4 min readNov 14, 2020

Bella who was an intern at a media house never really had an issue with this dude(who was also an intern, but in his mind, had been there long enough to feel a self-created superiority over new interns like Bella) coercing her into doing the work which was given to him. He did that everyday, and of course, shy Bella seemed cool with it, but deep down she knew she wasn’t, she just didn’t know how to put that guy in his place. one day, luckily, she came across an article on boundaries and assertiveness, she finally understood that he had to be put in his place.

The next day, this 5’5 woman wore heels to work. The emphasis on ‘heels’ is because she barely wears them. If you’re a woman, I’m sure you’d understand the power that comes with wearing heels. She went to work feeling bolder than ever, then, the lazy mister (he certainly had to be a bully and a slacker to constantly make Bella do his job) came like every other day to do the usual — dump the work load on her. ‘’I don’t have to do the work you’re expected to do, that is not why I’m here, besides I have a lot of work to do too, so if you’re unable to do your job effectively, perhaps you should quit or find someone else to dump the work load on”, she said. THAT’S RIGHT GIRL!!!.

“You get what you tolerate” — Henry Cloud. Someone who I look up to and respect, is always particular about me setting boundaries when it comes to dealing with people. In his words, not his exact words though, “you have to learn to set boundaries, because when you don’t, you let people disrespect you, hence you begin to tolerate rubbish”. Clearly set out boundaries enables people to know and understand how you expect to be treated or addressed. It’s that simple. People will talk down to you, walk over you, simply because you’ve not established boundaries.

Boundaries are the limits you set, the line that divides behaviours you would accept and the ones you wouldn’t accept from people. So when you set boundaries, you’re basically letting people know how you want to be treated. It’s being assertive. You’re letting the person know in an explicit and firm way, the things you can’t and won’t accept. Personally, I think boundaries are more about being clear about the behaviours you consider unacceptable than the ones you consider acceptable.

There are certain things to know and understand when it comes to the issue of setting boundaries;

  • You need to have self-worth to establish boundaries. One with a really low self-esteem has a lot more issues to tackle with, and believe me when I say that creating boundaries is not one of them. Knowing your boundaries comes from a realization of who you are as a person, and the high value you place on yourself. So in simple terms, low self-esteem=inability to know and set boundaries.
  • Knowing your boundaries and enforcing them are completely different, it’s like “knowledge and understanding” — it’s one thing to know something and another thing to understand it deeply. You see, knowing your boundaries is the easy work, enforcing them is the not so easy part, (well, personally, I don’t think knowing your boundaries is that easy, but I guess its relative). Inability to enforce set out boundaries leaves you in the same position as the person who doesn’t know his or her boundaries. Read that again.
  • Setting boundaries is a self-care routine (self-care isn’t just going to the spa, going for shopping, etc). when there are clearly set out boundaries, there’s less disrespect. When there’s less disrespect, there’s no room for self-doubt, or low self- worth. You don’t have to wonder why your colleague at work treats you like crap, or why that person (you know who “that person” is) keeps using vulgar words on you, etc.
  • Boundaries should be established in romantic relationships, platonic friendships, and work relationships, in fact, it should be established in every relationships with people.
  • Finally, don’t be that person who only enforces boundaries when they think it’s convenient, in lame terms, don’t be scared to enforce boundaries on anyone (especially if that person is already crossing the line), don’t be selective about who to enforce them on . As long as you’re not rude but assertive, you shouldn’t have a problem with making sure you let people know the line they shouldn’t cross.

lack of boundaries invites lack of respect. Never forget that. So, SET THESE BOUNDARIES ALREADY!