3 Powerful Rules to Setting Healthy Boundaries In A Relationship

rules to setting healthy boundaries in relationship

Boundaries tend to be important in every relationship as they set a fundamental guideline of how you want things to be. You know you have a healthy relationship if it includes mutual respect, where you both communicate about the need for boundaries with empathy and understanding.

Boundaries tend to be misunderstood, but the truth is, they are a requirement for healthy connections.

Why are they important?

They create the structure from which you build a healthy relationship and bring your whole, authentic self into the relationship.

Let’s start by outlining some evidence you might not have healthy boundaries. What this might look like is the following:

  • Not speaking up when it’s important.
  • Giving your time away by saying yes when you should say no.
  • Being resentful and bitter because you expect people to mind read and know your wants and desires.
  • Finding yourself attracting people who take advantage of you or who try to dominate or control you, which may even lead to you feeling victimized.
  • Feeling drained by all of your obligations

Obviously not a good scene.

For some of my clients who have a hard time setting boundaries, what we usually uncover is they hold some limiting false beliefs around boundaries that aren’t serving them.

Related: 6 Practices That Can Make Your Relationship Stronger

Here Are A Few False Beliefs That I’ve Found Are Very Common:

1. A Boundary Is Actually A Burden On The Relationship.

3 Rules to Preserve a Relationship by Setting Healthy Boundaries
3 Powerful Rules to Setting Healthy Boundaries In A Relationship

In this case, you feel like a boundary is a weight you’re bringing that is going to create negative energy, and your partner suddenly has to carry it.

2. A Boundary Is A Selfish Act, And It’s Not Relational.

The clients I’ve seen with this belief feel that setting boundaries, or asking for what they want, is selfish. They might be asking themselves, “Who am I to ask this other person to change their behavior around me? What gives me the right to do that?”

3. Boundaries Get In The Way Of Love And Acceptance.

Another common belief: “If I set a boundary, how does that support love and acceptance in the relationship? Shouldn’t I allow my partner to show up however they are and love and accept them, as is?”

4. Setting Boundaries Is An Act Of Violence Or Self-Defense.

You also may believe a boundary is a wall or an act of self-protection. You feel boundaries may push the people you care about out of your life who matter.

Do you relate to any of these?

Collectively, these beliefs make up a perfect system that can prevent you from having a voice, stepping into your power, and creating an authentic relationship with another person.

What happens instead is, you hold yourself back, walking on eggshells and stopping yourself from expressing your full emotional truths or what you really want.

What if we open it up to look at boundaries differently?

What if you see boundaries as an investment in the relationship that actually calls forth the best version of you and your partner?

The truth is, boundaries are the tools you can use as a fierce champion for your relationship.

Related: How To Say No To Requests (Without Damaging Your Relationships): 8 Tips

Let’s Redefine It With Some New Beliefs:

3 Powerful Rules to Setting Healthy Boundaries In A Relationship
3 Powerful Rules to Setting Healthy Boundaries In A Relationship

1. Boundaries act as a container that provides a roadmap for your partner to love you.

A boundary creates a distinct playing field that defines the structure and frequency that you are committed to bringing into the relationship. When your partner knows what you’re a “yes” to and what you’re a “no” to, they have the map to loving you. They are meant to be collaborative and generous in a way that matters to you in the relationship, to set it up for success.

If you’re not willing to set boundaries, then you’re not going to have a clear commitment around what you and your partner want to create. For example, if you both agree your relationship should be monogamous, that is a boundary; it’s a shared, agreed-upon reality that creates structure and protects the relationship from outside forces.

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Clayton Olson

Clayton Olson is an International Relationship Coach, Author, and Facilitator. He delivers private virtual coaching sessions and leads online group workshops internationally (USA, UK, Asia, Australia) for both women and men. Clayton has been empowering individuals and couples from around the world to find harmony and authenticity in their relationships. With a background in Professional Coaching and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Clayton takes a holistic approach to carefully reconstructing what is truly possible for his clients. Through his work he has revitalized relationships, brought together lost loves, and witnessed clients find their soul mates. Clayton's content has been seen on Fox news magazine, Huffington post, the Goodmen project and he's even had an article featured on The View.View Author posts