Establish boundaries in order to reduce the amount of stress you feel


  1. Identify your boundaries that are being crossed.
    Reflect on what makes you uncomfortable or unhappy, and identify what boundaries were crossed in those situations.

  2. Define the boundaries you want to set and write it down.
    For example, if you have a friend that regularly comments on your physical appearance and makes you feel uncomfortable, you could define your boundary as “To create space for my physical self to feel more comfortable, I no longer want to be around people who make comments about my body.”

  3. Take action and communicate your boundaries.
    The more clearly you communicate your new boundary, the greater the likelihood of successful change. You can use this structure to communicate your boundaries; the words in the brackets can be replaced by what is relevant for your situation
    “I am making some changes so that [I can feel more comfortable] and I hope you can understand that this is important to me. I Imagine [you are not trying to intentionally hurt my feelings]. However, when you regularly comment on my appearance], I often feel [very uncomfortable and unhappy], and I understand this is something you may not be aware of. In the future, [I would prefer it if you did not comment on my appearance]. If [this] happens again, I will [need to take a step back from our friendship].”

  4. Maintain the boundary.
    Once you’ve communicated your new boundary, it is very important for you to maintain it. Make sure you do not go back to your old patterns.


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