Psychological insights on relationships: rejections, breakups, making relationships happy, unhealthy dynamics, and general psychology.

How To Set Boundaries In a Relationship – 12 Steps

This procedure is also applicable to friendship, business, and family relationships. It is also applicable to confronting the partner with their toxic behavior. Whatever your goal with this, follow these five steps first before you set boundaries in a relationship.

These first 5 steps are crucial to ensuring that you are clear that you haven’t made a mistake. This is important so that you can peacefully leave such a relationship without regrets later, thinking that you’ve made a wrong decision and preventing you from returning to such a relationship.

Article: How To Recognize Hidden Toxicity in Relationships?

Toxic couple

Before facing your partner, you need to do this:

1. Decide that you will only talk about yourself.

Try talking to your partner a few times to explain what is happening to you. In conversations, use expressions like: I feel, I think, I have been hurt, etc.

Do not use words like: you are doing this to me, it is because of you, you are, etc.

2. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and try to understand their perspective.

You might discover something important. It’s possible that your partner isn’t communicating well or feels attacked. It’s also possible that their needs need to be better understood. But don’t be overly understanding if your partner hurts you.

Two sources of toxic dynamics in relationships

3. Try to explain your perspective to your partner.

There’s a chance your partner doesn’t understand what you want from them, so it’s necessary to explain it well. Be articulate, gentle, clear, and precise in describing your needs. Explain as many times as necessary if your partner really doesn’t understand.

Man and woman

4. Come up with clear boundaries first before setting them

The emphasis is on the Clear.

First, determine them yourself and clearly express them to your partner. Take the time to define your boundaries, and only when they’re obvious to you should you communicate them to your partner. That conversation should be polite and constructive, not emotional or threatening.

5. Talk to a professional and explain how you see the relationship.

Ask for their honest view of your relationship and your demands. Describe your relationship with the professional as objectively as possible. Spend half the time talking about yourself and half the time talking about your partner to strike a balance. Also, ask them for corrections.

After you’ve taken these steps, you may begin to suspect that you’re dealing with a toxic relationship.
Check it in this way:

Couple in toxic relationship

11 Hidden and Subtle Toxic Behaviors in Relationships

How to set boundaries in relationship

1. Choose the right time and place

Never confront your partner:

  1. During an argument,
  2. In front of others,
  3. In a public setting,
  4. When the person is upset about something else,
  5. When the person is preoccupied with other tasks.

A good place and time are the opposite of this.

I would emphasize here that it is not a good moment to confront your partner when he is under some pressure or when he is preoccupied with something else. You might get more negative responses than you need because you don’t have the energy for another problem. Rather, wait for the pressures to subside, and then you can express what is bothering you. If the pressures in your partner’s life never ease, then, of course, you have no choice but to do it when you choose.

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2. Be prepared for different reactions

Man rejected woman

Every conversation with a hurt individual can veer off course, so be prepared. Be ready for your partner’s defensive, toxic, or aggressive reactions. They might also become highly emotional, defensive, or threatening. Prepare yourself for all these possibilities.

If the partner reacts like this, I will…, If he still reacts like this, I will…. When that moment happens, stick to your pre-prepared scenario.

3. Use “I” statements:

Express your concerns using “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory. For example, say, “I feel hurt when…” rather than “You always make me feel…” Ask the person not to defend themselves but to listen carefully to how you feel and think when a situation arises. Set a period of time in which you want your partner to just listen to you (five minutes or more).

Check whether you’ll receive understanding, empathy, or pity from the person.

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4. Be specific and concrete

Provide examples of specific behaviors or incidents that have troubled you. Vague statements like “You don’t love me” won’t yield good results. Instead, mentioning particular behaviors, such as “You did this _____, and because of that I feel unloved” is much better.

You can even write down a few things that happened, with details. You can also agree in advance that you will draw your partner’s attention when he is doing certain things.

Toxic relationship

How To Heal From the Toxicity In Relationship

5. Stay calm. Don’t let your emotions get in the way

Even if the person starts deflecting the topic or attacking you, even if they become emotional, try to remain calm and insist on your assertions. Bring the conversation back to the same points. I recommend these points to keep the conversation focused so it doesn’t stray.

You can always tell them: Later, we will talk about what you accuse me of or what hurts you, but now I want to talk about what is bothering me.

Refrain from bombarding your partner with assertions or making too many demands at once. It’s hard to fulfill one demand we don’t want, let alone five or ten.

Don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Try to stay calm. The best way to do this is to stick to your topic and play it over in your head, not let your partner steer you in the wrong direction or make you emotional.

6. Listen carefully to what the person is saying

  1. Allow the other person to share their perspective without interrupting.
  2. Ask them to explain what they feel and think.
  3. Please don’t assume they’re lying or manipulating you, but they genuinely have different perspectives and viewpoints.
  4. If you don’t understand something, ask them to explain it better until you understand it completely.
  5. If even after that you don’t understand or it doesn’t make sense to you, say so openly.

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7. Set Boundaries in This Conversation

Man and woman break up

Agree at the beginning of the discussion on how you’ll communicate and what’s not allowed (interrupting, insulting, interjecting, accusing, etc.).

Set boundaries and demands for your coexistence. If your partner refuses to set some boundaries, ask them to clarify why and try to find a compromise.

Don’t be stubborn if your partner’s reasons are valid. Also, set deadlines for your partner to respect your demands.

8. Try to find solutions that work for both of you

  1. Instead of dwelling on past grievances, focus on finding solutions.
  2. For the same problem, jot down two or three solutions and ask your partner to do the same.
  3. Choose one of those that is most acceptable.

9. Be realistic about your expectations.

Set demands, but understand that your partner cannot change overnight, probably not in the coming months. However, if there are shifts and efforts on their part, that’s a good sign. If your partner succeeds once in their change but then fails the next time and tries again from the beginning, that’s a good sign. Encourage the person and praise them when they manage to make some changes.

However, if this cycle continues for a year and there are no visible changes, then the person is likely just manipulating you to prevent you from leaving.

10. Make yourself a priority, though.

Man Successfully Overcome rejection

Even if the person is good to you but unknowingly does things that make you feel bad, prioritize yourself. You can’t be someone’s practice ground or punching bag. You’re not here to save other people, but to have a good relationship full of support, love, and understanding. A trained professional who is qualified to do so should save them.

After all, if you do better, it is possible that you will drag your partner along with you.

What is the best way to gain self-confidence?

11. Every three months, think about progress and changes in the relationship.

Write down what you want to work on and think needs to change. Discuss this with your partner and try to implement it in the relationship. After three months, consider whether things have moved in a positive direction. If things don’t change, at least partially in a positive direction, your relationship will likely remain the same.

However, if there is even a small shift, it is a good sign for your relationship. Keep practicing those changes and adding any more you want

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12. Talk to a professional together.

Couples therapy

If you doubt yourself and think you cannot build a quality and lasting relationship, seek help from a professional to find out what the problem is. There’s a chance that, due to your emotional blocks, you cannot communicate well. You may need someone to navigate communication and give you good collaboration techniques. Try having a couple of conversations with a couples therapist to see if there is any progress. If there is no progress, Consider ending a relationship that doesn’t suit you and isn’t progressing positively.

They say it’s better to be alone than in a bad relationship, and that’s a fact.

Love you. Dee

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