We know it’s important to create good personal boundaries in our life. But setting boundaries that support us rather than constrain us is a skill that requires continual refinement. If someone is mistreating or shaming us, we need to care for ourselves by responding in a self-supportive way. Boundaries mean we can say what’s not OK; we can define our space and protect our well-being and integrity.
Boundaries are a way to regulate how we respond to others. If someone asks for a favor like a ride to the airport, we have the right to say yes, no, or let me think about that. Our caring toward others prompts us to take their request seriously. Our caring toward ourselves prompts us to carefully consider our own well-being. Rather than react in a knee-jerk manner, we can weigh our own needs while considering theirs. Doing so in a kind and authentic way can build trust and deepen connections.