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How To Set Boundaries And Protect Your Personal Space

Even though I know the importance of boundaries, through my education and my work, I would rarely use them in relation to my friends. I guess my need to ‘people-please‘ was stronger than any wish to avoid personal harm.


This resulted in me getting hurt, time and time again. No more so than when I tried to help my friend get over their substance abuse problems and domestic abuse (Abuse: Female Perpetrators, Male Victim).


Boundaries are what stop us from getting burnt out and protects us from the harm of trying to help others. They’re an important part of our wellbeing and self-care. Having them also helps protect us from abuse. Thus, this article will examine the usefulness of boundaries and offer advice on how to create and maintain them.





You can’t really talk about having boundaries without talking about co-dependency. Co-dependency is what happens to a relationship if there aren’t healthy boundaries that are respected by those in the relationship. This will cause the relationship to become one-sided, resulting in the neglect of the other’s needs.


Codependency is characterised by:

  • Low self-esteem.
  • People-pleasing.
  • Poor boundaries.
  • Dependency.
  • Intimacy issues.
  • Obsessions.
  • Reactivity.


Boundaries can readdress the problems of co-dependency. Setting them up can help lead to the relationship returning to being fairer and more balanced. It’ll also have the knock-on effect of improving your self-esteem.




The Benefits


Boundaries can be set for all kinds of situations, from what you’re willing to do with your sexual partner to how much time and energy you’re willing to invest in any given task.



  • Remember, you’re entitled to your own thoughts and opinions, and so is everyone else.
  • Your feelings are important in every situation because everyone’s feelings are valid.
  • You are entitled to your own personal space, as is everyone else (I know my partner and I have agreed upon personal space).
  • You’re also allowed your own friends and your own social activities and hobbies, and so is everyone else.
  • Lastly, you are allowed your own spiritual beliefs, just like everyone else.


Your thoughts, feelings, and everything else matter just as much as the next persons. Creating your boundaries will allow you to be happier and less stressed.



  • Make yourself a priority and make your self-care a priority. Setting boundaries is as much about protecting yourself as it is about maintaining healthy relationships with others.
  • Having boundaries can help you identify if you’re in an abusive relationship or in a situation that is bad for your mental health and wellbeing. I learnt this the hard way (Abuse: Female Perpetrators, Male Victim).
  • It will improve your self-esteem to have boundaries and have others respect them.
  • It’ll help you manage your stress better (17 Ways To Manage Stress), which is very important for both your physical and mental health.
  • If people aren’t respecting your boundaries, then you’ll know to do something about the relationship with that person. This could be talking about the situation with the person, but if that doesn’t work, changing the type of relationship you have with said person.
  • It will also allow you to establish and maintain your independence. My partner and I have some pretty robust boundaries to make sure our independence and personal space are well-established and protected. Which is very important to me due to my borderline personality disorder.
  • Lastly, the Loner Wolf had this to say about personal boundaries. Our personal boundaries are an essential part of creating and upholding a healthy self-image. Having strong personal boundaries communicates to the world that we exude healthy self-respect and self-worth. Meaning that by creating boundaries, we will feel good about ourselves and preserve our personal integrity.


The picture is split in two with the top image being of a white women sitting on opposite sides of the bed looking unhappy and the bottom image being of a and Indian couple sitting on the opposite sides of a sofa looking unhappy. The two images are separated by the article title - How To Set Boundaries And Protect Your Personal Space


Creating Boundaries


It can be hard to set boundaries if we’ve never done so before, or you’re in a co-dependent relationship. However, people in these situations will need to create them more than most.


According to Psych Central, it’s hard for people in co-dependent relationships because they normally put the other person(s) needs, wants, and feelings first. As a result of this, they often don’t know themselves very well and what they need to make them happy. They don’t feel they have rights, and that somehow setting boundaries will jeopardise their relationship.


However, if a relationship can be put at risk because you want your own needs and feelings to be equally respected, then maybe it’s not a relationship you should be in. If they’re not willing to respect your needs and feelings, even after talking to them, then it’s not a real relationship.


It’s also likely that the person in the codependent relationship never learned to have healthy boundaries, which is why it’s important to have them.


What are your rights?

There are some basic rights we should all have, and that we should all consider when we create and maintain our boundaries. According to the Health Line, these are:


  • The right to say no without feeling guilty.
  • The right to be treated with respect.
  • The right to make my needs as important as others.
  • The right to be accepting of my mistakes and failures.
  • The right not to meet others’ unreasonable expectations of me.


What do you need?

In order to figure out what boundaries you might need, ask yourself a simple question: “What do I need?”



As I’ve previously said, you have every right to have boundaries and to have them respected. Give yourself permission to protect yourself and what you’re willing and not willing to engage in. You have every right to be happy. Boundaries don’t just help with creating healthy relationships, they’re also about the respect you have for yourself.


Setting Your Limits

Know your limits and protect those limits. These limits may change over time, but they should always be set to help you avoid undue stress and other emotional turmoil.


Start Small

If you’re not used to setting boundaries and getting others to respect them, then start small. Then gradually work your way up to creating bigger boundaries that’ll properly protect you.



Get used to practising self-awareness in order to make sure your boundaries are respected. Also, make sure you’re not ignoring signs that they’ve been disrespected.




Maintaining Boundaries


Creating your own boundaries and informing others of them is a great start, but if you don’t follow through with them, then you’re only setting yourself up for the pain of failure.


It’s just as important to maintain your boundaries as it is to create them in the first place. But how can you do this?


