“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable,” writes best-selling self-help author Brené Brown, “we feel used and mistreated.”
Setting healthy boundaries is essential to maintaining healthy relationships. Registered Social Worker Paula Fernández often treats clients who have issues setting boundaries.
“I always bring to light that sometimes the way that you say something, or the way that you express something, is not how someone else receives it,” she says.
She says that tone of voice can play a big role in helping to assert boundaries. “You can create [boundaries] even in the way you present yourself,” says Fernandez.
Many people are afraid to set boundaries because they want to avoid hurting others’ feelings. So, even when they say no, they do it unconvincingly. But by working with a professional, they can learn to overcome that fear, and set boundaries that stay.