20 Must Have Personal Boundaries You Must Set In Life

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You’ve probably heard the term “personal boundaries”, but maybe you’re unsure what they are or how to use them. This post about personal boundaries examples will throw light on how you can understand them.

Have you ever wanted to be more assertive in your relationships? Do you often feel like you don’t have a voice but that being quiet and not speaking up hurts people who care about you?

Personal boundaries are a vital part of self-care. They ensure you can make yourself heard and have the space and time to care for yourself.

This article explains personal boundaries examples and how they can help you make healthier decisions, even if your body or mind doesn’t feel like it right now.


Why Do People Create Personal Boundaries?

Before giving you different examples of personal boundaries, it is essential to know the answer to the question – “why do people create personal boundaries?”

There are many reasons why people create personal boundaries. Personal boundaries are made to prevent future hurts and problems in life. Boundaries are crucial if you want to avoid toxicity and unhappiness in your life.

Having good boundaries will keep others at a comfortable distance from you and help you find peace and ease while having bad ones can lead to feelings of confusion, anger or even self-esteem issues.

An excellent personal boundary will protect you from the pain and suffering of others.

On the other hand, a bad personal boundary can cause you to damage your relationship, work too hard for external validation, or overlook your needs when you could have been out enjoying your life.

Boundaries are a vital part of any healthy and balanced relationship. But boundaries can be tricky. If you aren’t aware of the kinds of boundaries that are right for you, it’s easy to ignore them without meaning to.

There are many different types of boundaries. Recognizing which boundary you need to work on is critical to giving yourself the best chance at maintaining good physical, emotional and mental health.


Different Types of Personal Boundaries

Let’s look at some examples of different boundaries and what they may look like in different scenarios:

1.  Emotional Boundaries

personal boundaries

Emotional boundaries are about what you allow yourself to feel, think and experience emotionally. It is one of the most critical aspects of your life because it influences everything else.

If you don’t have good emotional boundaries, your life will be out of balance, and you won’t be able to experience happiness or fulfilment in your relationships or at work.

You’ll also risk being forced to clamp down on your emotions and bear other people’s emotional burdens. You can’t stay in a relationship if you’re not emotionally safe.

Emotional boundaries mean taking care of yourself or loving yourself first and foremost in any relationship. It does not translate to selfishness; instead, it means that you love yourself enough not to settle for less than what you deserve.

And if you create healthy emotional boundaries, you’ll also be able to make healthy decisions that will be good for the parties involved in the relationship.

Emotional boundaries involve communicating your needs at various points to the other person to ensure you are heard and treated accordingly.

It does not matter if you had previously consented to certain decisions; emotional boundaries mean reserving the right to make new decisions that concern you and not being made to feel bad about it.

To set good emotional boundaries, you have to identify the emotions you are comfortable with. You should also be able to express these feelings respectfully without worrying about how others will respond to them or if your choices would hurt them.

The following are typical examples of emotional boundaries:

You don’t need to be rude or insulting, but you have a right to say “no” if someone asks you to do something that’s not in your best interests. For example:

1. “I don’t feel comfortable doing this.”

2. “This would hurt me if I do it.”

3. “Please don’t project your emotions onto me.”

4. “I’ll let you know when I am comfortable to speak about it.”

5. “I know I agreed to that before, but I’ve had a change of heart, and I don’t think it’s the best decision for me anymore.”


2.  Physical Boundaries

Physical boundaries are about what you allow others to do in your personal space and how close they can get to you without invading your space. Physical boundaries can be identified with boundary signs or a physical barrier.

Physical boundaries are the most obvious and are easy to understand. They are the barriers you put up that others can perceive with their physical senses, for example, what they can see or touch.

An example of a physical boundary is your personal space. You may not want people invading your personal space in any way, even if they are family members. So, you put up a sign outside your bedroom door that says, ‘DO NOT ENTER WITHOUT KNOCKING.’

Physical boundaries define your personal space and what you would not like people to do in it without your permission.

For example, if you’re standing in a queue and cross your arms in front of you, that is a clear physical boundary that lets people around you know not to expect handshakes, hugs, or to come close.

You can set physical boundaries by saying “no” and giving physical cues that communicate your preferences. For example:

1. “No, I don’t want to dance with you.”

2. “No, I don’t want to hold my arms up like this.”

3. “I am not comfortable with you touching me while you speak.”

4. “I’d prefer if you moved back while you demonstrate what you’re trying to show me.”


3.  Verbal Boundaries

personal boundaries

Verbal boundaries are the most common kind of boundary that people set with others. They are another prominent type of boundaries because they are easy to communicate and perceive. These verbal boundaries can be used in different ways.

Verbal boundaries are significant because they often make all the difference between what you want and what you would not accept.

Unlike an emotional boundary that may be misinterpreted or misunderstood, a verbal boundary is more straightforward and cannot be easily mistaken unless clear communication is absent.

Verbal boundaries are straightforward and usually include the following:

1. “No.” – This is an explicit denial. It’s one word, and it’s easy to understand. When you say this to someone, they should not want anything else from you.

2. “Yes.” – This is an explicit acceptance. When you say this to someone, it communicates your desire to be involved in what they are asking.

3. “Maybe.” – This clearly shows conflict. When you say this to someone, you are uncertain about a decision. Ideally, you should be given time to make up your mind correctly. You should not be coerced to make a decision.

Other verbal boundaries are words or statements expressing your agreement, approval, disagreement, and disapproval in any given situation.

For example, saying, “I am not comfortable with that nickname you call me, and I would prefer you call me by my name as everyone else does.”


