How to Tell Someone Your Boundaries

So, you’ve decided that it’s time to set some boundaries in your life. Good for you! Boundaries are essential to maintaining relationships with friends, family members, and coworkers, as they can help build trust and respect. Once you’ve decided what your boundaries are, the next step will be communicating them to those around you. Here are some tips for how to do so:

  • Be clear. Explain exactly what you expect so that there’s no room for misinterpretation. For example, if you don’t want to work evenings, say, “I’m available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.” rather than “I can’t work late,” since “late” can mean different things to different people.
  • Establish consequences. Explain what will happen if your boundary is crossed. For instance, if your child regularly yells, say, “If you raise your voice while we’re having a conversation, I will leave the room until you calm down.” And most importantly, follow through on those consequences.
  • Use the sandwich method. If you’re concerned about how the other person will react, try sandwiching your boundary between two positive statements. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by how frequently your sister calls, you could say, “I love our chats, but I’ve been so busy with this new job that I’m not able to talk each night. Can we schedule a time each week to catch up?”

Do You Struggle to Set Boundaries?

Setting and communicating boundaries can be difficult, but it’s a lot easier with the help of an experienced therapist. I understand the intricacies of relationships between family members, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances, and would love to help you learn effective boundary-setting. Contact me today to schedule a therapy session at a date and time that’s convenient for you.