Boundaries often have a negative connotation, but when we use them appropriately, they can help us to strengthen our relationships and experience healthier, happier, and safer relationships overall. Today, we’re sharing 4 practical steps for setting healthy boundaries in relationships of all kinds.

  1. Commit to learning and growing.  All relationships require intentionality and constant effort in order to remain healthy, happy, and safe. When setting boundaries in relationships, it’s important to commit to learning and growing. Identifying the areas of your relationships that may need work can help you understand where you need to commit your effort to learning and growing new skills.
  2. Practice, practice, practice! Like anything in life, to become good at setting boundaries, you have to practice, practice, practice! Practicing boundary-setting can look like: reminding yourself and those impacted of the boundary you’re setting and how they can help you enforce it, or holding yourself accountable for the boundaries that you set for yourself. Remember that perfection is not the goal, but consistency is!
  3. Understand that only you can change your behaviors and that you cannot control the behaviors of others.  It can be hard to accept this in our relationships, but when we understand that we cannot control the behaviors of others, it helps us to focus on the behaviors in ourselves that can help to change or impact a relationship for the better.
  4. Address communication issues and boundary violations promptly and respectfully. Responding to boundary violations quickly and respectfully helps to hold yourself accountable, as well as others, for ensuring that your needs are met.

For more on setting boundaries in relationships, check out this pre-recorded program by HRI Director, Dr. Christine Murray, here.