4. Communicating Effectively with your Relative and Setting Limits


Key messages: Boundaries and limits

Why have boundaries?

Boundaries protect you and others by:

    preventing resentment and/or burnout
    reducing abuse, exploitation, dominance or control by another
    overcoming unhelpful and unacceptable patterns of relating
    ensuring you take responsibility only for what is your responsibility
    helping you express your needs
    ensuring you care for yourself physically, sexually and emotionally
    helping you model healthy boundaries.

How do you protect your boundaries?

    Set limits on the other person’s behaviour with respect to your boundaries.
    Clearly communicate these limits and the consequences if the limits are not respected.
    Observe whether the person is respecting these limits.
    Follow through on the consequences if your limits have not been respected.

Fill in some situations in each of the areas below to help determine what you will and will not tolerate. Everyone has different limits and is in a different situation, so use the examples only as a guide, not as a prescription about what you should or should not tolerate.

Remember to click the Print button if you would like to save them for your records.

I will tolerate…

I am unsure if I will tolerate…

I will not tolerate…

Note: The information you enter on this page will not be saved in our database. Do not leave the page until you have printed your responses if you would like to keep them.

Download this Determining my boundaries activity.

Empowering Families Affected by Substance Use © , CAMH.