3 Ways to Maintain Good Boundaries

Boundaries are invisible limits that inform people what behavior you will and will not tolerate in your relationship. These parameters are healthy not only for yourself but others. When someone has a negative reaction to a compassionate limit, it reveals more about their character, than yours. Since empaths are natural people pleasers, they often have a difficult time creating limits and sticking to them.

You deserve to be treated respectfully. In order for boundaries to be effective, you need to be clear about what you want, know your values and voice these assertively.  You may want to read this blog; How to Stop Being Controlled and Get Empowered to learn more about your personal rights. 

Now you have communicated your boundaries, the real work begins. This is where you walk your talk. Some people will test your limits, to see if you will hold the line firm. Here are three ways to make your boundaries stick:

1.) Call upon a Higher Power for a Boost 

When a sensitive person speaks up, he or she can feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Each time you feel tested, either by yourself or someone else, one affirmation you can say is, “God/Divine, give me the strength to value myself.” There is no shame in reaching up for help. Remember, with God/The Divine everything is possible.

2.) Feel All the Emotions but Don’t Act on Them

When you set a boundary, you may feel confused and begin to second guess yourself. Was I too harsh? Maybe it is too much? Did I hurt their feelings? Guilt can sabotage you, if you let it. Process all of these feelings, in your journal or with a counselor, in order to release any unnecessary emotional burdens you carry. Think about how much the other party is considering your feelings at this point. Is he or she offering you the same energetic consideration?

3.) Self-care is Essential

Improve your mental, physical and spiritual health. You give a lot to others, make sure you give to yourself. Have a luxurious cup of tea or do an activity you enjoy. Another aspect of self-care is limiting your time with those you set boundaries with. In order to protect your energy, make an honest assessment and take a hard look at your life. What is your need to stay or be around this type of energy? Take steps to be around this person less and less. You may find my book, I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers, beneficial for you.

Here is an additional resource: My presentation about boundaries on SkinCare Talk Radio: Boundaries, Difficult People & COVID-19

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my You Tube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

23 thoughts on “3 Ways to Maintain Good Boundaries

  1. Lisa, This is a great post! Love your suggestions — and this can be read daily for extra support! Personally, I found your second point to be the most powerful. It really makes me stop and think how many times do I let my feelings get the better of me and I second guess myself. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome Barb.

      Caring people often think of others’ feelings first. We get into a bind in which we pick up on other’s manipulations and our own past conditioning. This creates the perfect condition for our our self doubt to creep in. I have been there myself. The good news is through awareness and training, anyone can recognize this pattern and stop it in its tracks.

      Many Blessings,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to admit that I’ve been calling on a higher power a lot more these days with all of the stress and awful behavior of so many when so much compassion is what’s called for. Sometimes I have to add an extra bit of self-care to the pot so that I can regroup and recharge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Setting boundaries is such an important skill to nurture healthy relationships and honor our feelings and needs. I love your three ways to maintain boundaries especially the encouragement for self care. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and insight Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful pearls of wisdom on boundaries, Lisa. One of the most loving things we can do for ourself is to set AND nurture our personal boundaries. Easier said than done for a sensitive empath who can see beyond a person’s mask. Having hope the true essence of the person will shine and not push hard against (or attempt to shatter) the boundary for gain. Interesting. Not sure where that came from, but evidently I needed to read my own words. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cindy for sharing your thoughts.

      Empaths hope others are as compassionate and understanding as they are. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. I have trusted blindly in the past, to see the reality was different from what I imagined. A person’s true colors are revealed from their reaction to our boundaries.

      Many Blessings to you,


  5. Wonderful wisdom… Yes boundaries are very important… I have found in recent months those boundaries have had to be drawn more and more… Safeguarding my own energy…
    Many thanks dear Lisa… Love all that you share dear friend….
    Take care and Huge Hugs.. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is very helpful as often we forget to call upon a higher power in these situations.. I also loved what you wrote about having feelings but not acting on them, that can be tough when abandonment anxiety is experienced, until we learn better ways to manage that..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a great article on boundaries, Lisa! So many people are clueless about this issue…I was one. Learning to understand exactly what boundaries are…and are not…helped me immensely!
    I hope you are well…staying warm up in the north…we have had our “cold” snaps…nothing like up north, but cold to us just the same.
    Happy holidays, Lisa…I hope all is super!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lorrie.

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if schools taught boundaries? I know I didn’t learn about boundaries until my early 20’s. They are essential to my wellbeing today. I am glad to hear you also use boundaries to maintain mental wellness.

      We are doing well, thank you. Our weather in the northeast feels more wintery this week, tis the season!

      Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.

      Many Blessings

      Liked by 1 person

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