Healing slump

5 things other people can handle - Boundaries

We live in a unique time when people are really digging into healing and learning to handle their own emotional well-being.

Yet, there are times when you might feel like you are responsible for the emotions of someone else. It is healthy to consider how your behaviors can impact others. It is also good to work through any misunderstandings in order to keep healthy relationships. BUT, you are not the one responsible for other people’s emotions.

You are allowed to have boundaries and allow other people to work through times when you say “no”. 

Below is a list of 5 things other people can handle, especially when you need your boundaries to be respected.

1. If you change your mind

We usually feel obligated to commit to something right after we say “yes.” But maybe you got more information or you just do not feel the same when the moment comes. It is okay to change your mind and other people need to handle their own reactions to that.

2. When you are done with being treated poorly

Not everyone is going to treat you well all the time, but it is okay to expect basic kindness and respect. People can handle when you walk away from poor treatment. You can walk away, even when emotions are high (especially so) and allow the other person to go soothe themselves while you take care of you.

3. In the case that you do not want to share something

If you do not want to share your fries, or the latest gossip about someone, you have every right to say “no”. People tend to cross this boundary, but they can take care of themselves after you decide you are not in the mood to share. Is generosity of things and information a kind thing, sometimes. But other times, you want to keep something for yourself and that is okay. When it comes to information, you might need time to process before you are ready to share.

4. At a time when you need space

Some people are not used to giving others space because they feel they never need it. But you just might need it to process and make a decision that is best for you. If someone is not giving you space when you ask for it, let them know that they will be okay. The silent treatment can be somewhat abusive, so tell the other person you will let them know when you are ready to talk and work through a problem, but they need to respect your boundary and give you space.

5. Those moments you do not want to be around a particular person.

Maybe there is a person that has no bad intentions or is perfectly harmless. Unless you have no other choice (your career or maybe even a student), you do not need to spend time with someone you do not like. Especially alone. They can handle that. Just like you are taking responsibility for your own emotional health, they can work on their own feelings of rejection.


It is normal to not want to be rude and to worry about other people’s feelings. But if you have to get “rude” to keep boundaries, well, you might have to, especially in the case of being alone with someone you do not trust.

On the other hand, a simple way to communicate to someone is to simply say, “I trust you can handle me saying “no” to your request. I respect you, so please do the same for me.”

If you struggle with setting boundaries, consider our program called “Loving Boundaries” as a way to practice and communicate your boundaries I a way that shows your love for others and your love for yourself.

Dr. Autumn Thomas

Does an anger management program sound like the next step for you? Purchase our program here.

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