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Boundary + schedule

Boundary + schedule
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You don’t have to drop everything the second someone needs you to do something.

If you can’t commit to someone’s request at the moment but you could in the future, however, it’s important to be clear about exactly when and how you’ll do that.

Example

“I’m working on something else right now, but I can meet with you at 2pm today to discuss your question.”

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Boundary + resources

Boundary + resources
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Part of boundary setting is learning what you can and can’t give to others. There will be situations where you simply don’t have the knowledge or resources to help in the way they need and it’s OK to say that.

Example

“I’ve given all the advice about your relationship that I know. I still want to be supportive, but maybe you’d benefit from talking to a couples therapist about how to handle those problems. I can give you the number of one I like.”

Boundary + alternate solutions

Boundary + alternate solutions
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Just because someone tells you something must be done a specific way, that doesn’t mean you have to comply (unless that’s your job). People often get frustrated, however, if you shoot down their idea without offering another solution to the problem at hand.

Example

“I won’t be able to take on that project right now and complete it in the time frame the customer wants. We could extend the deadline or see if someone else can help work on this.”

Their boundary + your boundary

Their boundary + your boundary
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Setting your boundary sometimes depends on the other person’s comfort level. It’s appropriate to check in with them first by asking a question that allows them to state their own boundary.

Example

“Would it be OK if I gave you a hug? I don’t have time to talk right now, but it looks like you could use some support.”

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Boundary + request

Boundary + request
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Boundary-setting isn’t just for when people make requests of you. It’s OK, even preferable, to tell others about your needs and how they can help you while still respecting both parties’ boundaries.

Example

“I’m feeling really lonely, and I need some time with my best friend. Would you be available to go grab coffee today or tomorrow?”

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Your emotions + boundary

Your emotions + boundary
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Your emotional well-being should be important to your loved ones, so sharing how you feel can help clarify the boundary.

Example

“I feel neglected and hurt when you look at your phone while I’m talking to you. Can we have a ‘no phones at the dinner table’ rule?”

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Exit + boundary

Exit + boundary
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Firm boundaries are part of maintaining relationships, but they are also part of ending them if that becomes necessary.

If you need or want to break ties with someone, it’s important to be very clear about your boundaries for physical space and communication. It may hurt more in the moment, but it won’t leave either of you guessing or wondering what’s next.

Example

“This isn’t a productive conversation. I’m logging off now; don’t message me again.”

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Source: RD.com

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