Healthy Relationship Boundaries: What They Are and How to Set Them

Sandip Roy
3 min readSep 29


We need healthy boundaries in our relationships. Boundaries are the personal rules or limits we set to protect our well-being.

They’re like invisible fences that keep us safe, help us stay true to ourselves, and make our relationships better.

But why are they so important?

Why We Need Boundaries In All Our Relationships

Boundaries are more than just lines in the sand. They’re essential for several reasons:

  • Safety Nets: Boundaries act as shields against harm and abuse, making sure you’re not taken advantage of.
  • Self-Respect: Boundaries help you stand your ground, keeping your dignity intact.
  • Clear Communication: They let you tell others what you expect, require, and won’t put up with, making sure everyone’s on the same page.
  • Stress-Buster: Setting limits lets you avoid getting overwhelmed or stressed out. Boundaries allow you to have personal space and time for self-care.
  • Healthy Connections: Boundaries are the building blocks of good relationships, helping you get along better with everyone.

Setting Your Boundaries

Setting boundaries might feel tough, especially if you’re not used to it.

But don’t worry, you can learn it by following these steps:

  1. Know What Matters: First, figure out what’s absolutely essential to you in your relationship. What can you not live without? What makes you uncomfortable or stressed? These are your non-negotiables. Mark these for as many of your relationships, one at a time.
  2. Speak Clearly: Once you know what your needs are, spell it out to them clearly. No need to hint or be vague. Like, instead of saying, “I wish you wouldn’t call me so late,” try, “Please don’t call me after 9 PM.”
  3. Stay Steady: Once you’ve set a boundary, stick to it. That might mean saying no when you’d rather not, but it’s crucial for your well-being. This may be hard sometimes, when the other person keeps disrespecting your boundaries or showing their sadness at you limiting them out.
  4. Mind Others’ Limits: Just like you have your own boundaries, others have theirs too. Make sure to respect them. You can’t expect them to follow ‌your rules without you respecting theirs.
  5. Start Simple: If you’re new to this, begin with easier boundaries, like how much time you spend with someone or what topics you’re willing to discuss.
  6. Be Assertive, Not Aggressive: Say it without expecting them to implicitly understand. Make sure you’re clear, but don’t be cruel or angry. There’s a fine line between standing up for yourself and stepping on others’ feet. Being authentic doesn’t mean you have to be unkind.
  7. It’s OK to Say No: Sometimes you have to turn people down, and that’s alright. You’re not being mean; you’re taking care of yourself. Say a polite “No” and move on, without feeling bad for their emotions. You are not responsible for their feelings.

Types of Boundaries

  • Physical: These are about your comfort level with touch. Maybe you’re not a hugger, and that’s okay.
  • Emotional: These involve your feelings and how much you’re willing to share. You don’t have to tell everyone everything.
  • Time: These are about how much time you can give to others without feeling drained.

There are four more essential boundaries that you must have in your relationships, most importantly, financial boundaries. Read here.

Final Thoughts

Boundaries aren’t just a set of rules; they’re a way to make your life better. By setting and respecting them, you’re not just avoiding problems; you’re creating a space where you and your relationships can thrive.

So, don’t just read this — act on it. Make setting boundaries a regular part of your life. Your future self will thank you.

Author: Dr. Sandip Roy, medical doctor and psychology writer, with a unique focus on mental well-being, positive psychology, narcissism, and Stoicism.



Sandip Roy

Started The Happiness Blog ✍️ Wrote 1M+ words on it | 🩺Medical Doctor by Profession | Passions: Space, Tech, SEO ツ