The boundaries of relationships and stress

Boundaries can be described as how close you get people emotionally. They are also where you draw boundaries in your relationship. Before asking things to change or deciding to give up, they will say how much you are willing to give or accept.

For example, you may be satisfied that your partner goes out one night a week without you, but feel that two to three nights a week are unacceptable. Or maybe you are willing to forgive a case of infidelity, but feel that more is too much.

Boundary is one of the measures of relationship health. Therefore, they can promote your relationship with your partner, children, family and friends in a positive or negative way. When will relationship boundaries lead to increased pressure?

Imbalance of responsibility

When you don’t set the boundaries for how you can say “yes” and “no,” you can easily take on more responsibilities than just to please others. This is called rejection sensitivity, and it increases stress when you try a lifestyle that is too busy to satisfy your comfort level.

If you don’t respect your limits, others may not respect them. Not setting boundaries or limits on your time will also make it harder for others to know that they are asking you to do too much.

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Setting healthy boundaries will help you maintain a proper balance in your schedule and life. It allows you to say no and better protects your time.


As you continue to say “yes” to things that are best left unsolved, you may begin to feel angry or resentful. It seems that other people are taking advantage of you, or you are expected to pay too much.

Sometimes this resentment happens because you don’t realize that you have played a role in an overly busy schedule. You can’t make connections and let your to-do list get out of control. Other times you do realize that you are responsible, so you get angry with yourself for letting it happen.

Regardless of your opinion, the end result is that you feel stressed and dissatisfied with the situation. This may cause you to close yourself and alienate yourself from the people in your life. By constantly saying “yes”, it may also destroy the relationship you intend to strengthen.

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Increased conflict

When you feel that giving and receiving in a relationship is out of balance, conflicts arise. Conflict often leads to stress, which will not only further damage your relationship, but also damage your health.

Every relationship experiences some degree of conflict or disagreement. When this conflict is related to not setting or implementing clear boundaries, you may find that it persists. It will never be completely resolved, because it will happen again and again.

Maintaining healthy boundaries allows others to know where they stand against you and prevents additional conflicts in your relationship. It can also reduce the degree of imbalance or resentment that exists, thereby further reducing your stress.

Set boundaries to promote intimacy

A common misconception about personal boundaries is that keeping everyone in your life at a distance is the same as having strong, healthy boundaries-if you want to be happy, you can’t let others in. This is not entirely correct.

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In fact, getting others close to you (in a healthy way) is the true goal of boundary setting. Appropriate boundaries enable you to establish an intimate relationship that respects the needs of all relevant personnel. They enable you to be independent and dependent on each other at the same time.

Most of us will meet people who need different types of reactions in our lives. In fact, they need to keep a hand (or farther) because they don’t respect the boundaries we set. However, as long as we let them know where we stand, we can allow most people to approach us without stepping on our toes.

Most importantly, setting healthy boundaries in interpersonal relationships is a key skill for managing interpersonal stress. This is a good deed that we can do for ourselves and those close to us.

Get advice from the VigorTip Mind podcast

Hosted by LCSW’s editor-in-chief and therapist Amy Morin, this episode of The VigorTip Mind podcast shares tips on setting health boundaries, featuring the therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab.

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