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  • Writer's pictureAnna Marie Boyd LPC, RDT, RYT-200


Boundaries: So this is going to be fun Boundaries being a huge buzzword that we hear on the news, on social media, and even on your local Barnes and Nobles best seller list.

What Boundaries Are Defined as In a Clinical Sense:

So let’s start off clearly: what are personal boundaries?

This is my definition. At the end of this post, I will certainly share book recommendations that have painted my understanding of this topic.

Boundaries refer to personal limits regarding what is appropriate and acceptable behavior in the context of being in relationship with others.

That being said, it is also important to consider the idea that setting boundaries are in fact our personal human responsibility to develop for ourselves and to communicate to others.

“Knowing and managing where we end and the other begins is essential to living a satisfying and healthy life.”
-Metta Psychology Group in Columbus Ohio

In the next few minutes, I will cover the different types of boundaries (there are quite a lot in fact, some that really surprised me), how to identify if you might be suffering from a boundary issue, and steps you can start to take to decipher and implement stronger interpersonal boundaries.

Setting boundaries is our personal human responsibility.

What are Different Types of Boundaries:

  • Physical: This pertains to the obvious, space and physical touch. When we are identifying healthy physical boundaries, one must consider what feels appropriate when it comes to their personal space and body. This has been revealed with the Pandemic. People had to decide their physical boundaries themselves in terms of whether or not they felt comfortable walking in a grocery store, and if they did, did they feel comfortable standing close to others.

  • Emotional: This involves a person’s emotional experience and feelings. There are countless ways that someone can violate your emotional boundaries. One pertinent example is when someone asks a personal question that is not warranted. For example, say you are working as a waitress, and someone asks you if you are married or what religion you practice rather than placing their order. Another common violation of emotional boundaries includes gaslighting- which will be its own episode. Having healthy emotional boundaries requires having strong internal awareness to be able to decipher what feels appropriate and what is not.

  • Financial Boundaries: This is a big one. Financial boundaries are integral to set in place to balance you, your loved ones, and any other institution that you provide finances for. Your church, the local SPCA. And personal financial boundaries which is actually a form of self care. Budgeting.

  • Material: This pertains to your belongings. An example could be: Maybe you pick up a friend from work and she starts rummaging through your purse to find chapstick. Or maybe a friend asks to borrow a book and never returns it. Although these examples may seem miniscule, they impact how we respond in relationship with others.

  • Time: This one may seem obvious, but this one is particularly important to my people pleasers. This type of boundary deals with our ability to say no when we need to without justifying our boundaries. Big picture, making sure there is time to adequately take care of yourself will allow you to be more effective to others.

We cannot simultaneously set a boundary and take care of another persons feelings”

  • Spiritual: Although this one may seem niche, I do feel like this is an important boundary to address. Being a Christian, I do feel like it is my calling to share my faith, while also respecting others spiritual boundaries, so this is a specific boundary that I will be exploring in a later post.

Different Settings:

  • Family

  • Friendships

  • Workplace

  • Educational Settings

How to assess your own boundaries:

As humans, we tend to categorize our emotions into “good” and “bad”. Personally, I believe that all emotions have an important role in our ability to cope and adapt to life. That being said, a few emotions that are common to individuals who struggle with boundaries include the following:

Anger and Resentment. Anger is a secondary emotion, meaning that it is underlying another feeling. Whether that is a feeling of being “disrespected or devalued”, your anger can be a helpful hint to assessing whether or not you might struggle with boundaries. While this is generalized, these are just a few to watch out for. Resentment being the second one. While you may feel attacked or victimized, think about your role in the relationship or situation that may be resulting in confusion. Are your boundaries clear and are they being respected?! Are their boundaries clear and are you respecting them? Acknowledgment, curiosity and ownership can be revolutionary tools for assessing and working with boundaries.

Internal “Nos”: If what you are agreeing to or what you are saying in conversation is not aligning with your internal experience, you may have a problem with boundaries. Start to pay attention to whether or not what you communicate is how you feel.

"Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by choosing what you will and won't accept." -Anna Taylor

So you feel like you may have a boundary problem, what can you do to start learning about and implementing stronger boundaries. Resources for Setting Boundaries that I recommend to clients and that I use myself.

A.) Seek Individual Therapy: This is not just a recommendation for individuals with boundary concerns, I recommend that every human being have a therapist as a resource to help them navigate their life, experiences, relationships and emotions.

B.) Seek out more Education: A book that I cannot recommend enough is:

Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life

C.) Seek out a support group. has a $9 a month support group that is ranked the top in the nation. It was created by Henry Cloud, one of the authors of the original Boundaries text and he also has a lovely podcast that I recommend as well. Just search Henry Cloud.

All of this information and more can be found in audio version on my podcast, Moved By Grace Radio. Below are links to the different podcast distribution sites that feature me. Be sure to subscribe and review if you like the content. This helps me to continue making free content for you!


Anna Boyd, MA, RDT, LPC, RYT 200 Moved By Grace Counseling LLC 469-843-0249

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