Boundaries can be considered our personal rules of engagement. They’re the limits or guidelines we use to indicate how we interact with others and how we will allow them to interact with us.

Some of us have multiple layers of boundaries and some have a simple set. Still others have different boundaries depending on the type of relationship they have with someone. They might have very formal, strict boundaries with strangers while having more relaxed and informal boundaries with close friends and family.

Boundaries are personal and vary widely from person to person and even culturally and geographically. Often when we talk about boundaries, though, we’re talking about the boundaries we have with those people close to us, such as spouses, family and loved ones or those that we see often, such as coworkers and friends.

We use our boundaries to set limits on how much we allow someone to ask of us; how much we will give to others or to causes including time and money; how we allow people to treat us in all kinds of circumstances.

When things are going well and life is moving along smoothly it’s easy to affirm your boundaries. It’s easy to know who you are, where your boundaries lie and how you expect others to treat you. It can be a different story, though, when something unexpected or confrontational happens. It can be difficult to maintain your boundaries when someone is purposely trying to violate them.

The question then becomes, how do you keep your boundaries in place when they’re challenged and tested? There isn’t really any one particular answer to this question. Boundaries are distinctly personal and how well they work when under pressure depends on the individual.

Boundaries - Gia Cilento - The Peace Doctor, Life Coach, Author, Speaker, Reiki Master, HealerThere are some fundamentals, though, that you can use to help forge boundaries you can count on to carry you through difficult situations.

Be aware of your boundary needs. What do you need in a relationship to make sure you feel solid and secure? If it’s a meeting with a stranger, how much personal space do you need. If its someone close to you, how vulnerable are you willing to be? How much are you willing to give at any particular time

Become willing and know when to say “no!” This is an important part of holding steady boundaries. If you know you don’t want to do something or you’re not willing to take on anymore work or you can’t give any more time and/or money you must be willing to say “no!” First you must make a choice to say it when necessary and then you must be willing to say it. This isn’t always easy but it is entirely worth it.

Cultivate your self-esteem and confidence. Remember that you and your needs are just as important as anyone else’s. We’re not always taught this but it’s something that’s paramount to successful boundaries and a success life. This will also help you stay cool when in an explosive or confrontational situation.

Know yourself. Know who you are, what you want from life, where you want to go, and etc. Take a personal inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. It’s an illuminating exercise that will help you gain clarity about many different aspects of your life.

Healthy boundaries are an essential part of a successful, fulfilling and gratifying life. How do you handle tough situations that threaten you boundaries? Let us know in the comments.

Author's Bio: 

Gia is a Life Coach, Speaker, Freelance Writer and Reiki Master.

She combines her training as a Massage Therapist and Reiki Master with her business, marketing and writing background to create articles, blogs meditations and programs that inspire, uplift and heal. Her life's passion is helping people find inner peace through nurturing the Inner Sanctum - their sacred, inner well of healing energy.

Her newest program, The Super Woman Inner Sanctum Program – Because Even Super Women Need Down Time, helps Super Women, women who are overworked, overwhelmed and stretched too thin, find and nurture their own Inner Sanctum.

By the end of this program you’ll be able to access your own Inner Sanctum and use the love, confidence, grace, power and courage your newly rediscovered inner peace brings you to create your world as you see fit.

Call today to start your SuperWoman - Inner Sanctum journey - (248) 560-7372.

Gia is available for individual and group coaching, speaking engagements, distance Reiki/healing sessions and freelance writing projects.