A Conversation About Personal Boundaries

Ok, so the word boundaries or setting boundaries is bouncing around the social media and self-development world like a balloon at a kid’s party. I’m fascinated by how people use the word boundary or boundaries in their social media posts. We see books and blog posts surfacing on the topic and I wanted to distill this concept down for someone going, “what the heck is a personal boundary and how do I set them?”

Definition Breakdown

So let’s start as I usually do by looking at the definition:

According to some, personal boundaries are limits we define by outlining likes and dislikes, and setting the parameters one allows others to approach them. They include physical, mental, psychological and spiritual boundaries, and it can involve beliefs, emotions, intuitions, and self-esteem. – Paraphrased from something I read on the World Wide Web.

Then I looked up the definition of a rule…

alt="Rule Definition"

So if we create a rule for ourselves we are creating a regulation of how we govern our life. So technically a personal boundary is interchangeable as a personal rule we set for our life. And if we communicate these rules with others then we give them a chance to respect our personal boundaries.

So how do you go about setting these personal boundaries?

How to set a Personal Boundar

Many will give you a checklist that involves the following:

  1. Create a list of your values
  2. List out things you enjoy
  3. Now make a list of things you don’t enjoy or things that stress you out
  4. Pinpoint at what point does a thing you enjoy become something you don’t enjoy


Value = Connection with Friends

Enjoy = A one-on-one conversation with a good friend

Don’t Enjoy = Making a date with a good friend and they show up late for the date or you enjoy an hour long conversation but longer then that usually tires you out mentally

Pinpoint Pain Point = Time Management

Personal Boundary = Crystal Clear Communication with friends about valuing being on time and that you love hour long coffee dates but cognitively don’t thrive when it runs longer. But in words that are less intellectual and more personal obviously!

Yoga Teacher Training Application

I’m full swing into yoga teacher training here in Bali and we’ve been looking at the Eight Limbed Path of Yoga and discussing Yamas (external restraints) and Niyamas (internal restraints) as they apply to our lives and the conversation around personal boundaries has been surfacing quite a lot. What I love about our yoga teacher training is that during our philosophy conversations we don’t actually come to a black & white conclusion but provide perspectives and thoughts for everyone in the group to mull over.

We definitely talked about setting boundaries with others as we chatted about Asteya. Asteya translates to “not taking what is not freely given” which we applied to conversations about not stealing other’s time. So back to the coffee date example always being cognizant of being on time for our friends so we don’t steal their time.

What personal boundaries have you set for yourself?

What personal boundaries are you thinking of setting after reading this post?

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