Setting Healthy Boundaries

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Feet inside a circle in the sand - Setting Healthy Boundaries - Article by The Therapy Centre with locations in Toronto, Oakville, Hamilton and Virtual

Are you the person who always says “yes” even when you want to say “no”? Do you often feel like you are taken advantage of by friends, family, and coworkers because they know that you will help no matter what? While none of us like disappointing the important people in our lives, setting healthy boundaries is the only way any of us can feel like we aren’t being taken advantage of or allowing others to treat us with disrespect.

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are the guidelines or rules that a person has for how they allow other people to behave around them. Your comfort, safety, and self-confidence depend on you maintaining healthy boundaries. Of course, you are the only one who knows what your boundaries are, so these guidelines also show you a healthy way to react when someone crosses them. However, if you don’t know what your boundaries are and why you set them, you might allow other people in your life to do things that upset and abuse you.

 Tips for setting healthy boundaries

  • When you identify the need to set a boundary, do it clearly, calmly, firmly, and respectfully. You don’t need to apologize, get angry, or justify your need for that boundary.
  • If you are feeling angry, resentful, or find yourself complaining about a situation all the time, you likely need to set a boundary. Listen to yourself and figure out what is making you feel this way. Decide what you need to do or say, and then communicate your boundaries clearly.
  • You are not responsible for how other people react to the boundaries you set. People who are used to manipulating, using, and controlling you might get upset when you communicate your boundaries. They are used to getting their own way and may resent that you are placing limits on how they can treat you. Remember, you are setting boundaries for your own well-being. Remind yourself that you deserve and have a right to self-care.
  • Your behaviours should match the boundaries that you set, so if you apologize while communicating them, it sends a mixed message. At first, you might feel selfish, guilty, or embarrassed, but with some practice you will get better at communicating your boundaries to others.

Do you need help learning to set healthy boundaries?

At The Therapy Centre we have skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who can help you identify and set your own boundaries, as well as effectively treat a variety of issues that may be affecting your life, from everyday challenges to traumatic events with more lasting impact. We help individuals cope with difficult life circumstances like low self-esteem, the death of a loved one, a life-altering accident, or a serious illness as well as anxietydepression and other mental health issues. We also have a dietitian who can help with setting nutritional goals.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering both in-person and  Virtual Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing.

Our offices are located across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville, 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton, and a NEW location in Toronto at 1849 Yonge St (Yonge and Davisville).