How to know how to set healthy limits

How to know how to set healthy limits

Protect your own personal limits and find balance in the relationship with other people, whether with the couple, family, friends or acquaintances, and often in a subtle way, is a daily part of our human life.


  • 1 Testing own and other people's limits
  • 2 Problems with the limits in the couple
  • 3 Find the balance
  • 4 Seeking balance

Testing own and foreign limits

It is normal to test the limits of others, such as in a relationship between a father and mother and their children, a couple with their partner ... But unfortunately some people feel that they lack respect for the needs and decisions of others They are so normal that they don't even realize when they do. On the other hand, there are others that, curiously, do not notice when they are losing respect in a covert way.

There are many people who they learn not to respect their own needs or those of others from a very early age, depending on how their parents set their own limits, how they reacted to their son expressing their will, or how they treated each other.

In adulthood, the most important limits are those established with the couple and children. As the couple usually forms before the children arrive, if healthy boundaries are established with her first, then it will be easier to do so with the children. However, problems with the limits in adulthood can appear when a party has much stronger and better consolidated ideas about what is normal and acceptable, ideas that do not necessarily have to be too healthy.

Problems with the limits in the couple

The problem arises when some people, especially those who are more insecure or even responsible, feel the need to please their partners, which often translates into ignore one's own limits to satisfy the other person. Over time, these people get used to deny more and more their own desires, needs and values, being able to end in a abusive relationship, or at least in a relationship full of frustration and disappointment.

Human beings are adaptable creatures, so we can unconsciously, even against our own will, get used to tolerating unpleasant circumstances if we accept them long enough. Later we would be very surprised to look back and realize how many things we have learned to accept, although we thought we would never do it.

If you think of all the variety of inconsiderate and irresponsible behaviors that have taken place in your own environment, you may be surprised to realize how many things are considered "normal", not only in personal relationships but also in business relationships : manipulation, dishonesty, various power struggles, exploitation ... People who do these things generally find mental justifications and excuses, because they have seen it justified or at least tolerated within their families and cultures.

Strike a balance

To set limits we do not need a measurable external guideline on what is or is not correct. It is not so important, or sometimes even possible, to know who is wrong and who is right. The important thing is compatibility and mutual consideration. In order to set good limits. For this you need:

  • Not be afraid of risking a relationship / job / anything else
  • Develop a sense of balance.

Looking for balance

Developing a sense of balance is not that difficult, in theory, especially because it is partly part of an innate human instinct. Although it could be more complicated if your family has taught you to believe that you have no right to express your needs, or on the contrary, if it taught you to believe that you are someone "special" and that your needs are more important than those of others. . Even so, even most people retain the instinct to balance their own needs with those of other people.

Take some time to consider a situation from more than one perspective and decide what may make the most sense.

If you are generally responsible and inclined to question yourself, you are more likely to change some behavior on your own to achieve more balanced and healthy personal relationships.

It is important to pay attention and give the value they deserve to your own needs, as well as those of others. This may require facing and resolving guilt, or fear of punishment or abandonment.

If you are used to emphasize your own needs and reject those of others, and you want to change this (congratulations, you are a rare case!). You may have to face the fear of losing power, losing control and perhaps losing the sense that things have for you now. Especially compared to other people. But don't give up, the power, the sense of control and importance are just an illusion, or at least they are very fragile. The self-esteem, happiness and relaxation you can achieve in healthy and balanced relationships are much more real and lasting.. You should also exercise yourself valuing other people's perspectives and showing a conscious attitude of appreciation of the needs of others. So go ahead, because all this will be for the best, for sure.

Phrases set healthy limits