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Experts on Setting Healthy Boundaries


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

We learn as kids that boundaries help keep us safe. But as we get older, it becomes more challenging to set boundaries with people we love. Kind-hearted people who want to always be there for family members can easily exhaust themselves and run out of steam if healthy boundaries are not in place. Setting boundaries actually helps you have better relationships with the people in your life because you are never trying to pour from an empty cup. You'll have more open communication and be able to share your needs as well.

Here are some tips from experts on setting boundaries in a variety of relationships.

Boundaries with Parents

This excerpt was written by therapist Alyssa "Lia" Mancao, LCSW.

Examples of poor boundaries from a parent might look like:

  • Having unexpected and frequent visits from them
  • Unsolicited input about your partner
  • Unsolicited advice about how you're raising your children
  • Having them buy things for your home without asking you
  • Frequent comments about your diet or body
  • Interfering in your personal life

Setting boundaries with parents look like:

  • Identifying what your own unique values are, some of which may be different from theirs
  • Being able to act in a way that is consistent with your values and beliefs
  • Being clear on what you need
  • Establishing rules on how you would like to be treated

READ MORE: 6 Steps To Setting Healthy Boundaries With Parents (And What That Looks Like)

Boundaries with Friends

This list of boundaries to consider was researched and written by Natalia Lusinksi.

1. How You Treat Each Other's Time

2. What Needs You Share With Them

3. How Reciprocal You Are

4. How Much You Tell Them

5. How You Treat Their Values

6. How You Separate Your Emotions And Well-Being

7. How You Affect Each Other's Lives

8. How You Support Them

9. Whether You're Able To Say “No”

READ MORE: 9 Boundaries You Should Have In Your Friendships, According To Experts

Boundaries at Work

This list of tips was written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

1. Know your values.

2. Communicate clearly.

3. Bring up a boundary or violation right away.

4. Create structure.

5. Set boundaries at home.

6. Focus on concrete explanations.

7. Prepare for violations.

READ MORE: 7 Tips for Setting Boundaries At Work