What are personal boundaries and how can you defend them?

Personal boundaries, or personal ones, are guidelines that each person sets for himself. That is, this is what we allow people to do in relation to themselves, and what we do not allow. Through these boundaries, we set physical, mental, and spiritual guidelines. These include beliefs, emotions, and self-esteem.

Personal boundaries are designed to protect us from negative influences and to be respected by loved ones and friends. We must definitely inform people when they go beyond what is permitted. Because we alone are responsible for how we allow others to treat us. And absolutely every person should know their personal boundaries, and be able to defend them.

How to define your personality boundaries

The most important thing to pay attention to in order to determine the psychological framework is the emergence of anger and anger. Anger is one of the five main negative emotions. This emotion is present not only in humans, but also in animals. And getting rid of anger is practically impossible. It will always arise in those moments when we do not like something, or someone will violate our personal boundaries.

Border types


They define areas of personal safety. A person with healthy physical boundaries can easily say, “Don’t touch me! Move away, you are not pleasant to me! Keep your distance! ”, And so on. One of the best ways to protect a person from violence is to explain at an early age that they have certain boundaries that no one should cross. A person with healthy boundaries feels anger, anxiety, or anger when they are violated. A person with damaged physical boundaries will blame themselves and be afraid to defend their opinions.


Emotional personal boundaries create a safe haven around self-esteem and relationships between people. They discourage negative attitudes and behaviors such as insult or criticism. A person with unhealthy emotional boundaries can easily tolerate criticism from others without saying anything.

How to assert your personal boundaries

First, you must be absolutely honest with yourself and with this person. You also need to understand your needs and your psychological framework. If you understand them, then you should not be shy or afraid of this person. Or feel guilty about having these needs. You must be clear and bold about what you dislike.

Second, you have to be direct. That is, to say exactly what you think and feel. After all, it often happens that when we are in a close relationship with a person, it seems to us that if he loves us, he will independently guess what we want and understand us without words. But that doesn’t happen. Because we were all brought up in different families, and all people are different. Therefore, until you tell the person about what kind of personal relationship you want, he will never know and understand about it.

Further, when you are trying to convey to a person information about how you can communicate with you and how you can not, then you should not overdo it with an apology. No need to apologize for being this / such. You need to understand that as you tell the person about your needs and boundaries, you must radiate self-confidence. Also, your explanations should not be overly lengthy. All your wording should be concise and clear.

Simple steps to setting healthy boundaries

Be honest with yourself and others

People with distorted physical and emotional boundaries tend to be unaware of their feelings. When they ignore the warnings their body sends, they leave themselves open to abuse. But if you feel uncomfortable when someone touches you or speaks to you in a certain way. Then acknowledge those feelings, and demand unequivocally that this person no longer enter your personal space. If he refuses, just walk away and avoid further contact with him.

Appreciate your needs and desires

If you work hard and have a busy schedule, then it is possible that you need help. If you are experiencing excessive stress or fatigue, it may take a while for you to be alone and just relax. In the event that you feel lonely, you may need to communicate more with your friends and loved ones. Keep your eyes open to your needs and communicate them to other people.

3 step-by-step methods on how to defend your boundaries

1. Expressing anger in a non-violent manner

By anger, I also mean irritation, resentment, and resentment. That is, lighter degrees of anger. In order to express your anger in a non-violent way, the first thing you need to do is name the facts that you don’t like. That is, name the specific actions or words of a person that violate your personal boundaries. You need to do this without negative judgments and without your own interpretation of this behavior. You name only specific facts.

Next, you say your emotion that arises at this moment. That is, say that it makes you angry, outraged, or you are indignant about this. The next step is to indicate what your need is not being met or violated because of this behavior. And at the end, you need to tell the person how he can behave next time, so that your framework is not violated and you are not angry with him.

2. Tell the person in a confident and calm manner what you dislike

This method belongs to the skill of assertiveness. That is, confident behavior. You need to tell the person in a calm and confident voice what you dislike and why. If he is trying to put pressure on you, or continues to insist on his own, and offers different options, then you can apply the principle of “hackneyed plate”. You continue to insist on your own and all the time you continue to talk to him about what you do not like, and explain why. And the more he puts pressure on you, the more the strength of your refusal and your opposition will increase. And if the person does not understand you even after that, then you simply leave the conversation.

3. Inform him about the threat

This method is called assertive threat. That is, it is a threat to a self-confident person. But it should be used in rare cases. For example, you can use it if your boss invites you to have sex and then guarantees you a promotion. Or, when some person tries to manipulate you. In this case, you say that you do not like this behavior and explain why you do not like it.

If he insists on his own, then you are creating a threat. That is, tell him that if he continues to do this in the future, then you will write a complaint against him, tell other employees about his behavior and quit. That is, you create some kind of tangible threat for him. And if his behavior continues, then you are implementing this threat. At the same time, you break off all relations with this person.