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Your feelings are yours and yours alone. I like to call them idiosyncratic. There are so many of us who like to blame others for our problems or even some of us who like to think that we are responsible for every problem in the world. As empathetic or sympathetic as that may seem depending on whichever one you fall into, it is never in your line of duty to take responsibility for another’s feeling or even make others take responsibility for yours (narcissism). This is where setting boundaries come to play. I do not mean physical fences, but rather invisible ones like the air we breathe.

No doubt, setting boundaries for some of us is a demanding task, but they remain essential for our safety and well-being. A licensed marriage and family therapist, Jenn Kennedy maintains that “boundaries are limits that give a sense of agency (control) over one’s physical space, body, and feelings.” Remember, even the most jovial person has limits, and this is none other than boundaries (you push a thing or a person to an extent that when it gets to the walls, it reacts-limit).

Setting boundaries is about taking charge and there is nothing you cannot put within boundaries:

  • Thoughts and emotions
  • Possessions
  • Personal/physical space
  • Energy
  • Time (among other)
  • Frienships/relationships

It is noteworthy that emotional space touches on everything. For instance, if you do not set physical space boundaries or boundaries for your possessions, when misused or disrespected by others, you keep quiet and fight the battle with your feelings. You become angry emotionally. Sometimes we tend to attach with people such that any little misunderstanding costs you your inner peace. Also, having emotional space is not always about others, it is about you as this is the space you create for yourself in order to step back and first reflect, then realign your actions and thoughts. The emotional space thingy is difficult, if you are good at it kudos, if not, you can be. It helps check your actions, inactions, and words.

In setting your boundaries you must:

  • Know your rights
  • Know your values
  • Understand what your instinct tells you

There is also the place of confidence in setting boundaries and you do this confidently by:

  • Safeguarding your space
  • Learning to say no (can be difficult though especially to people pleasers)
  • Being assertive, not aggressive. Know how, where, and when to use the “I” pronoun.


Be Firm.

Published by Tobi Oloyede

Tobi Oloyede is a young visionary with a flair for personal and population developments. Rather than being pinned down by the challenges around her, she is dedicated to learning new ideas and getting the best out of life. She is one that is inspired by the popular Yoruba saying, "Ona kan o wo oja- There is no one/single route to the market." She holds her first degree in English and Literary Studies from the Ekiti State University, Nigeria, a Master's degree in Gender and Diversity from East Tennessee State University, and is currently a Sociology graduate student at Georgia Southern University. Writing is one of the several other things she loves to do and she brings it upon herself to make the world a better place through her writings. For her, 'the pen is always mightier and with it, she speaks volumes.' BE THE LIGHT, BE THE CHANGE…A BETTER YOU, A BETTER WORLD.

12 thoughts on “Boundaries

  1. Learning to say no and standing by it was well as being assertive are important take homes from this post. Good article

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an interesting and we’ll articulated writeup,I have learnt one or two things here,while growing up saying “No “was something very difficult for me ,on this note I found this article useful.Thanks Tobi.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. People say we should have boundaries, and that they are Healthy. But I wonder how firmly we will stick to our own boundaries. Will you “cave in” as soon as someone says your boundary sucks? Will you hold firm even if its against a family member?

    Imagine this: Your car is in the shop. A co-worker gives you a ride home in their car after work. It takes a half-hour to get you home. During this time, in someone else’s car, they are playing a Music CD that they love, but you think its stinks. They are doing you a favor bu giving you a ride home. Do you ask them to turn it off? I think MOST people would put up with it.

    Now lets go one step further. You take a weekend Day-trip. 3 hrs one way. And you will be playing YOUR favorite music because you love it and music makes the whole trip better. You are driving and it is your own car. But—-one other family member is with you. No one forced them to go on this trip with you. But after you get 3 or 4 miles from home, you turn one of your music CD’s on…..and they hate it. It goes like this:

    Them: Turn that crap off. I hate it. Listen to that on YOUR OWN time.
    But you are trying to set boundaries. Because this person nearly always, tries to Dominate every situation, even in “little” ways like this. Its YOUR car, but THEY are already trying to establish control—and you’ve already been sick of it, for months!
    You: Excuse me? #1. Who is in charge in YOUR house, and in your yard, and IN YOUR Car? Well, now your on MY “turf” and I have the same rights as you, to be in charge, here!
    Them: but, I’m a captive audience.
    You: No you’re not. I’ll be more than happy to pull over and let you out. What would I do if you weren’t here? I’d still play the music. Why should I diminish my happiness just because you are here? Why can’t I be myself? Why should being with you mean I need to restrict or inhibit myself?
    Them: its called “being considerate”.
    You: Then YOU can “be considerate” and not try to tell me what to, or what not to do, in MY Car, where I’M in charge, just like you are in your car.
    Them: Well, going without that Music for 2 hrs. won’t kill you.
    You: by the same token, having it on for 2 hrs. won’t kill you either.
    Them: I have a Headache.
    You: How convenient. And if i shut it off, you’ll have a “headache” on all future trips, too.
    Them: You suck.
    You: and you, are always trying to tell the other guy what to, what not to do, or how to do it. I’m sick of it. MY Car, MY rules. Who’s in charge in your car?
    Them: welllll…..iii wouldn’t do this. You’re being mean.
    You: Ha! I’m not so sure. And look, I’m doing, what I would be doing, anyway, even if you weren’t here. Same behavior on my part. And besides—-NO ONE FORCED YOU to ride with me. When you are in YOUR house or in your yard or in your car, you can do things your way. But right now, you’re not, and I have the SAME RIGHTS. And now, questions:

    Was the Driver within his/her “assertive rights”?
    Do you admire the courage of this driver, or would you call the driver a Narcissist?
    If the driver “gives in” and shows “consideration”, then the passenger has just manipulated or dominated him/her on their own property or Turf. If you cave in here, how long do feel it will be before this same passenger finds or invents 4 other situations where YOU should give-in and “show more consideration” ? ? Share this far and wide. Tell me what you think, and why. Thanks for reading this.


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