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Setting Boundaries and Saying NO!

Why set boundaries?

  • Is crucial for your own mental wellbeing because it sets “the basic guidelines of how you want to be treated”

  • Acts as a reminder that you need to take care of yourself and put yourself first

  • Stepping out of your comfort zone is important because it helps you grow and become a stronger and better person

  • However, crossing boundaries to make yourself uncomfortable and mentally unwell is not healthy

Main types of boundaries

Physical boundaries :

The personal space you need, your personal belongings and your comfort with touch

Emotional boundaries :

How others treat / talk to you (especially during arguments)

Time boundaries :

How you manage your time and how you prioritize it

Sexual boundaries :

How much or how far you are willing to go for sexually (eg: are you comfortable oral sex / dirty talk?)

Intellectual boundaries :

What you believe in and the respect for others ideas (eg: politics, religion)

The first steps to setting boundaries

1. Reflect on your past self

– What made you uncomfortable? What calmed you down?

Learning about yourself is the first step to knowing how far people can push you before a boundary is crossed. Eg, if the mention of politics at the dinner table always results in conflict, acknowledge it and let others know that politics is off the dinner table.

2. You don’t have to apologize for setting boundaries

Remember that you have a choice in everything. Rejecting invites and offers is always a valid choice you can make. Stop saying no just because you feel bad for saying no.

Different ways to say no

“No, that doesn’t work for me right now.”

“Thank you for thinking about me, I need some alone time and am planning on laying low tonight.”

“No, I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do…”

“Do you mind if we schedule a meeting on the calendar instead? That way I can show up with your undivided attention.”


You can have a kind heart, and still build strong boundaries. Don’t let people take away your power to say no.



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