Creating healthy boundaries is difficult to do. It’s not always easy enforcing limits with the people in your life but it’s necessary for creating and maintaining respectful relationships. If you’ve tried to do so in the past but failed, here are three obstacles that may be hindering you from being successful in your boundary making.

1. You can’t articulate what you want
It’s impossible to even attempt to set limits if you can’t articulate what it is you want or how their behavior negatively impacts you. Take a moment, when you’re not angry or emotional from a line being crossed; to process what it is that upset you. After you’ve processed it, think about how you would articulate that to the person who crossed an emotional line with you. If you’re able to clearly find the words to help the person understand what it is they’ve done; you’ll have a better chance of successfully establishing healthy boundaries.

2. You don’t have examples of what you want to change
In order to successfully establish boundaries you need examples of what you want those boundaries to look like. Giving people examples of how you want to be loved, respected or treated will help them to better understand what behaviors they should or shouldn’t be doing in the future.

3. You don’t have consequences for poor behaviors
After you’ve clearly articulated what you want and give examples for what you would like to see in the future; create consequences or when boundaries are crossed. It doesn’t have to be extremely harsh but consequences are needed so that the person knows that when they don’t follow your boundaries, you will address and won’t stand for it.

If you find yourself still struggling with setting boundaries, the issue may not be the other people or circumstance but a conflict within yourself. Being a people pleaser or feeling guilty can greatly impact your ability to set the appropriate boundaries. If you’re struggling with boundary settings, don’t be afraid to start the exploration process about what is holding you back from having the healthy relationships you deserve.

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