How to Set Personal Boundaries

Gail with arms resting on top of fence she is standing behind

“Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and your right to choices.” –Gerard Manley Hopkins, Boundaries

When I decided to teach Boundaries in our Sunday class at Calder Baptist Church, associated with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, I thought we would cover the material in a few months. A year and a half later we were still on the subject. I’ve found that women, especially divorced and single mothers, have serious issues with boundaries.

I’ve listened to women who suffered sexual abuse as young girls.  This is the primary breach of a person’s boundaries-the skin. So often these women don’t know how to establish boundaries. So early in life they were treated as an object. As children they didn’t realize they had a right to say no.

Others had difficult relationships with a parent. This made it nearly impossible for them to set boundaries with authority figures. And this often carried over to the men, husbands and bosses in their lives.

A boundary is simply self-respect that is demonstrated by one’s unwillingness to give-in to pressure or manipulations from others.

In chapter two of Living Learning Loving I stated:

The truth is we do not need to be perfect before we can set healthy boundaries. We are all imperfect. If we accept this truth, you’ve taken the first step towards establishing boundaries.” (p. 23)

I encourage you to examine your boundaries. If there are weak links you may need to look at how to protect yourself. Never doubt that you are worth protecting.

Gail smiling in purple suitI raised three children as a single mother before I remarried. I have experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years I know a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. I am the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. I’m also a Certified Professional Coach and my stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.

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