Published on January 4th 2024

Emotional Boundaries: How to Set and Maintain Them for a Healthier Life

#Emotional wellness

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Emotional Boundaries: How to Set and Maintain Them for a Healthier Life



Emotional Boundaries: How to Set and Maintain Them for a Healthier Life

Table of Contents


. Signs that you require emotional boundaries


. How do you set emotional boundaries for a happier and more confident you ?


. Identify what makes you feel that way


. Put your needs first


. Communicate your boundaries to everyone


. Be firm


. Practice saying NO


. Respect the boundaries of others


. Do some emotional wellness exercises


. Seek support and feedback


. Things to do if anyone doesn’t respect your boundaries

In our day-to-day lives, we interact with so many people. Often, our energy and thoughts don’t match those of others. What might make us feel good may not be the same for others, and vice versa.

Thus, it may sometimes affect and challenge our emotions, especially when things become quite disturbing for us. That’s when setting emotional boundaries becomes important. Doing so will help individuals take care of their emotional wellness.

We convey to others our perception of intolerable behavior through the use of boundaries. Emotional boundaries may include prohibitions against people gazing down on you or making you feel regretful, in addition to personal boundaries such as personal space.

Emotional boundaries are the limits that we set for ourselves and others in terms of how we express and receive emotions. They help us to better communicate our feelings, avoid emotional manipulation, and protect our emotional well being as well.

Let’s talk about how you can set things up for yourself and others so that you maintain a healthier and more peaceful life for yourself.

Signs that you require emotional boundaries

Boundary issues may arise at any time and in any specific situation. However, it is only when an individual believes that things have crossed all limits that emotional boundaries are required.

Some of these signs include:

  • Feeling disrespected by people but not standing up for yourself.
  • Saying “yes’ to please others even when you are feeling low or broken.
  • Engaging in pleasing others even though your financial or emotional well-being is at risk.
  • You are unable to meet your needs because you tend to fear conflict and give it to others.
  • Feeling constantly overwhelmed or burned out, or that you have no time for yourself.
  • Always in fear of getting rejected or neglected.

How do you set emotional boundaries for a happier and more confident you ?

If you are experiencing any of the above signs, you must set and maintain healthier emotional boundaries. One may do so in several ways, including:

Identify what makes you feel that way

To sort out your issues and set boundaries for your emotional well-being, you must question yourself about what exactly is bothering you.

Learn what is making you feel happy, sad, bothered, scared, or angry. You must also ask yourself what your principles are and how you want others to treat you.

Put your needs first

A good boundary involves putting your needs first and not taking personal responsibility to satisfy others. It doesn't mean you have to be self-centered rather, it allows you to take care of yourself while also remaining present and controlled while you're with people.

Communicate your boundaries to everyone

Once you become aware of your emotional boundaries, it’s time to let others know about them too. Use “I” language to explain your feelings and needs without blaming others.

For example, one may say, “I feel sad when you don’t value me. I need you to take my opinions seriously and consider me a part of the team.”

Be firm

Be firm in your decision, and do not compromise where you don’t have to. Set your boundaries and let everyone know that nothing can change your decision as you have made your mind to things.

Practice saying NO

You don’t have to please everyone by saying yes every time. Sometimes, you should reject or decline requests or invitations that challenge your emotional boundaries.

Make sure to do it appropriately and politely. For example, you may say, “Thank you for inviting me for dinner today, but unfortunately, I couldn’t make it as I need some time to relax and recharge.”

Respect the boundaries of others

While you must set and maintain your boundaries, it is also essential that you respect others’ boundaries too. You may do this by listening to their feelings and needs, avoiding criticizing them, asking for their permission when needed, and apologizing to them if you cross their boundaries.

Doing this will make things two-way, and eventually, you can even make them understand the importance of emotional wellness.

Do some emotional wellness exercises

Yes, you can practice some emotional wellness exercises to help enhance your understanding and acceptance of your emotions. These exercises will help one reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as improve mood and self-esteem.

You could start repeating positive affirmations, journaling things, practicing mindfulness meditation, and cognitive restructuring, among other exercises.

Seek support and feedback

It is not easy for individuals to shift their focus to setting and maintaining emotional boundaries. Therefore, you may require the help of people who may give you assistance and feedback.

They can assist you to validate your feelings, reinforce your boundaries, and cope with any difficulties you may encounter.

However, always make sure you ask for help from those who care about you and your boundaries.

Things to do if anyone doesn’t respect your boundaries

Now that you know how to create boundaries around yourself, you may easily reap several emotional wellness benefits. At times, you may still face situations when someone doesn’t respect your set boundaries.

To deal with them, you may first need to evaluate the reason behind them. There is a possibility that a person might overstep your boundaries accidentally. If that is the case, talk to them immediately and tell them you don’t want them to repeat it in the future.

However, if a person is ignoring or disrespecting you often and purposefully, it’s time to ask yourself if there is a need to keep them in your life.

Discuss with them that you don’t want things to work this way. Even if it is a hard step, if they are disrespecting you and your emotions, you need to think about cutting them off from your life.

In the end, you need to understand that you and your mental and emotional health are important.

If you have learned today how to set and maintain emotional boundaries, then start implementing them from now on.

Do not let anyone make you feel discouraged, disrespected, or hurt any longer.

Reviewed by

Dr. Sangeeta Hatila Cropped.jpg

Dr. Sangeeta Hatila

Neuro Psychiatrist