’t healthy, we may end up saying yes, when we mean no.  Or perhaps performing other acts they feel uncomfortable doing.

How To Create Boundaries

1. Keep some information private. Allow new people to get to know part of you, but don’t give them the whole enchilada in the first sitting. Instead of giving someone 100% of your life story, only let them in 20% of the way. This way, you don’t have to course-correct and shut down if you feel you have revealed too much.

2. You don’t have to reveal all of yourself to all your family members, church congregation or children. Be selective with whom you share private and intimate details. If you and your partner are having issues in your relationship, you don’t have to share the details with your mother, children or friends. Think before you answer somebody’s questions. You don’t have to respond just because a question was asked. You can always ask, “Why do you want to know?”

3. Take care of your needs. Often when we don’t have clear personal boundaries, we don’t take care of our physical needs. We may stay up too late at night, waste time on the computer, or watch television until the wee hours. Get to bed at a reasonable time. Eat a healthy diet. Don’t skip meals because you are trying to please someone else. You don’t have to be everything to everyone, or please everyone. You don’t have to do every town project, fundraiser at school, or make love if you are too tired. Do things for yourself that make you happy. Nurture you. Take care of you.

4. Communicate your needs in a positive way. Most people don’t know what is on our mind. Don’t expect your loved ones to read your mind, do so in an upbeat way rather than acting like a victim. Be specific about what you want. 

“I want some alone time right now. Please give me some space.”

“I want to spend time with you too, but first I have to take some time for me.”

“I would be glad to discuss this with you if you will be respectful and polite.”

“I appreciate your opinion, but I need to experience this myself. I learn from my mistakes, you can’t do this for me.”

“Both of our time is valuable. I need you to be on time for dinner out of respect for me.”

“I need you to refrain from speaking to me in that tone of voice.” 

To your children: “I love spending time with you. I will play this game with you for one hour, and then I have to get my blog written.”

5. When you feel someone is intrusive, overfriendly or meddling with you, cool towards them. You can do so gently. Your body language and eye contact speak volumes. Look at them less, turn your body away from them. Your tone of voice, facial expressions are ways you can shift your energy from open to more closed.

6. Your energy and demeanor can convey that you don’t’ want to speak to another. If a subtle change in your energy doesn’t get the point across to the other person, tone down your energy to a cooler temperature. Instead of being open and warm, cool down, change your tone of voice. If body language and tone don’t work, use words to express, “Please excuse me, I am visiting with friends right now.” If your words don’t get your point across, you can remove yourself physically from the situation. Leave.

7. Stay calm. Yelling at another conveys a lack of emotional control. You do not have to be reactive to what another person is saying. You have the power to NOT REACT. Demanding, pleading or insisting that someone not cross your personal boundaries

indicates how you are not in control of your emotions. You don’t have to be emotionally entwined with what the other person is doing or saying. You can control how you react to a situation.


8. Eliminate draining complaining conversations. People that call you to vent about all their woes, are dumping their negativity all over you energetically. If someone often calls you or complains in person, extricate yourself from the conversation by saying, “I don’t involve myself in negativity. I have to go now.” If after several times this behavior does not change; you have the option to speak your truth. 

“I find negative conversations are draining. I would prefer to speak only about positive subjects that make me feel good.” 

“I have so much going on right now, I won’t have time to talk.”

“Oh I am sorry that these things are happening in your life right now. Would you like me to give you some feedback as to why these patterns are repeating for you? If you don’t want my advice then, I can’t help you.”

9. Respect yourself and those you are with. Avoid public arguing or public demeaning and critisicm. If you are being disrespected, be prepared to leave a public place. Arguing in public is disrespectful and rude to yourselves and others.

10. Be polite. Don’t take anything that doesn’t belong to you from another without asking, this includes from their plate as well. Sharing from a place involves enmeshment. We are each individuals. Enmeshment is unhealthy. Keep your autonomy intact. Always ask first, “May I have a taste?” If they respond negatively, let it be.

11. Allow your children to have their personal space. Touching inappropriately, or kissing them in public when they don’t want you to is invasive. Children need to learn to establish their own boundaries early. Help them to be their own person. 

12. Respect yourself, your body and your partner’s. Ask before touching your partner. Expecting, demanding or taking another person without their permission is disrespectful and demeaning. Acting as if you own your partner leads to resentment and disconnection. Long-term marriage does not give anyone the right to have sex with or touch another if they don’t want to be touched. 

Without respect we can’t engage in arguments. Getting involved in a firey discussion when someone does not respect you is futile. If someone does not respect you and continues to engage in demeaning behavior, you have to be able to go to the wall and leave not only the situation, but the relationship if the behavior does not change.


Setting Your Life On Fire is what I help you do. Part of this work involves getting to know yourself on a deep level. When you can be honest with yourself, your life shifts with a magnitude that is astounding. 

Boundary issues were part of my life. I am still working on these issues in a smaller way. As I began to love myself more, my respect for myself grew. Boundary issues cause problems in relationships, eventually. Early on, you might not notice. Over time, the small issues become greater. 

Probably the most profound work I do for people is clear old patterns that hold them back. Emotions, beliefs, and blocks once removed allow your energy to move to a higher level. Without all

the pain stuck in your cells, you become lighter, happier and more uplifted. Why not get your energy cleared and see all the changes happen for you? Book your energy clearing appointment here now. Book now. 


Visit Jennifer’s website here: JenniferElizabethMasters.com


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