Creating and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

Creating and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

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By Jordan Lindquist, Faces of Hope Intern

Creating healthy boundaries within your relationships provides many benefits, including, but not limited to, improving self-esteem, strengthening relationships, self-control, avoiding unhealthy connections and overall improving well-being. With the absence of healthy boundaries, the risk of toxic, abusive and/or unsatisfying relationships become more probable.

It is important to remember that setting healthy boundaries within a relationship can occur at any point! It’s never too late to voice these boundaries.

The Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Boundaries


Often, a clear sign of an unhealthy relationship is consistent disregard for personal boundaries. Sometimes it may be difficult to understand when a boundary has been violated. However, a quick method to discern if your boundaries have been crossed is to reflect on your feelings in a specific situation.

Consider the following examples:

  1. Codependency- sacrificing your own needs for the sake of your partner
  2. Not accepting “No” from others, and or not saying “No” yourself
  3. Taking on personal responsibility for other’s happiness and or feelings.
  4. Taking on personal responsibility for saving or fixing others. This mindset can create a problematic savior complex in the relationship.
  5. Touching another individual without their consent
  6. Gaslighting and deception


Healthy boundaries are important for cultivating a healthy relationship. They are unique to you, as they will look different for every relationship. Regardless of the variety in boundaries, all healthy boundaries are similar in nature as they involve accommodating for both of the individuals needs and wants in the relationship. Respect of these needs plays a big role in healthy boundaries.

An individual who cultivates healthy boundaries understands the importance of clearly expressing their expectations, as it helps in two main ways; establishing the types of behaviors that you will accept, as well as establishing the types of behaviors others can expect from you (Pattermore, 2021).

Consider these examples:

  1. Not allowing yourself to compromise your personal boundaries for others, but rather valuing them
  2. Saying “No” as well as accepting when others tell you “No”
  3. Not giving others the power to define/alter your sense of self-worth
  4. Having an understanding that what you are feeling, and your needs are just as important as anyone else’s
  5. Setting and maintaining expectations while interacting with someone else
  6. Sharing appropriate amount of information; not oversharing
  7. Understanding that respecting other’s values and opinions does not equate to compromising your own values and opinions.
  8. Understanding the right, you have to your feelings and emotions.
  9. Avoiding codependent habits

How To Start The Process of Creating Boundaries

It is hard to communicate your boundaries to others if you are unclear on your boundaries. Before engaging in a conversation about your boundaries, start to think through your needs, values, and goals in a relationship!

Some prompts to begin your journey to understanding your boundaries:

  1. Evaluate behaviors that you’ve observed that bother you.
  2. Evaluate traits that you’ve observed that you would like in your relationships.
  3. Evaluate if the person made you feel physically unsafe and or uncomfortable.
  4. Evaluate if you felt disrespected by the comments or jokes that someone else directed towards you.

After understanding what your boundaries and needs are in a relationship, prepare for the conversation. If you’re anxious, writing down your points may help solidify the boundaries in your mind. It is important to figure out what your boundaries are, as well as how the other person can achieve it.

Communication Techniques

Using “I” statements is important to having an effective conversation.

“I feel _____(emotion) when _____(specific word) is said to me.”

“When _____(specific event or action) happens, I feel ____(emotion).”

It is important to have these conversations when both parties are in a head space to do so. Avoid having these conversations when emotions are high or in the height of an argument. Instead, take the space needed to clear your mind. This can allow for both parties to focus on the conversation when had at a later time.