As Robert Frost once wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” And it’s true: setting boundaries helps the people in our lives know and respect our needs.

It’s okay to be assertive about your personal boundaries, in any kind of relationship. Maybe you don’t want the other person looking through your things without asking. Or you don’t feel comfortable hearing their burdens while you’re at work. Or, you don’t want to discuss a certain personal topic with certain people. Communicating these boundaries will help the health of your relationship. 

When boundaries aren’t respected, one partner feels entitled to the other’s energy and/or time in a way that’s not fair to the other party. But if you don’t communicate what your boundaries are, nobody will realize when they’ve crossed them. Setting boundaries benefits both people. 

It can be hard to tell what your own boundaries are, though. It helps to pay attention to your feelings and responses. When do you feel drained? Violated? Angry? This might mean someone’s overstepped a boundary. 

You deserve to feel safe. And you have every right to tell someone when they’ve crossed a line, so they’ll know your needs moving forward. Your needs are important.

For more information, you can check out my website’s page on boundaries.

What’s one reason why setting boundaries would be important?

By Courtland McPherson, MSW, LCSW (Regular Guest Blogger)