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How to Set & Protect Your Boundaries? 12 Tips & Examples

How to Set & Protect Your Boundaries? 12 Tips & Examples

Do you want to be able to set and protect your personal boundaries even better ? For example at work, in healthcare or in your relationship? In this article you will learn how to do it, including the best tips, exercises, examples and what it means at all to ‘set your boundaries’. Read more… 

Do you want to better indicate your boundaries? The best tips!

In this article, we enlisted help from Mischa ten Velden to talk about how best to set your own boundaries. This is important, because if you don’t set your limits, you stop yourself from doing what you really want. What is the best way to help us achieve this? If you would like to get better at indicating your limits, read on quickly.

But first… What is the meaning of ‘going beyond your boundaries’ and ‘indicating your boundaries’?

Let’s clarify these somewhat ‘vague terms’ briefly and to the point:

  • Crossing your boundaries means that you do or allow things that go against what you want.
  • Setting your boundaries  means that you make a correction to the above event. You then ensure that what you want is honored.

Tip 1 – First look at the cause: How it came to be that we no longer even understand our own limits …

There are  a number of reasons why we no longer understand our own limits:

limit indicate causes

Cause 1: You do not know what you yourself really want

Many of us let people cross their boundaries, but what is a common cause of that? We hardly  think about what we really want ourselves : we are therefore only concerned with what others expect from us, what others want and what others need. In other words: other people are central.

Can you put yourself back as a central person? This is called ‘sorted by self’ and that means: This person evaluates situations and communication based on their own feelings and criteria. In this article about meta programs, look at the section about ‘Sorting by self’ as the central person.

Cause 2: You confuse other people’s expectations with your own

We have often subconsciously taken over the  expectations of other people , which makes us think that this is what we want.

We have come to expect all those expectations of others from ourselves. So it has become very natural to confuse things that others want with things we want ourselves. As a result, we no longer give ourselves the opportunity to think of what we really want.

Choose yourself. Don’t worry about what others think about you. Don’t let the opinion of others determine who you are. Just follow your heart and devote yourself to your dreams.

It doesn’t matter who crosses your boundaries: your boundaries simply cannot be exceeded. Not by anyone. Dare to stand up for yourself. Even to your parents. Especially to your parents. They will respect you for that. It is also a relief for them to know what your own limits are. Even if your parents say they think something you do is problematic, you say, “That’s not a problem for me.”

Quarrels sometimes help you further.

Cause 3: You’ve gotten used to pushing your limits

If we have regularly crossed our borders in the past, a pattern has emerged. Once we have gotten used to going beyond our borders, it can be difficult to break this pattern.

In life we ​​quickly get used to our way of how we interpret this life. Where – especially when we are very busy – we hardly get around to feeling what really suits us.

Cause 4: You believe your own negative thoughts

Even all our negative thoughts cause us to no longer understand or indicate our limits. These negative thoughts make us do something that we don’t really want to do.

The problem is that it has become so natural for us to believe our thoughts, when thoughts are just thoughts that come and go. And that sometimes includes negative thoughts that tell us mean things.

Those negative thoughts may be noticed (for example with mindfulness exercises ) but should not be believed.

For example, if you receive a bad assignment from someone – one that goes beyond your boundaries – your own negative thoughts can keep you from saying anything. Your own negative thoughts may tell you that you really are an inferior person and are therefore well suited to do such nasty jobs, which will make you take for granted all these nasty jobs that go beyond your limits.

Our negative thoughts can be so mean (if we choose to believe them) that we not only let others go beyond our boundaries, but we also pretend that everything the other is doing is right. And of course there are always fun and less fun assignments that you can get at work, for example, but it is especially important how much we have become used to just accept everything that happens in our life, without looking at what we really do. want.

Tip 2 – Investigate the positive results of setting your boundaries: why is setting boundaries important?

limits tips

Setting boundaries is important for both parties: yourself and the other.

  • Setting boundaries is important for yourself because it makes your own life more enjoyable .
  • Setting boundaries is important for the other because you make the lives of others more caring and therefore more meaningful. Give the others the opportunity to offer you something that is within your limits and that suits you well!

