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Setting Healthy Boundaries

“Givers must set boundaries because takers have none”


  1. Identify your values.
    1. Is this about preserving your personal space?
    2. Do you want to make sure your emotions are not dismissed?
    3. The value determined needs to be something that’s important to you; you need to be setting this boundary for yourself, not to make anyone else happy.
  2. Define the perimeter. Where is this boundary line? What kind of behaviors can you tolerate, and what behaviors cross the line.
  3. Identify specific, problematic behaviors. Thinking back to the perimeter that’s been set, what specific behaviors are crossing it?
  4. Identify how you will respond if the boundary is violated. Will you remove  yourself from the situation? Will you step away from an unfinished argument? In some cases it’s good to have escalating responses. If you only have a nuclear option, you may never use it. If you are working to improve the relationship with a non-abusive partner, maybe include restorative steps such as the Aftermath of Regrettable Incident practice.
    1. The response does not have to be verbalized to the person if it is unsafe
    2. The response does not have to be against or toward the person
  5. Follow through on the responses. This is essential. If you do the previous steps and don’t complete this final step, you’ll gain no ground.

Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Broken link? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to us here.