Setting personal boundaries

How to set personal boundaries without the guilt #Fibro #beingfibromom
stock image from Adobe Stock by © Leigh Prather and modified by Brandi, Being Fibro Mom

When I was first confronted with the term ‘setting personal boundaries’, I was not so sure I understood what that person was saying.  I mean, I’m not completely ignorant, so I knew what ‘boundaries’ meant, but what does ‘setting personal boundaries’ mean? Here’s why you need to set personal boundaries, and how you can be setting personal boundaries without the guilt.

Setting personal boundaries without the guilt #Fibromyalgia Click To Tweet


Why set personal boundaries?


When I searched ‘setting personal boundaries’ there were many, many results.  All of them pointed to the same thing:

Why you should set boundaries - How to do it and NOT feel guilty! #sayno #settingboundaries #fibromyalgia #chronicpain


I couldn’t agree more!!

I also came across this quote:

Why you should set boundaries - How to do it and NOT feel guilty! #sayno #settingboundaries #fibromyalgia #chronicpain


How do we go about setting personal boundaries?

Let’s break down the term ‘setting boundaries’ into six parts – the ‘Who, What, When, Where, and How’.


Who do you set boundaries with?

Setting boundaries should be done with anyone in your life that you come into contact with.  That can be a stranger, your spouse, your significant other, boss, co-worker, your kids, parents, etc.


What exactly is a boundary?

 A boundary can be thought of as the fence of your personal space.  There is only certain (positive) ‘things’ you will allow through the fence and in your personal space.  ‘Things’ can be defined as behavior, words, interactions, limits, and so on.


What types of boundaries are there?  

There are physical, verbal, intellectual, and emotional boundaries.  There may be more, but these are the ones I know of without doing research. (I’m keeping this relatable, so I don’t want to become too bogged down with facts and numbers.  This will just be overwhelming.)


When do I set boundaries?  

Always be setting boundaries each day!  Whenever a violation has been made, speak up about it immediately.  Do not wait for the moment to pass.  Remain calm, say how that person broke your boundary, and be clear that you do not want the boundary to be broken again.  You may not feel confident to address it at the time, but the more often you do it, the more your confidence will build.


Where do you set boundaries?  

It does not matter where you are when you set boundaries.  It should be in your home, the office, in public, friends’ houses, everywhere.  Always, always have your boundaries.


How do I set boundaries?  

Set boundaries by speaking up about what is NOT okay with you.  This does not have to be done in a confrontational tone or by being rude.  It’s using clear communication, a firm voice, and a serious face.  Let the violator know that it is NOT tolerable by you and will NOT allow it.  Again, this pertains to any type of violation – verbal, physical, emotion, intellectual.


Limit the boundaries

Now, don’t go all crazy with the boundary setting and make so many that you become isolated.

Establish boundaries to keep the toxic out and allow the positive in. #fibromyalgia Click To Tweet

How you are already setting boundaries

Are you feeling confused, overwhelmed, or unsure about this ‘setting boundaries’ thing? Don’t!

You let your kids know what is okay and what is not okay, right?  That’s setting a boundary.

If someone was stealing out of your purse, would you let them?  That’s setting a boundary.

Why you should set boundaries - How to do it and NOT feel guilty! #sayno #settingboundaries #fibromyalgia #chronicpain


How I’m doing with boundaries

I’m still practicing how/when to set personal boundaries, but since beginning it, it has made a few changes in my life. Living with chronic pain and fibromyalgia does numerous things on a person’s esteem and confidence, but now I feel more secure in my surroundings, and with others. My pain levels are not as severe, but I think that has more to do with lower stress levels I get from setting personal boundaries. All in all, it’s been a healthy benefit emotionally, physically, and mentally! I’ve even extended this to my kids’ friends. Read about why and how I did it.


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How to set personal boundaries without the guilt #Fibro #beingfibromom
stock image from Adobe Stock by © Leigh Prather and modified by Brandi, Being Fibro Mom


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I'm Brandi, follower of Christ, wife to an amazing, supportive husband, blessed mother to four sweet children, and a fellow spoonie. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

