Learning Boundaries

Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have. –Anonymous

It is never too late to learn about your boundaries. I am coming to believe that it is perhaps one of the aspects of living that most defines our maturity and facility for accomplishing our goals. Boundary issues are common to most of us, but for some of us, like me, their absence colors every relationship I have ever had, beginning with my relationship to myself. Lacking and unclear boundaries with ourselves take on all forms of self-sabotage, and in our interpersonal relationships run the gamut from avoidance to codependency.

Boundaries reflect how we love ourselves and what we value most deeply. They impact our capacity at work, with authority, with our money and our sexuality. Knowing when we want to say yes, when we want to say no, what feels like self respect and where our own needs start and end are the foundations that build the sense of boundaries that control our lives. Mine have long been porous, which is a generous way of admitting that my lines between myself and others, in family and even more so at work have been fuzzy.

All the new developments at Good Clean Love, with a new CEO, that actually has clear and strong boundaries is where we are all feeling the ground shifting and starting to settle under our feet. This is one of the coolest things about boundaries, like the five % rule of change, which requires only small consistent change to shift your relationships; a single person with a clear sense of boundaries will impact the whole work environment.

I am excited, if not a little nervous to explore my ability to work with my personal limits and temper my abundant openness to a selective process of choosing who I share what details of my life with. I have spent decades in the confusion that complete transparency is the only way to make relationships work. Without too much remorse or guilt, I can bear testimony to the fact that, as a business owner, it is not an effective business strategy.

The big leap for me will be for me to learn to communicate without any emotion, which has never had much separation of space. I donít know if I ever understood until today, how my communications often fall victim to the intensity of emotion that lives beside them. Amazing to be learning to see oneself with so much clarity in my fourth decade. A testimonial to the fact that we never stop growing up.

Thinking about boundaries now in my family of origin, with my growing children and with my employees and new management team seems like the action verb of self forgiveness. Learning to sense and articulate my own needs and choosing where and when to share them might well be the life changing 5% that I have been looking for.


Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 years ago

Thanks for sharing .

Ken W.
Ken W4 years ago


Dale Overall

It is certainly necessary to have strong and consistence boundaries which must be respected. If some people refuse to respect your boundaries one has to reconsider the relationship whatever this may consist of as lack of respect can result in a lot of stress.

Pat W.
Pat W5 years ago

Excellent insight on this article. It also addressed professional boundaries.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Emma S.
Emma S6 years ago

I'm with Chantal true and useful.

Silver J.
Silver J7 years ago

Setting boundaries does not always mean they will be respected by others, it's about respecting yourself. Same thing with assertiveness, just because you are assertive and work to set your boundaries and get what you think is right for you, doesn't mean everyone will go along with you. But if you never try you'll never know, never ask without demanding, you'll never get anything but what's given to you or what someone else thinks is appropriate. Knowing that you might be setting yourself up for failure or pain and taking the steps to set limits on your "give" is what is the best thing you can ever do for yourself.

Jennifer S.
Jennifer A7 years ago


Christine C.

Thanks, something we either need to free up or tighten, moderate from being too open and trusting to being too closed!!

Carole K.
Carole K7 years ago

Our author states here: "lacking & unclear boundaries- take on all forms of self sabotage- running the gamut from avoidance to codependency". While I believe there is a point to be made with this statement & article, I also believe there is MORE tendency to error on the other end of the spectrum! People who erect such insurmountable boundaries, so as to not only exclude all the unwanted from their lives; but also all the beauty & beneficial as well. People who make themselves so unapproachable so that other people give up trying to make contact with them. So then, the boundaries render you isolated, alone & excluded from the real world. As a person ages, it seems that they erect higher barriers, more & more often: so out of touch with the outside world they sometimes resort to suicide.
You know what? I don't care if people think I'm a doormat, "easy-touch", & gullible; bc I know that I am not! But I do want to be seen as approachable. Then I can decide what I chose whether to allow people/ experiences to touch my life or not as they arise. I want to continue to have all the opportunities to interact in this life that I still have while I have it! I want to experience all that life has to offer; & how will I become aware of some of these chances if you cannot tell/ask me bc I'm behind my self imposed wall? Now, that's the REAL self- sabotage!!!