Having clearly defined boundaries is an essential element to healthy, supportive, mutually respectful relationships and life in general, whether it be with your children, your parents, your spouse, friends, siblings, work colleagues, customers, patients or clients. Boundaries tell others what is acceptable to you. Defining and maintaining boundaries is a skill that unfortunately, not all of us have learned or mastered.
Poorly defined or non-existent boundaries may leave you vulnerable, and may lead to others feeling that it's ok to put you down, make fun of, or take advantage of your good nature. This can also lead to discomfort and resentment and/or conflict with others.
For many of us, setting clearly defined boundaries is a relatively new concept and it may present challenges for you, especially if you've grown up believing you must please others, or that if you voice your needs, you're being selfish.
To set boundaries, you first need to identify your limits. Then you need to be able to clearly articulate them when required. It's important to know what you like, need, want, and don’t want, and then be able to clearly and calmly communicate that with the other person involved. Be prepared for pushback and stick to you guns, especially if the person you've defined boundaries for is not pleased about the change in status quo.