3 Signs We Need Boundaries, and How To Create Them

Mar 28, 2022

We are often “too nice” in our lives, and we end up feeling the pain for it. Whether it’s friends or family, we don’t like upsetting people or making them “feel bad” (by the way, we aren’t responsible for others’ feelings if we are acting with integrity and from a place of self-care), so we let ourselves get taken advantage of in different ways.

Here are some signs that boundaries are needed in our lives:

  1. We feel resentful. If we avoid someone because they only want to dump on us/are drunk/lonely/need validation/money/a ride etc, we need a boundary. Our egos may like being “needed”, but when we feel resentful it’s our sign that the relationship is out of balance.
  2. We make everyone our friend out of fear of not being liked. Having to be everyone’s “friend” even if we don’t really like them is exhausting as well as inauthentic. It’s very okay to have boundaries around our time, energy and relationships. We are a cumulation of all the people we choose to share ourselves with. If there’s someone we really aren’t aligned with, it’s okay to have a boundary even if we once were. 
  3. We keep our “options” open in relationships/have secrets that would hurt our partner. If we are in a committed relationship but are enjoying, encouraging and returning a certain kind of attention from other people, it’s not only a call to take a closer look at ourselves, but also for boundaries. Our egos love being given attention and/or eliciting a certain response from others with our flirting, perhaps. If we find it’s too hard to close those other doors with a boundary that says, “Not available for that, thanks”, there is deeper work to be done. 


“But how?” you ask?

Communication. It’s that easy! (cue laughter here)

  1. Get very clear about what and who you want in your life and WHY. Good reasons: You deeply value the balance in the relationship and the person’s perspectives, you share an appreciation of something together (nature, art, music, etc) and have meaningful relationship around that thing, or you are friends and have been friends and have grown well together and still fit. Not-so-good reasons: It’s easier to avoid them sometimes instead of hurting their feelings by having a boundary, we don’t know who we are if we aren’t constantly needed, or letting others be attached to us makes us feel desired, among others reasons.
  2. Put it into action. We may have to tell someone that we only take late-night calls in case of emergency, or that we return calls and texts that come in after _____ the next day. We can say “I’m sorry for the position you are in right now, but I cannot ____________.”  A big one: “I value your friendship, so let’s not discuss politics/religion/vaccinations (etc). There are plenty of other things to connect over.” Whatever the issue may be, put loving words to it, and erect that healthy boundary.
  3. Sometimes our boundaries get blurry, out of our own need or someone tests it enough times.  It’s healthy to re-evaluate and re-establish as needed.  Sometimes boundaries upset others when they don’t have full access to us anymore. This is also a sign that the relationship may not have been very healthy. We know we have created good, healthy boundaries when we don’t feel resentment and we feel a sense of freedom and appreciation for who and what is in our lives.

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