How to Set Boundaries


How to Set Boundaries

by Pulane Hill
January 17, 2023
An uncertain young teen stands in the school hall with her arms wrapped around her.

Have you ever been in an uncomfortable situation in school, work, home or even in a relationship? Try creating a boundary with the person (or people) making you uncomfortable. Boundaries are guidelines that a person uses to decide how others should treat them and what they should do if those boundaries are violated. They come from a combination of prior experiences, social learning, conclusions drawn from these experiences, beliefs about the world around us, opinions based on our observations, as well as attitudes. It is important for people to set limits and stick to them because it takes practice to develop healthy relationships and lead a happy life.

Types of Boundaries

Physical boundaries

Your body, personal space, and physical wants and needs are all subject to physical boundaries. Physical boundaries protect your body and space, as well as your privacy, right to not be touched, and ability to meet physical needs. Your boundaries tell others how close they can come to you, what kind of physical touch is acceptable, how much privacy you require, and how people should act in your own space.

Emotional boundaries

Emotional boundaries defend your right to have your own feelings and thoughts, to not have your feelings questioned or invalidated, and to not be responsible for the feelings of others. Your feelings are separated from those of the rest of the world by emotional boundaries. Creating an emotional boundary entails expressing the factors that affect your level of comfort. Establishing a no-trespass zone is one way to establish emotional boundaries. It’s up to you to choose what fits you best and is the most comfortable. You are provided with a secure and safe environment by the boundary, aware of how much you will allow other people to intervene in your area.

Sexual boundaries

While engaging in sexual activity, limits are essential. Defining a limit involves deciding your level of comfort and conveying it to your partner. This boundary differs from physical boundaries since typically, these are established during sexual activity. Allowing your partner(s) to set their own limits and respecting their choices are also part of it. Some examples of sexual boundaries include limitations on how others touch you, including how they touch your clothes and other parts of your body; the way you are treated by others in sexual situations, such as how they talk to you and the nature of your relationship; and things you are comfortable with, like touching other people's bodies.

How to Set Boundaries

Setting limits is all about communication. The most important step toward defining your limitations and by doing so living a more liberated life is communicating your wants and objectives. Three steps to establishing boundaries are:


Being aware of your strengths is knowing our worth and value. You must value yourself in order to feel worthy of yourself, and you must believe that you are deserving in order to feel worthy of yourself. One way to do this is to prioritize your own needs.

Know Your Limits

Consider the things that bother you and listen to your inner voice. Understand when enough is enough. Don’t let others tell you what to feel comfortable with. You should set limits for yourself as you are the most knowledgeable about yourself.


In order to increase intimacy, honesty, closeness, authenticity, and contentment in a relationship, people must be honest about their needs and wants through communication. The most important step toward understanding your limitations and living is communicating your wants and desires.

Our boundaries frequently shift as we develop and gain new experiences. So check in with yourself regularly to make sure that the boundaries you have are still the right ones for you. 

Pulane Hill will graduate from McKinley Tech High school, where she was the Historian in student government for the class of 2023. Pulane plans to study marketing and minor in graphic design.