10 Reasons Why You Struggle To Set Boundaries

Last updated by Katie M.

Boundaries are key to having healthy relationships, be it friendship-based or relationship-wise. Establishing boundaries in relationships is the only mature way to get your comfort needs across. By making your limits and guidelines clear, people will know how to behave around you, which lines not to cross, and what topics they should avoid bringing up with you. However, as with many things, fixing limitations is easier said than done. Putting in place measures for our entourage to respect can be complicated for a variety of reasons, but that doesn't mean they are insurmountable, either.


Being able to change the precedent and establish what you are comfortable with is a challenging task, but it is an essential one if you want to start valuing your personal wellbeing. In order to fix the limits you want to set up, you need to focus on what it is that troubles you and in what context. Here, you really need to listen to your heart and explore the depths of your sensitivity, too. Then, the ball is in your court because knowledge is power! Knowing what you want to change is half of the task and means that you are confident enough to go through with changing the tone, despite it seeming scary. After all, nothing that's worth doing is ever easy, as they say.

10 Reasons why setting boundaries is so hard for you

Here's why you find it so difficult...

1) You were never taught them

There's no denying that we are all products of our environment, which explains why many of us seem to follow in our parent's footsteps. For the most part, we reproduce what we see and what we have grown up around, meaning that whilst we take on lots of our parent's qualities, we all inherit their weaknesses too. If we were never taught to establish barriers and set limits as children, then it's only logical that we'll find it tough to implement them as adults. Picking up a new skill is never easy, but when it's one that will help you to preserve your mental health, it's a necessary step to undertake, even if at the start this drastic change makes you feel uncomfortable.

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2) You constantly want to please

Many of us are natural people pleasers, which is why we find ourselves going out of our way to bend over backward for others, even if it makes us feel bad. If you often put other people before yourself, without even considering your feelings, then you definitely have the people-pleasing bug. Now, wanting to be helpful is a great quality to have, but it shouldn't be at the detriment of your own mental health.

3) You have a hard time saying 'no'

The word 'no' may only be two letters long, but it is in fact one of the hardest words many of us have to say. No is a synonym of refusal, and this prospect can be very intimidating because it can lead us to believe that we'll make enemies for ourselves. When our friends and family are constantly used to us saying yes and being rather agreeable, they will more than likely be a little surprised when we eventually start to install boundaries with the aim of creating healthier relationships.

4) The idea of setting them makes you feel guilty

Setting healthy boundaries doesn't necessarily mean you have to push people away or that you'll even disappoint those you love. Instead, it means that you value your time and that you also need to consider yourself too. Plus, if anyone dares to make you feel guilty for choosing to focus on yourself, then you can certainly consider them to be a toxic influence in your life, meaning you'd be better off without them.

5) You don't recognize your needs

When we are so busy running around after our family members and friends, we no doubt barely even have the time to realize that we don't feel good. By continuously putting yourself last, you'll eventually become emotionally and physically drained, which could lead to a very serious burnout. Good boundaries, therefore, need to be installed and maintained in order to avoid spiraling mental health episodes.

6) You're scared of being judged

No one likes to be judged and for people that struggle to set strong boundaries, the thought of being talked about really does worry them. In actual fact, they are afraid that people will view them as being uptight, fun sponges, who never really take the time to let anyone else into their personal bubbles, when in reality, this couldn't be further from the truth.

7) You're in denial

Realizing that we're not doing okay and acknowledging that something needs to change in our lives requires incredible strength, that unfortunately, not all of us are capable of. At times, we all need a severe wake-up call, however, more often than not, the wake-up calls that make us realize things are amongst some of the most painful, and frequently include betrayal...

8) You're not a good communicator

When you are a naturally caring and loving person, you tend to struggle to express your OWN needs. Whilst you'll happily spend hours listening to other people's problems, you'll never really spend time focusing on and talking about your own ones. As with many things, you'll put them to the back of the pile and, sadly, forget about them.

9) You've never stood up for yourself

Not having a single personal boundary invites ill-intentioned people to walk all over you. Now, shaking off old habits is never an easy task, yet it's an important step towards setting and maintaining respectful boundaries in your personal life. Speaking your mind can seem overwhelming, but everyone is capable of it.

10) You're scared they'll limit your joy

On paper, boundaries may seem restricting and limiting, but once you've explored their true power, you'll soon realize how essential they are. They shouldn't be viewed as a nuisance, but rather as a safeguard for mental health preservation.

Editor's opinion - Boundaries need to be more widely respected

Establishing personal limits exposes many of us to unnecessary judgments that are quite simply false. When we hear people clear explaining what they are comfortable with and what they are therefore uncomfortable with, many of us are quick to assume that it's because they are cold and standoffish, however, in reality, explaining your perimeter of comfort is a way of protecting yourself from pain and heartbreak. Expressing your needs is a courageous move and shouldn't be looked down upon.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

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Article presented by Katie M.

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