How to set personal boundaries without the guilt #Fibro #beingfibromom

Setting personal boundaries

This post may contain affiliate links but at NO extra costs to you. For further details, please read my full disclosure policy.

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.

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
Setting personal boundaries without the guilt #Fibromyalgia Share on X

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

And here’s what Mark Manson says about boundaries in his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, on page 181:

“People with strong boundaries understand that it’s unreasonable to expect two people to accommodate each other 100 percent and fulfill every need the other has. People with strong boundaries understand that they may hurt someone’s feelings sometimes, but ultimately they can’t determine how other people feel. People with strong boundaries understand that a healthy relationship is not about controlling one another’s emotions, but rather about each partner supporting the other in their individual growth and in solving their own problems.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck by Mark Manson #beingfibromom #boundaries

He goes on to discuss these boundaries in a healthy relationship on page 183:

“For a relationship to be healthy, both people must be willing and able to both say no and hear no. Without that negation, without that occasional rejection, boundaries break down and one person’s problems and values come to dominate the other’s. Conflict is not only normal, then; it’s absolutely necessary for the maintenance of a healthy relationship. If two people who are close are not able to hash out their differences openly and vocally, then the relationship is based on manipulation and misrepresentation, and it will slowly become toxic.” 

Setting Personal Boundaries

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 are 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, emotional, intellectual.

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 to 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 the 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.

35 thoughts on “Setting personal boundaries”

    1. 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!

  1. deannaheiliger

    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!

  2. 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

    1. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. Jen @ Driftwood Gardens

    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.

  6. Pingback: Feeling Overwhelmed? | Betsy's Photography

  7. 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!

  8. Brittany at

    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!)

  9. Pingback: Coffee and Conversation Link Party #17 -

  10. 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.

  11. Pingback: Fibromyalgia Flares

  12. Pingback: Fishes, a Monkey and Personal Space – My Fibro Journal

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top