How to Set Healthy Boundaries for Highly Sensitive People

How to Set Healthy Boundaries for Highly Sensitive People

I don’t know about you, but as a sensitive child, no one taught me how to create healthy boundaries. And, no one around me modeled healthy boundaries. 

As an empathic and compassionate child and adult, I would feel people suffering and want to help them feel better and solve their problem.
If I helped them, then I wouldn’t have to feel their disappointment, depression, unhappiness, anger, frustration or sadness.
I intuitively knew how to make them feel better or solve their problem.
If I could just get everyone around me to feel better, I would feel better.
And if I got everyone to need me, I would feel connected and safe. 

Highly Sensitive nurturers learned how to be in relationship in their families in order to feel safe, connected to our tribe and worthy. This conditioning makes others more important than yourself and therefore it is very hard to set boundaries. If you set boundaries in an authoritative or boundaryless home, you would be seen as disloyal to your family, you might be called selfish, and your value in the family may decrease putting you at risk of abandonment or physical/mental/emotional abuse. You did what you needed to do to survive.

Do you pick up on people’s feelings around you and know how to solve their problems or make them feel better? Do you feel better after helping them and then later drained?

Feeling empathic and compassionate towards others without limitations will drain your energy and have you feeling terrible. Have you found yourself stuck because you can’t say, “NO” to friends and family? You don’t want to look bad or seem selfish.
Do you have so much empathy and compassion for everyone except yourself.

Another side of boundaries is holding people accountable for their actions.
Is it hard for you to make family, friends, or employees accountable, meet a deadline, complete a project, follow through on what they said they’d do?
Examples would be:
Your boyfriend/husband doesn’t call and show up when they said they will.
Family members taking things of yours without asking.
Your employees don’t follow through your business systems.
Someone does something wrong and you fix it for them rather than have them learn from the consequences.

You’re letting people get away with things because you don’t want them to feel bad or angry at you. They’re feelings are more important than yours.
This is what you have learned in your families growing up. You don’t practice healthy boundaries in your adult life, because you had lousy ones in your childhood.

Can you see how setting boundaries can trigger your family history and traumas? This is why you haven’t naturally set them. Your need to feel safe and secure within your tribe, has priority. When you are ruthless in your boundaries honoring your authentic self first and align with tribe members who respect and honor them too, you will naturally feel more safe and secure than looking for others to it validate them for you.

It is not your fault boundary setting is hard, it’s your conditioning. But now you know you’re learning why it is important for healthy loving and compassionate living.  

In order for you to be a HS positive role model, leader, healthy loving and compassionate being sustainably, you need to set boundaries.

Living without boundaries doesn’t serve anyone. You included. Stopping yourself from feeling now will eventually show up with health issues that cause you to feel them latter! Sacrificing yourself NOW for later rewards is an illusion. There is no pay out for short or long term sacrifice. It is a belief you need to remove from your subconscious mind. 

I was an adult when I learned I had no clear boundaries. My life wasn’t my own. I was helping everyone else become successful and I never considered success for myself.
How could I have more than others without being selfish and feeling guilty?

I let other people take over my time, physical and emotional space.
Without boundaries, I was taking care of everyone else’s feelings and problems first and disrespecting my needs and desires. I wasn’t worthy!

Definition of boundaries

As described in the video below with Brene Brown the definition of boundaries is communicating “what is ok and what is not ok” to others in your life and honoring them daily.
Boundaries are respect, here is what is ok with me and here is what is not. This means holding others accountable to honoring your boundaries.

What happens to HSPs with no boundaries?

  1. You lose yourSELF, you’re not as important as other people…their feelings are more important than your
  2. You feel angry and resentful about meeting other people’s needs before your own
  3. There is no accountability to yourself or for others
  4. You shame, blame and manipulate others to get what you need and want
  5. You feel sick or not like yourself because you take on other people’s energy (depression, anger…)
  6. You feel stuck or not in control of your life, always busy, not enough time
  7. Success is fleeting personally and professionally
  8. You’re a people please, you feel you don’t matter

It is really important for you as a Highly Sensitive person to set boundaries.

Why set boundaries as a HSP?

  1. You will be healthier in mind, body and spirit 
  2. You will have more time and energy to follow your passions and purpose 
  3. You will be more creative and less stressed in your life and business
  4. You will model for those around you what it means to be successful and have healthy boundaries and relationships
  5. They empower you and others to show up more authentically
  6. Self-validation that you matter, you are worthy
  7. You value your time, mind, body, soul and energy
  8. You feel more compassionate and forgiving. You get we’re all brilliant, juicy messes!


Notes from Brene Brown video:

Compassion is a belief that we are deeply connected to each other that is rooted in love and forgiveness.

Empathy is the skill set to bring compassion alive. How to communicate that deep love for people in a way that people know they’re not alone.
It is feeling with them.

Empathy without boundaries is not empathy

Compassion without boundaries is not genuine

Vulnerability without boundaries is not vulnerability

Ask yourself these questions:

What boundaries need to be in place for me to stay in my integrity?
Am I taking on other people’s energy and problems that aren’t mine?
What would your work/life look like if you blamed less and had more respect for boundaries?
What am I tolerating that is draining me?


Create boundaries from the answers to the above questions.

Watch the two videos to learn more.

Please continue this learning and sharing below with any comments. Sharing is caring.






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