5 Useful Ways to Set Boundaries with Toxic Individuals

It can be a challenge to set boundaries with individuals who’re toxic; however, it can be learned and when we do it, it can have an empowering effect.

Boundaries help us take proper self-care. When we have them, we’re dealing with less anger and resentfulness since we’re meeting our needs.

Thanks to boundaries, we have clear expectations and we show others what to expect from us and how we want them to treat us. 

In order to have a happy and healthy relationship, boundaries are a must. In an ideal situation, people will respect our boundaries when we reveal them clearly. 

However, there are those who will do everything they can to resist them. 

They will ignore, manipulate, threaten, blame, or argue with us. Though we can’t entirely prevent what others do and how they act, learning how to set boundaries is possible.

5 Helpful Tips to Set Boundaries Easily

  1. Address your triggers

The reason why someone triggers us isn’t always because of them, but because of our unresolved boundaries and baggage. 

Maybe, we’re also seeing a part of ourselves in them. To resolve this, you can try shadow work. This is a term coined by Carl Jung and it means looking at parts of ourselves that we’re less aware of and trying to acknowledge them. 

This helps us heal the old wounds and learn how to express ourselves in a healthier way. When we identify our triggers, we won’t be triggered by the same or similar behaviors in others. 

  1. Pause before a reaction

We make split reactions on a daily basis and it’s always easier to instantly have a negative reaction to others without thinking our response may not be the right one. These reactions may become our habit and we’re constantly overreacting to behaviors that set us off. 

Instead of a reaction, we may need to pause, reflect, and analyze. 

Ask the proper questions about how you respond to a toxic individual. Some of the questions you can ask are: Will this situation be important two weeks later, Am I responding stronger than I should be, Does this person have a lot of power over me, Can I let this go and walk away?. 

Though it may take time, we can learn to balance our reactions and moderate our response to toxic individuals. This helps us take over the power and protect our mental health.

  1. No is a wonderful answer

Saying no can be an effective way to put boundaries. 

Although it can be challenging, particularly for people who tend to be people-pleasers, it’s a must. 

You need to pinpoint the situations that cause discomfort and tell no to them. Though it may seem uncomfortable, you need to stay strong because your mental health and comfort are pivotal. 

  1. Cut them out if necessary

When someone is too toxic for you, it may be needed to cut them out of your life, especially if they’ve done harmful things to you. 

Regardless of whether it’s a family member, friend, partner, or colleague, ending an unhealthy relationship is necessary if you want to preserve your well-being. 

If possible, explain to them why it’s better to end the connection rather than ghosting them. 

For example, say something like “ I really care about you, but this has become too toxic for me and I need to protect myself”. 

Don’t get stuck on giving excuses or too long explanations. Avoid arguments too. This isn’t being done to punish the other side, but rather to put your well-being first.

  1. Stop trying to fix others

When we care for someone, we try to fix them by helping them out constantly. 

Sometimes, this could involve us on an emotional level in their issues and result in draining our energy. This easily transforms into a co-dependent relationship. 

The other side will constantly need you to fix their problems. You’ll get involved in their drama and their baggage will become yours. 

It’s important to realize that people will rarely change because others want them to and growth is impossible if they don’t put in the effort themselves. Of course, helping the ones you care for is essential, but having a limit is pivotal.