Establishing Boundaries for Better Relationships

What do successful relationships look like? One quality of long-lasting and fulfilling relationships is the presence of good boundaries. Even people who know about the importance of setting boundaries get caught up in the excitement of new relationships and forget to set limits around information that is shared, as well as define personal needs, wants, and desires. It is also quite easy to underestimate how difficult it is to put healthy boundaries into practice.

Setting a boundary does not mean you are closing yourself off from others. Instead, it helps you to define what is yours and what belongs to other people so you can have more authentic and natural relationships. 

Here are some steps to start the process of making more effective boundaries: 

  1. Give yourself permission to set limits with people.
  2. Identify your own limits.
  3. Be selective about when, where, how, why, and with whom you share information.
  4. Communicate your needs if you want them met.

For more information about these steps and the characteristics of more effective boundaries, visit the Work/Life Connections-EAP Resource Library and read the article, "Establishing Effective Personal Boundaries."

If you would like more personalized guidance on how to establish better boundaries in relationships, Work/Life Connections-EAP offers VUMC employees, and their spouses, individualized assessment, performance coaching, and referral to other community resources.   To set up a no-cost, confidential appointment with an EAP Clinical Counselor, please call 615-936-1327.