Good Personal Boundaries Examples

The first step in setting personal boundaries is to be clear about what you want and need.

This information is the basis for setting boundaries. Once you know what you want and feel comfortable with it, the next step is to establish a boundary that helps you achieve that goal.


1.  In Goal Setting

These types of personal boundaries can help you achieve your goals by engaging in activities that align with your goals and cutting down on actions that take up valuable resources for your goal.


2.  In Granting Favors

Personal boundaries are also about being careful about how much you give of yourself. For example, you can say “no” when someone asks you to do something for them. This can be difficult, but it’s important because it protects your time and energy.

You can also say “yes” when someone asks you if they can help with something at home. This is harder because it means giving up control of your space to someone else.


3.  In Helping Others

You can’t always control when other people ask for help, but it’s still good practice to be clear with boundaries so that people know where they stand and what they can expect from you.

Sometimes you want to say yes, but often you’re better off saying no. This is essential so that you don’t make a decision you regret. This is what it means to have good personal boundaries.

Setting clear boundaries allows people to understand how to work with you. In addition, this allows everyone to be conscious of their interactions with you, so they know what is acceptable to you and what is not.


4.  In Your Relationship

Setting boundaries in your relationship means clarifying the things that are acceptable to you and the things that you are not comfortable with.

It is essential to set boundaries, especially with those you are close to, so they do not take you for granted due to familiarity.


5.  With Your Friends

Friendship is a beautiful gift of life, but it can quickly go sour if boundaries are not established to allow it to flourish while respecting the wishes of all parties involved.

For example, if you are closer to one person than another in your group of friends, it is okay to say ‘no’ when that other person asks you for something you do not feel comfortable doing.


6.  At Work

Boundaries include not accepting undue work outside your job description without accompanying compensation for it. This is because it can quickly be taken for granted and abused.


7.  With Your Time

personal boundaries

Proper time management and discipline are examples of good boundaries to have with yourself. It can also mean respecting the time set for dates or events and being punctual as a form of respect to your hosts.


8.  With Your Emotions

Emotionally-based responses can cause quarrels that would have been avoided, so it is good to know when to internally process things and respond rather than quickly reacting to the situation.


9.  With Your Family

It is not uncommon to have close family members go beyond what you feel comfortable with, but it is often allowed because they’re family.

However, setting up boundaries with your family involves communicating their actions or behaviors you’re uncomfortable with.


10.  With Strangers

We sometimes feel the urge to help strangers, which is a good habit. Nevertheless, an excellent personal boundary to have with strangers is not to allow them to touch your body aside from a handshake.


11.  In Your Personal Space

personal boundaries

Your personal boundary is significant to you; it is a space where you feel safe and protected. Therefore, set up boundaries in your personal space to ensure that only those you allow can access it.


12.  In Conversations

Keep conversations respectful. You can choose not to answer questions requiring intimate or personal answers to protect your privacy.


13.  In Social Spaces Or Events

Social spaces or events are very public and can feel very open. An excellent personal boundary is interacting where you feel comfortable and speaking how you want to be spoken to. You can also choose not to interact if you are uncomfortable with it.


14.  In Self-care

Self-care is essential, but it is also crucial to draw the line between self-care and lethargy. If you notice that your ‘self-care’ has become an excuse to avoid work, it’s time to get up and go!


15.  In Your Finances

Money habits like spending when you are sad is not a good habit to have. Good boundaries in finances include keeping track of your spending, having savings, and budgeting correctly by prioritizing your needs over your wants.


16.  With Employers

personal boundaries

Good boundaries to have with employers include communicating with them if you don’t like their tone or if they’re being verbally abusive due to your mistakes at work.

It can also be a good medium to share your desire to not work outside your work hours.


17.  At School

Helping out is cool, but you can draw a boundary to prevent your homework from being copied verbatim and also to prevent your classmates from leeching off your hard work.


18.  With Extended Family

You can communicate to your extended family the actions you are uncomfortable with through verbal or nonverbal signs.


19.  In Your Morals And Ethics

It is important to have values and principles that guide your decisions and choices in life. This helps you draw the line between what is right and wrong.


20.  With Social Media

Social media boundaries can include setting the amount of time you spend online. It can also be keeping yourself from being rude to people who disagree with you online and respecting the rules that guide the usage of the virtual space.


Personal Boundaries For Your Life

personal boundaries

Personal boundaries are a way to control your life favorably. They allow you to say no when you don’t feel comfortable and yes when you do.

They help us set boundaries in our relationships and friendships so that we are not taken advantage of or neglected.

Personal boundaries can include verbal ones, like stating when we don’t want to talk about something or disagree with someone else’s opinion. Personal boundaries can also mean refusing certain requests from others too.

The best thing about personal boundaries is that they can be changed over time! So if you realize that your limits aren’t as straightforward as they used to be, then it’s time for you to change them!

You might need external input from a good friend or family member who understands your boundaries. However, you shouldn’t go against your instincts, beliefs or opinions when it comes to personal boundaries.

You want to keep yourself safe from unwanted external influence, and that’s your choice! However, you need to set clear boundaries for yourself for others to know and respect them.



As you create boundaries for yourself, you must also be conscious of the boundaries of other people around you and respect them. If you expect your boundaries to be respected, you must also respect other people’s boundaries. Remember, respect is reciprocal!

I hope this article helped! What boundaries did you neglect to create that cost you? What boundaries will you start to put in place to create a better future for yourself, mental and health-wise? Do leave a comment!

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Author: Afam Uche

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