If someone has invaded your boundary, then the best way to handle that is to be direct with them. Being assertive about your boundaries doesn’t mean that you’re being unkind. It simply means that you are being fair and honest, whilst maintaining your peace and self-respect. It also means that you value your own worth, your needs, and your feelings more than the opinions of others (Psychology Today).


Boundaries should be flexible, but not too flexible. They’re meant to protect you and your wellbeing, not to isolate you. If you set your boundaries in stone, then you won’t have the flexibility that might be required to allow you to enjoy something new. Alternatively, if you make your boundaries too flexible, then you could see them being completely disrespected.


It’s important to review your boundaries from time to time and make adjustments as needed, because all things change, including you and your needs.


As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences of codependency and creating and maintaining boundaries in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.


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52 thoughts on “How To Set Boundaries And Protect Your Personal Space

  1. I agree that self-awareness is key to properly setting boundaries, which is a form of self-care. Unfortunately, not many people understand boundaries though, which is no fault of theirs. They’re probably struggling from self-esteem issues themselves. Great post, thank you 🙂

    • Indeed, it can be hard to set and maintain boundaries when your self-esteem is really low. But it’ll also help your self-esteem if you’re able to set up and maintain those boundaries

  2. Honestly super impressed with this post. I can see that youvey put a lot of thought into this, and its a very informative post that doesn’t leave the reader with questions. Great post!

  3. This is a great post! I see people every day struggling to set and maintain boundaries. Even when they try often what happens is manipulation that causes guilt and doubt, furthering allowing this person to take advantage of them. We need to know our worth and protect it!

  4. I have a hard time setting boundaries without feeling guilty, even when the person is being really mean to me. Thank you I learned a lot from your article.

  5. How important it is to teach our children about setting boundaries and learning their own personal space. This is such a thought provoking and important point! Thank you for sharing xxx

  6. I think this is a fantastic post. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a blog post on boundaries but there really should be more! Setting boundaries can save a lot of harm. <3

  7. What a wonderful and insightful post! Establishing boundaries when you’re a people pleaser (guilty!) is hard. But once you recognize that you are a valuable human, you realize you are entitled to boundaries, you can start to work to enforce and maintain those boundaries. It’s a long, hard road, but it’s important. Again, great post!

  8. I really enjoyed your discussion of boundaries, particularly your approach about how setting boundaries is good from all angels and that it’s a part of self-care! Good boundaries make for great relationships, that’s for sure!

  9. Boundaries are not walls, which is something I feel many people think them to be. I love how you have listed the benefits and ways to create boundaries as well as uphold them. When in a relationship, respecting boundaries may well bring you closer together. 🙂

  10. Very nicely explained! I could relate to this so well because I was one of those who didn’t know to set the right boundaries in a relationship. Lately, I realized that the prime way to self-care is setting boundaries.

  11. I’ve loved how much I’ve worked on my independence throughout 2019, and it’s definitely set me up well for the start of 2020. This is a great blog post and reminded me why having our own individual personal space is so important, healthy and essential. 🙂

    Soph – https://girlvsworldblog.com x

  12. It is important to have boundaries, whether we are respecting others’ or set one up of our own. This is something I try to communicate with everyone as much as possible because I want to feel comfortable. I also want to make sure that others feel comfortable as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject!

    Nancy ♥

  13. This was my discussion in group treatment all week! I love informing and reinforcing boundaries with my clients! Great insight.


  14. So thankful you wrote this and I read it. There are so many things you mentioned in this post that I’m still struggling with working on. I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship for many years. I still struggle setting boundaries, learning to speak up for me, and putting me first sometimes. It was definitely a co-dependent relationship. All I can do is keep trying every day though.

    • I’m sorry to hear about the abusive relationship you found yourself in. I hope you’re in a much healthier situation now.

      I too still struggle with my boundaries. All we can do is keep working on making our boundaries better each day

  15. Thank you for writing such a thorough and passionate post. I need my husband to read this because it is something that we are constantly reminding ourselves of–both between ourselves and with our families and other outside commitments. We tend to go through cycles of completely burning ourselves out because we don’t set those boundaries that you’re talking about here. OR, I tend to be a bit better about remembering than he is so I will practice my self-care, he will burn out and I feel bad about it.

  16. Thank you for putting together such a detailed discussion of boundaries and suggesting practical ways to build them. Good boundaries are essential to our wellbeing and this is something I’ve struggled with in the past.

  17. This was honestly such an informative post and so insightful! I recognize a lot of myself from past relationships, romantic and otherwise, in some of the examples. It reminds me of why I’m single: to work on me before I just back in! Boundaries are so important for any relationship and person!!

    Emily | http://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

  18. It is important to always forgive those you have transgressed upon and those who have transgressed upon you. Both have happened in my life Android to move forward I have learned that it just happens is a part of life and in order to move forward I must accept it and rationally forgive them except the bill has done a malice in which case I will talk with him about it

    • Maybe I’m reading this wrong because I’m dyslexic, but I’m a little confused about the bill part. I’m assuming Bill is a person and they deliberately wronged you?

  19. I’m wondering if there is any correlation between being an only child and the ability to create and maintain boundaries… I’ve been in a couple of bad relationships where there were very unhealthy boundaries. I think maybe it was a matter of age for me. And not having any examples of what a healthy relationship looked like. I love this article. It’s super thorough, too!

  20. Great post & so so important. I’m definitely a people pleaser. I don’t like to think that i’m letting someone down which at times has led to my own boundaries being overstepped. I really hope this post falls under the eyes of people who really need to see it. I’m sure it will even help them recognise some behaviours maybe they were not aware of before.

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