Defining Your Boundaries

It’s important to understand our own motivations and responsibilities when developing and evolving healthy boundaries, and to make sure others know and respect those boundaries.

Clearly identified boundaries are essential to protect students and staff and provide clarity about what is and what is not acceptable behaviour.

Actions have consequences

If someone is angry, abusive or selfish towards you are you setting boundaries against it, or are they escaping any consequence of their behaviour?

When creating boundaries, remember that they need to be:

Responsible – to others, not for them
We are responsible TO each other, not FOR each other. This means that each person refuses to rescue or enable another’s immature behaviour.
We have power over some things, and not others (including changing people). It is human nature to try and change and fix others so that we can be more comfortable. We can’t change or fix other people.

We need to respect other people’s boundaries if we want them to respect ours.

If someone is angry at you, you can’t tell them all the reasons they can’t be angry. A person should be able to protest the things they don’t like. But at the same time, we can honour our own boundary by telling them “Your anger is not acceptable to me. If you continue, I will have to remove myself.”


We must be free to say ‘No’ before we can wholeheartedly say ‘Yes’. What are your motives?


What impact do our boundaries have on others? Do they cause injury or promote growth?


We take action to solve problems based on our values, wants and needs. Proactive people keep their freedom and they disagree and confront issues, but are able to do so without getting caught up in an emotional storm. Are you thinking ahead or reacting emotionally?


We need to take the initiative to solve our problems rather than being passive.


A boundary that is not communicated is a boundary that is not working. We need to make clear that every boundary violation has a consequence. A boundary without consequence is just nagging.