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Setting Personal Boundaries

Updated on July 28, 2013
An interesting and very thought provoking blog..
An interesting and very thought provoking blog.. | Source

Enough is Enough!

Everyone has personal boundaries - depending on which values, beliefs, or external circumstances he/she has deemed to be particularly important. It may be that one does not like when he is touched by strangers, someone else never lends any money or a third does not drink any alcohol.

If while dealing with other people you feel hurt, disturbed or annoyed, then your personal boundaries may have been violated. These boundaries protect your emotional health, ensure your privacy, avoid disappointment and pain. However, the best possible boundaries are no help if you can not enforce them. I'll tell you how to remain steadfast and tough in tamper attempts in future.

Personal boundaries may vary some being spiritual boundaries, emotional, social or professional but they all have one thing in common: If they are exceeded by anyone, regardless of whether this happens by accident or by force, you feel hurt, perhaps even threatened. Since your personal boundaries protect your privacy, they should also be respected by the people around you.

How to recognize the four most popular tamper attempts

There will always be people who see your personal boundaries as a hindrance or a nuisance, and who are not willing to accept "no" for an answer. They will try to evade your boundaries and persuade you to a "yes". The four most frequent tamper attempts are the following:


If one wants to achieve something, then it works best by creating guilt feelings. The effective strategy used here is blackmail. Phrases such as "How can you do this to me?" Are popular arguments to excavate his/her personal boundaries. If someone so argues against you, you should expose the extortion attempt. Blaming you for certain situations will be laid at the door - so you get a bad conscience and be responsive to the needs of your counterpart.


An equally popula r way to avoi d a no, is to give compliments. "No one can do it as good as you" is of the phrases that are frequently used for this purpose. Do not be dazzled by these beautiful words - you should thereby only be persuaded to take on certain tasks.

Blanket Allegations

"Everybody does that" is a typical flat assertion that works to counteract your "no". This demonstrates that the person has absolutely no understanding for your decision and can make you seem like an outsider. You should thereby be insecure and then eventually give in. Do not allow this - you may respond for example with, "I'm not everybody - I'm me".

To Chum up

To achieve their will, some may lead you to feel comfortable with them as a friend. He/She will say sentences like "We get along so well." Do not fall in that trap, because then the friendship will certainly be over after you have withdrawn your no.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Beware: your personal boundaries, can not only protect! Some boundaries can be unhealthy. They can restrict and hinder in your daily life. Imagine if you don't let anyone close, so as not to be disappointed you might be spared from people who are dishonest but on the other hand, you will also have no real friends, because you distance yourself from people.

In addition, it may be that you have put your limits too narrow and thereby be easy to offend. This can for instance be the case when you are shut to everything new, or vice versa - want traditional things to change too fast. If that is the case, you should consider setting healthy boundaries. Your personal boundaries are not rigid: you can change, renew, or amend them.

However, should you always have the same conflicts with a certain person, then it doesn't help if your change your boundaries. In such a case, it 's better to change your relationship with/to that person.

These Phrases can help protect your boundaries

Of course it can be useful depending on the situation to think about your personal boundaries and then make a compromise. In some situations it is better than the unconditional enforcement of your personal position, especially if you have to deal with your colleagues on a long-term basis. But if your NO is very important and a boundary correction is unthinkable for you, make sure you stick to your decision.

Sabotage Type and possible answers

Blackmail - if you really like me, then you would ..

I like you - but I will not do that.

- You can not do that to me!

I am not doing anything - I just have my own opinion.

- As a good friend, there is an obligation for you to .....

This has nothing to do with our friendship.

Compliments - you are the only one who can…..

I think there are others who can do it just as well.

- You're much better at it than I am ...

Give it a try - you'll see, you can do it too

Allegations - You're the only one whose not playing.

It does not matter - because there are enough people playing.

- This will not work at all ...

Perhaps but it's worth a try.

- We've always done it this way.

Then it is about time that we try something new.

Ingratiation - but we're friends ....

And we will continue to be

- We belong together .....

Nevertheless, we do not have to do everything together.

When enforcing your personal boundaries and don't want to "burn any bridges" while doing so, it is important how you articulate the 'no'. You should always remain friendly, for example, you formulate your answer as follows "Do not be angry, but that is not possible for me / that does not work." In doing so, you ask your colleague to understand your own point of view.


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    • coki252000 profile image

      coki252000 6 years ago

      Thanks Cousin I'm glad you liked it!

    • Cousin Fudd profile image

      RobertElias Ballard 6 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

      Excellent hub and helpful too!