How To Set Limits For A Healthy Relationship?


Setting limits is not easy. Among other things, many times we are not even fully aware of what the limits are or where to establish them. However, they are fundamental to a healthy relationship, whatever the nature may be.


Many people, for example, confuse limits with expressing without hesitation what they think or want without taking into account the other person or their circumstances. Others, on the other hand, use their own problems to “force” others to adapt to them. In any case, this is not setting limits for a healthy relationship .

On the contrary, setting limits means letting the other person know that there are needs, desires and personal preferences different from their own and that, nevertheless, the relationship can be full if we respect ourselves in our particularity.

In this sense, it is not an imposition. On the contrary, it is about making our reality known to others and others to us, so that we can respect ourselves.

In this sense, setting limits is something really beneficial for everyone:

  • By establishing personal barriers, we will avoid falling into blackmail and manipulation .
  • Since we show ourselves as we are in our needs and identity, the relationship and mutual knowledge is truer and real.
  • Therefore, the relationship will gain in quality, duration and satisfaction.
  • In this sense, we will avoid stress and frustrations in relationships (family, couple, friends, work, etc.).
  • In addition, we will be favoring our self-esteem .

Saying “no” is difficult

Being assertive and expressing our emotions properly will be the basic pillars when establishing limits.

Setting limits is not easy. In effect, many factors influence that we are more or less assertive.

For example, many people are unable to say “no” in certain types of relationships for fear of being rejected by the other person . In the same way, another feels real stress in the face of the possibility of a conflict starting, so they refuse to express their feelings and needs to avoid it at all costs.

In many cases, the fact that we can not or do not know how to set limits is something learned since childhood. The behavior has been shaped by an education for complacency. In this way, even in adulthood, it is difficult for us to say “no” or to establish personal limits.

In effect, by not pleasing the other, some people may even feel guilty,preferring to ignore their own feelings and needs.

How to establish limits?

1. Find the right moment

Setting limits is a time of mutual respect, so we should avoid doing it in situations of anger or discussion.

There are adequate moments and moments not indicated to set limits. For example, it is not advisable to “launch” what our needs and limits are in full discussion .

On the contrary, we must find a moment in which both parties are relaxed and able to express themselves without outbursts, considering their words, with a spirit of cooperation and understanding, avoiding saying things that may hurt the other.

We must remember that putting limits must have a benefit for both. Therefore, the ideal is to find a time when we are not tired and our mood does not fluctuate, that is, we are not angry or upset.

2. The limits are put for love and respect in every way

We must forget the idea that setting limits means being selfish. On the contrary, it is an action that arises from the need and desire to maintain that relationship as healthy as possible.

In this way, when we establish our personal limits, we must keep in mind that what we are doing is helping the relationship to remain balanced and healthy. It is an act of love and respect towards oneself, the other person and the relationship itself.

Therefore, we must discard feelings of guilt for being assertive.

3. Detachment

Being coherent between our needs and our emotions will allow us to converse to have a healthy relationship.

Many times we are unable to say “no” or establish limits because there is an affective bond. In effect, we fear to hurt the other person, we have a special kind of respect, we fear that he does not understand us, etc.

For this, the best thing is to exercise in “detachment”. That is, we must establish a distance between our feelings for that person and our real needs. Only then can we establish healthy and necessary limits.

4. Honesty and consequence

We must be sincere and honest when establishing limits. It is something obvious. However, we must also be consistent.

Thus, for example, if we want our limits to be respected, we must also respect those of others. As is logical, if we attack, they will attack us and if we do not respect them, they will not respect us.

In any case, we must always bear in mind that all these tips must be taken from the respect and desire that the relationship is healthy and lasting . We should never leave grudges or moments of anger.

It is a magical moment in which the bases of a relationship that we want to continue are established, so we must always respect the limits of the other. Everyone will gain in mental health, and the relationship in honesty and truth.


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