We all have that uncle or boss who doesn’t seem to know or understand what healthy boundaries are.  We’ve all encountered difficult conversations or situations where we felt our boundaries were trampled over.

So you’ve decided that 2022 is going to be the year where you improve your relationships by making and keeping healthy boundaries.

Now what?!

First, let’s get clear on what healthy boundaries are and what they look like.

Healthy Boundaries:

Like tomato is the key ingredient in ketchup so are healthy boundaries the key ingredients in healthy relationships.

When you have healthy boundaries you will benefit by:

  • Feeling heard and understood.
  • You will reduce conflicts in your relationships.
  • You will reduce guilt and resentment in your relationships.

Boundaries are limits or sets of rules we set for ourselves in our relationships, only you know what’s acceptable for you therefore only you can set these for yourself.

Healthy Boundaries are like the fence around your house, it keeps the neighborhood dogs while letting your visitors in.

“We know a boundary is effective when it helps provide space and opportunities for the things that aren’t super helpful for us to exit, but it also allows new information, new ideas, new opportunities to come into our vicinity.” –Lana Bentley, MSW. Mindfulicity’s Program Strategist

l they are included and feel safe to ask questions.  They are comfortable to challenge one another respectfully to achieve a better outcome without fear of being punished.  Everyone can help support a psychologically safe workplace. Mindfulness is a practice we can incorporate in the workplace daily – it’s one of the main contributors to healthy workplaces.

Q:  As a social enterprise, what is the community impact Mindfulicity aims to achieve?

A: This is what is most exciting to us – the social impact of Mindfulicity training in our community! We at YW Calgary know when individuals gain and practice these foundational skills to help them cope and manage stress, they have the building blocks for better behavior and healthy relationships. They are better prepared to deescalate stressful situations in their personal lives and at work.

It’s truly taking our expertise upstream from intervention to prevention. If more people can regulate their behaviour, they are better prepared to address a stressful situation with empathy and kindness. Then maybe we see less people becoming aggressive and violent at work and at home. I think you’ll agree that’s the kind of employee training we can all get behind!

Our aim is to share insightful and helpful content for our followers — that is why we are hosting our first LinkedIn LIVE event.  Nothing motivates our team more than creating spaces for open conversations about psychological safety, workplace wellbeing, and shifting corporate culture.

What do healthy boundaries look like?

“Boundaries can sway, they can grow and change within the context of new situations.” –

Lana Bentley

“The toughest part about boundaries is that quite often we don’t necessarily know what our boundaries are until they are crossed.” – Lana Bentley.


Keep in mind:

#1  Our boundaries are not self-evident.

#2 You have the right to get your way some of the time.

When boundaries are crossed it can lead to frustration, stress, and loss of respect in the other person.

These reactions might come because boundaries have not been clear and another conversation around those is due.

You might need to set new boundaries or reestablish the ones you already have.

As you clearly define your limits having these tricky conversations will become easier and you will become more confident in your ability to negotiate and maintain your boundaries.

“If you are afraid that the other person can’t handle your boundaries, or that you can’t handle negotiating yours, over time you actually train your brain to believe that you are less capable.”

It’s important to understand that negotiating boundaries takes practice.

Negotiating Healthy Boundaries:

You can start negotiating boundaries today by:


Learn to say NO.

Although it may sound easy for some.  For others, it can be a challenge to use that little word.

It can especially difficult to say NO at work.

Perhaps you are new on the job, or you are trying to impress your boss, or maybe you can do the task better and faster anyways.  Whatever the case may be saying NO gives others the opportunity to learn a new skill or give yourself an opportunity to show your boss that your boundaries make you better at your job.

Try saying no at work:

Booking too many meetings.

Working on weekends/or after hours

Additional commitments that have little to do with your role/function.

Be mindful when negotiating boundaries:

Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose, whatever it is that you are doing, doing that fully, this is especially important when negotiating boundaries.

Pick a time and a place, and a space where you can give important conversations about boundaries your undivided attention, ultimately you want the other person to really hear you as well.

The second aspect of mindfully negotiating your boundaries is to do your homework before you negotiate.  Ask yourself whether there is anything helpful for you to know so you can communicate your boundary in a fluid matter.

Tune in to your boundaries:

When you are negotiating your boundaries think about the intensity of the ask and think about the intensity of the delivery.

If negotiating boundaries came with a radio dial, fitting in a scale between 0-10, in most situations we don’t need to turn the dial past a 3 or a 4.

Now What?!  How do we stay motivated?!

Don’t let your boundaries slide.

Negotiating boundaries is a practice, as you do you will become more confident and your relationships will experience less stress. 

Congratulations! Now are ready to establish guidelines in your relationships that will bring balance to your life.  You will feel understood and heard and will be able to do that for others.