How Healthy Are Your Boundaries?

Boundaries are those invisible lines you place around yourself so people know the limits of what they can say and do around you.  Make your boundaries too solid and you build walls, too weak and you allow others’ actions to harm you.  Either extreme creates stress for you and those around you.  Take a few minutes to answer these questions to help you find out how healthy your boundaries are:

1:  I start statements with “I” rather than “you” or “we.”  This lets me own what I say.  “I” is less defensive than “you” and more accurate than “we.”  True/False

2:  My boundaries are specific and clear.  “I don’t accept phone calls after 10 p.m.,” rather than the vague and mushy, “Don’t call me too late.”  True/False

3:  I’m consistent when I create boundaries. If I say “no phone calls after 10 p.m.,” I don’t make exceptions unless the situation is exceptional.  True/False

4:  When people attempt to cross my boundaries, I don’t assume the worst (they don’t care, they weren’t paying attention, they’re selfish and inconsiderate); I simply restate my position.  True/False

5:  As soon as I realize I’m in a situation that might be headed for trouble, I announce my boundary, “I won’t continue talking with you if you raise your voice at me.”  True/False

6:  I try to avoid situations and people where I know my boundaries will be continually tested.  True/False

7:  I don’t take responsibility for how others respond to my boundaries. If someone feels resentment because I didn’t wait when she was twenty minutes late for our appointment, I don’t try to make it okay for her.  True/False

8:  I respect others’ boundaries and ask for clarification when I’m not certain of limits. “May I talk to you about business after hours?”  True/False

9:  When people refuse to respect my boundaries, I walk away rather than get into a situation that could escalate. I say why I’m leaving.  True/False

10:  I let people know when I have reconsidered a boundary. “It used to be okay for you to be late, but now…”  True/False

11:  I believe that everyone has to create his or her own boundaries. What’s okay for me might not work for someone else.  True/False

Boundaries consistently maintained can help make life less stressful by reducing conflict and improving relationships.  Plus, they’re a real self-esteem booster. If you answered “True” to fewer than six of these questions, learning to set healthier boundaries would go a long way to helping you reduce your stress.  Set up a 60-minute complimentary coaching session to explore how life coaching can help you provide the relief you seek.

Author’s content adapted under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

About djwlifecoach

As a retired board-certified coach, author and Reiki master teacher, I continue to share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. What's love got to do with minimizing stress and getting unstuck? Everything! My book, "Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!" (Hay House/Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world's largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout, including a sustained 80-pound weight loss and freedom from 10 years of debilitating depression, led to finding my purpose sharing hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. Through healing and self-exploration, I discovered that loving yourself unconditionally is the key to transforming your personal life, your work and the world. With attention and intention, I learned to live in alignment with love through a wealth of energy-shifting tools and techniques that help me reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm by releasing limiting beliefs, emotions and habits. My books, blog and radio episodes help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. Learn more and access FREE resources at For fun, I love singing, reading, sewing, knitting, golfing and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my husband, Wilson, and the coaching cats who manage my life—SiddhaLee and Maisy Jane.
This entry was posted in All My Blog Posts, Relationships, Boundaries & Belonging, Stress, Perfectionism & Burnout and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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