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Over the past couple of weeks, I have had to take a good hard look in the mirror and examine my relationship with people. I find when you give everything to others, they happily take advantage. The moment you say no or there is not an immediate response, they want to attack you. That is ok as they are only highlighting the kind of person they are and their insecurities. I have now put boundaries in place that I will respond when I am ready. The age we live in, people want an instant response. This will no longer be happening in my world.

When we seek out ways to improve our emotional health, the word boundary comes up. By definition, a boundary is a line that marks the limits of an area, a dividing line. When we apply boundaries to our personal life, they look like guidelines that we create in order to feel safe, healthy and respected.

A boundary is essentially defining what you want and don't want. These apply to every segment of your life: school, work, family, friends and with you spouse. They can help to establish your identity and who you are as a person. These statements allow you to take clear responsibility for your own actions and emotions while not taking responsibility for the feelings of others. Without healthy boundaries we cannot have healthy relationships.

We first learn about boundaries through seeing them in action when we are younger and usually model those same boundaries for ourselves as we grow. It is not until we realise that maybe those behaviours we saw weren't necessarily healthy or that they don’t feel right for us do we try to examine and set our own.

Ask yourself if your boundaries or lack there of is working for you. If you feel like it's hard for you to say no, feel drained from hanging out with certain people, feel like you give much more than you receive, put your feelings to the side or act out of compliance, it’s time to look in the mirror.

Most people who need to establish their own boundaries deny their own feelings to help others. If this sounds like you, it is time to get in touch with what you want. You will find by doing so, your relationships will improve. At first it may be difficult, but it is so worth the outcome. You will have more energy and more of what brings you happiness will fill our life. If others have issues with your new boundaries, I would examine your relationship with them.

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