How To Set Personal Boundaries With The People In Your Life

How To Set Personal Boundaries and Stop Letting Others Poison Your Life with Their Toxicity

We have to learn how to set personal boundaries. Not just because its a healthy thing to do, but because there are those who would take advantage otherwise.


“If you spend your life sparing people’s feelings and feeding their vanity, you get so you can’t distinguish what should be respected in them.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald


“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.”

- Brené Brown

One of the biggest threats to your success and happiness in life is being around toxic people. When you’re thinking about toxic individuals, it can be a very broad category, but you’ll know a toxic person when you engage with them.

Toxic people are those who will manipulate or use you in one way or another to achieve their own goals, often without you even realizing it. In order to prevent yourself from being stepped on and used by these people, you need know how to set personal boundaries to keep them in line – or even away.

Many toxic people aren’t used to any kind of resistance, since they often use subversive measures to trick people into working for them. The moment they’re met with resistance or they feel like they’re being called out, they’ll become defensive in one way or another.

This is often achieved by turning themselves into a victim, but they can also get aggressive or even start guilt tripping you. They’ll change up their personalities on the fly in order to get what they want.

The first step towards dealing with toxic people is to call them out for their behavior. You’re probably going to be met with some excuses, but just by calling them out, it’ll make them think twice about trying to mess with you in the future.

They can consider this to be a form of warning to keep their toxic behaviors out of your life, because you are onto them. After that point, start setting boundaries - things like how much time they can use from you, how much money they can get from you (if at all), and so on.

You learning how to set personal boundaries puts a limit on the extent to which they can use you effectively, meaning they’re going to be much more likely to give up on trying with you and will move on to some other victim.

Toxic people are often like that - when the opportunity to use someone is gone, they’ll just run off to the next person and stop caring about you altogether. If they continue to pursue you and cross your boundaries, then you should just cut them out of your life completely.

It’s not worth trying to fix someone like that when they have a toxic personality. All it does is negatively affect your life and hold you back, and it’s unlikely that anything about them will change. In all honesty, they would’ve likely cut you out of their lives sooner or later when you were of no use to them, so it’s better to just get ahead while you can.

How To Set Personal Boundaries With Overbearing Family Members


“Evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of any relationship is your responsibility. You do not have to passively accept what is brought to you. You can choose.”

-Deborah Day


“Having healthy boundaries not only requires being able to say “no”, but also being willing and able to enforce that “no” when necessary.”

-Jessica Moore

How to Set Boundaries with Overbearing Family Members

Family are the hardest people to set boundaries with. You’ve lived your entire life with them, they know just about everything about you – your strengths and weaknesses – and it gives them an advantage for being able to get their way.

Sibling rivalry has been going on for ages. You may be the older or younger sibling (or a twin), but it doesn’t mean you can’t gain control over your life. Regardless of who has the upper hand in terms of age, you have the right to have your boundaries respected.

Siblings can take advantage of you just like a friend can. They might borrow things without asking, use your kindness and generosity so they don’t have to work or take responsibility, and more.

As with other people, you need to have a strict set of ground rules for how you will be treated and interact with your siblings, their spouses and their children. Don’t let them intrude on your life if it causes you a burden.

How to Set Boundaries with Overbearing Family Members cont...

Don't be quilted into giving in and lowering your boundaries. You may have other people, such as your parents, who try to guilt you into giving in to whatever your sibling wants. It’s important that you analyze your decision and decide if it’s the best thing for your happiness and that of your family.

There are many people who believe that just because someone is related by blood, it means they should get to act anyway they want and be forgiven. But if you continue being mistreated, you’re giving up your own happiness in life just because of an outdated belief.

Parents often cross over boundaries you set because they feel they have a right to make their own decisions about your life. They feel like they can tell you what career to have, how to run your household and how to raise your children.

If there are topics you want off limits with your parents, then tell them you will no longer be discussing those things with them. Then stick to it. If they begin discussing it, remind or warn them that you won’t be talking about that and move on to another subject.

If they persist, leave the room or the encounter completely and let them know you won’t be tolerating that. If they continue doing it time and time again, whatever the behavior is, limit your time spent with them until they acknowledge the repercussions of their actions.

If they truly value time with you and respect your feelings, they will abide by your desire to eliminate certain intrusions on your boundaries. In severe cases, you might have to put quite a bit of distance between yourself and your parents if you’re truly unhappy and longing for a better life.