These are both very important reasons to just indicate your limits regularly. In this way, others have the opportunity to take good care of you and give you a wonderful gift in this way. Do not deprive the other person of this opportunity: be honest with other people about your boundaries, instead of already filling in for others that they will always cross your boundaries.

If you do not indicate your own limits, the other person cannot take you into account.

The more clear you are about yourself to others, the better other people will at least understand what you stand for, what you want and what you really like. The other person may not always be able to give this to you, so become proactive about this by setting your boundaries.

Tip 3 – What do you want ?

If you know what you want in your life, then you know what you don’t want. This means you automatically know what your limits are. So make it very clear to yourself what you want and what your limits are, because if you do not know what your limits are, then you cannot indicate them. Read the articles on following your heart and taking care of yourself .

Only when you are happy can you help others and make the world a happier place. Only if you yourself are a nice place can you make the world a nice place.

Let go of all the ‘musts’. Stop being lived by others. For all the things that are on your agenda, ask yourself the following metamodel question : “Who should do that?” In this article about overcoming depression , you can learn more about letting go of all these ‘musts’.

Tip 4 – Feel how your boundaries feel

define borders

How do you know if something is crossing your boundaries or not? Not by making a logical decision, but by feeling . Do you get a feeling in your body that tells you that your limits are being exceeded? Then you know it’s time to say no. See next tip …

Tip 5 – Say no (here you will find great examples!)

This is a very simple tip that does not seem that simple to many people. Maybe some examples can help you. That is why you will find a handy article here to learn to say no properly.

Be the architect of your agenda. Don’t give strangers access to your calendar or your time. Your time is your life. Protect it with everything you have.
– Eelco de Boer

Tip 6 – Stick to your no: don’t let your no just become a yes

Let a boundary really be a boundary. Don’t just turn your no into a yes. If someone does something that goes against your limits, don’t give in right away. Recently I couldn’t pay in cash after eating in Amsterdam. That went against the grain, and I didn’t give in. It must be possible to pay in cash. I stood up for myself and asked questions about how and why.

Tip 7 – Leave the responsibility where it belongs: with the other (if so)

Set boundaries? Then leave the borders where they already are! A problem of the other is the problem of the other, not your problem. Be responsible, but only for your responsibilities.

The path to inner peace begins with 3 words: “Not my problem.”

Are you in a group and is everyone equally responsible? Share the responsibility. Then say: how are we going to solve this? The other with now (also) come up with a solution. Ask the other person to do something too.

Tip 8 – Break through your pattern

Maybe you made it into a pattern to go beyond your limits. Break this pattern with a … pattern break!

Tip 9 – Process your feelings of inferiority

indicate inferiority limits

Crossing your boundaries can happen if you believe your own thoughts and emotions of inferiority. So process your emotions with the tips from this article.

Tip 10 – Become proactive in setting your boundaries

Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’ve suddenly crossed your limits. Indicate in advance to others what your boundaries are and defend your boundaries. This way you are more proactive in guarding your boundaries.

Good news! There is a handy technique for this. Do you want a concrete tool to indicate boundaries in advance ? Then practice yourself in expectation management and pre-frames. Here you will learn exactly how this works.

Tip 11 – Do not sacrifice or discard yourself

Sacrificing yourself is clearly a case of going beyond your limits. Here you will find a clear article about how to stop sacrificing yourself.

Tip 12 – Ground yourself

Grounding yourself strengthens your position, making it easier, more loving and more powerful to guard your boundaries. Here you will learn how to ground yourself.

Conclusion: take small steps and choose what you want!

No matter how difficult it may be to do something new and set your limits for a change … If you do nothing, nothing in your life will change at all. So you are only allowed to take small steps towards change, for example by telling someone more often what you want.

Then it is actually already a tremendous progress if you are actively involved in this! If you are in a situation where you are constantly going beyond your limits and therefore experiencing a lot of  stress, it  is already very clever if you apply one or more of the tips in this article. Good luck!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!