35 thoughts on “Setting personal boundaries

  • April 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm
    Such an important subject. I think that we should not wait and teach our kids about bonders and how to say NO. Reply
    • April 9, 2014 at 8:12 pm
      What a great and very important point, Sarit! I definitely need to extend these to my kids, and tell them not only to say no, but not feel bad about saying no. Thanks for reading, and sharing your thoughts! Reply
  • April 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm
    This is great advice! We all need to set healthy boundaries and learn to respect other people's boundaries. I think not having boundaries is the root of lot of problems! Reply
    • April 9, 2014 at 8:14 pm
      I know it was the root of a lot of my problems, personally. This relieved a lot of stress, and improved the relationships with my parents and siblings. Thank you for reading! Reply
  • April 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm
    Interesting, not something I often think about doing but I should. The times it normally comes up in particular is shaking hands. Since RA has damaged my finger joints, some people unwittingly squeeze my hand too hard during a handshake. Of course, I am always telling my kids to give other kids space. We are a touchy, feely, huggy kind of family and sometimes they forget that not everyone is that way. Thanks for sharing with #Throwbackthursdaylinkup Reply
    • April 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm
      My oldest daughter is also a very huggy type of person. She's always hugging on other kids, teachers, etc. I noticed the other night at a PTA meeting, that one of the teachers felt uncomfortable when my daughter was hugging her. When we got home I took the opportunity to explain to her how some people do not like having that personal space invaded. It opened the conversation to my oldest son, too, and it ended with a very positive note. Thanks for having me at the linkup, too! Reply
  • April 9, 2014 at 9:52 pm
    The is a great subject and actually one I'm focusing lately on teaching my daughters. I can tell it's improved in their relationship (less quarreling). Found you on TBTL :) Reply
  • April 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm
    I've gotten better at this. A few years ago, a friend told me I needed to practice saying no in the mirror. I say yes too easily then find myself overwhelmed. Reply
    • April 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm
      I know the feeling, but once I started seeing the benefits of saying no, it became easier over time. Stick with it! Reply
  • April 9, 2014 at 10:26 pm
    Love this. I think that this is so important for adults, but an invaluable lesson for our kids. Thank you for sharing via #throwbackthursdaylinkup. Reply
  • April 10, 2014 at 1:00 am
    Personal boundaries are just important in life as it is when it comes to being at regular dr visits, taking your meds,eating and sleeping right, being active and taking care of personal hygiene. But personal boundaries are good to set with yourself as well because often with pain we tend to over do it with our limitations.knowing personal boundaries and goals are too healthy to have. once you set your own boundaries on what you will do or wont do its' easy to set it with others. Reply
  • April 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm
    I find it helpful to express my boundary as an "I need this" rather than a "You did that." It is empowering for me to say what I need and want and I want to do that in a way that does not put the other person on the defensive. Oh, the dance of relationships, always keeps us on our toes! Reply
    • April 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm
      Haha Yes, it does keep us on our toes! And, I agree, it is better to say "I need this" because it less provoking to other person, and tends to be less defensive. Reply
  • April 10, 2014 at 5:55 pm
    This is an interesting topic! Thanks for sharing! Thank you for linking up to #throwbackthursdaylinkup Reply
  • April 12, 2014 at 9:38 pm
    I could not agree with you more. Setting personal boundaries does have a wonderfully positive affect on every aspect of your life. It is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself emotionally. People will do what you let them so if you neglect setting your personal boundaries they WILL be violated. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom and relevant quotes. Reply
    • April 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm
      You're right - people WILL do only what you allow them to do. Filter the negative! Thank you for reading! Reply
  • April 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm
    Good tips. Boundaries, and learning to say no.... are really important for having a balanced and healthy emotional life :) Reply
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  • November 14, 2014 at 10:44 am
    Why is setting boundaries so difficult for women? I really struggle with it...great post! Reply
    • November 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm
      It's difficult for me because I do not want to hurt others' feelings, but then I just hurt myself. Thanks for reading! Reply
  • November 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm
    I thought you made some really thoughtful and practical points. I have noticed that when I fail to set boundaries, my stress levels go up. I don't think that's a coincidence! Thank you for these reminders! Reply
    • November 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm
      Yes, it can increase stress levels! I have to be mindful of boundaries - always! Thanks for reading! Reply
  • November 16, 2014 at 9:38 am
    I have to do this with my kids! They want to crawl on me all day long. I also do it with people on Facebook too. I'm ONLY FB friends with people I'm actually friends with. It saves a lot of drama (and time!) Reply
    • November 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm
      I agree with the Facebook friends. That is why I don't have a long list of people on Facebook. I keep the list pretty short to tone down the drama :) Reply
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  • November 19, 2014 at 10:33 am
    Good points. I'm struggling a bit with the boundaries with my kids. They think it's okay to jump into conversations when I'm disciplining a sibling. More and more they're understanding they don't belong in the conversation. I just need to come up with a quick line to say you're not part of this conversation and here's why. Reply
    • November 20, 2014 at 9:00 am
      My kids use to do the same thing, but, like you said, I just quickly stated why they cannot interject and that was that. Good luck with it! Reply
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