How To Set Personal Boundaries For Your Time


“Those who become upset with your boundaries, are the ones who were benefiting from you not setting any.”
-Christine E. Szymanski


“Make sure your boundaries are solid. Unfortunately, there are those who will try anything to poke holes in them.".
-Christine E. Szymanski

How to set personal boundaries for your time and energy...

We think of boundaries as prevention. The things we put in place to prevent people from accessing subjects that you don’t want to address or don’t want their opinion on. However, boundaries can also be put in place for your success, by limiting things that you commit to do and things that other people do.

One of the best boundaries you can put in place for your success is a boundary of time, meaning that you won’t spend too much time with certain people who drain your energy  or on a certain task that causes stress.

Time is a huge factor in terms of achieving success. If you spend too much time on a few things, you’ll find that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and get to a point where you don’t have enough time to do all the things you need to do.

This not only hinders your success, but it also puts a lot of unnecessary stress on you that can make your work that you do get done lower quality. By learning how to set personal boundaries and putting them in place regarding your time time, you’re able to manage it so much easier.

Without spending a ton of your time on other things around you, you can focus on whatever it is that you need to do. You don’t want to just stop doing things you enjoy, but you do need to put a reasonable limit on it so that you’re not spending excessive time on it.

How to set personal boundaries for your time and energy cont...

Figuring out how to set personal boundaries isn’t a difficult task, and it can really help improve your productivity and overall success. When it comes to the time you spend on activities and tasks, you should limit certain amounts on both the things you enjoy and the things you do for work.

Obviously, limiting the amount of time you spend on fun things helps keep you on track, but not a lot of people seem to limit their work time. Limiting work time can help prevent you from burning out, which can keep you going for longer.

Knowing how to set personal boundaries for the amount of time you spend with people can also help you immensely. Even if you enjoy spending time with someone, you need to focus and work sometimes, so you should have a boundary in place to help prevent you from spending all your time with them if it impeded your other goals.

Time and energy are two of your most precious commodities in life. Make sure you not only use them well, but protect them from those people or things that might waste either one.

How To Set Personal Boundaries on Decision Making and Control of Your Life


“It's OK to have boundaries. You can tell someone "no" without having bad feelings toward them. You also never need to explain your boundaries once laid. A wise friend often states that "no" is a complete sentence.”-Mat Auryn


“Don't allow what's happening outside of you to change what's inside of you. It's okay to put up personal boundaries to protect your integrity.”
-Christine E. Szymanski

How to set personal boundaries on decision making and control of your life...

There are many, many times in your life when decisions get made. It can be major events, such as where to go to college or what company to work for, or small decisions, like where you’re going to get food from, and everything in between.

However, no matter what these decisions are, for many people they get made for them. If you tend not to have a real say in what decisions are going to affect your life, then you need to learn how to set personal boundaries and start putting them in place so that you can take more control.

It’s very frustrating when you’re not able to control big decisions in your life. It may be your family or a significant other who’s trying to take the reins from you and steer your life in the direction that they want to take it.

Things like where you go to college can be controlled by your parents, and which location you move to can be controlled by a spouse. Instead, insist that this is your life to live, and make those kinds of decisions yourself.

How to set personal boundaries on decision making and control of your life cont...

You have the right to set personal boundaries. So do so! On a more day to day basis, you might still feel like you’re not in control. Take, for example, where you go out to eat. You might have a partner who always decides where you’re going to eat that night, whether it’s a place you like or not.

This seems like it’s not a big deal, but after some time, it can feel as though your opinions aren’t really being considered as much. A great personal boundary for this situation would be to alternate deciding where to eat, so that you both have opportunities to go to places that you like.

It’s not fair to you to let other people dictate how your life is going to be run. If you go into anything as a group, whether it be you and a partner, you and friends, or you and family members, your voice should matter just as much as everyone else’s.

Don’t let yourself get trampled on just because you don’t want to shake things up. Set personal boundaries so that people will listen to you, because if you want to be successful in life, you can’t just skate by silently while everything else passes you up.

If that’s how you live, you’re just going to be made into whatever someone else wants you to be. By the time you realize that you haven’t been in control, life has passed you by and many major decisions are set in stone.

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  • National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255


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