15 Signs that Your Boundaries Maybe Weak


If you are in a toxic environment where setting boundaries and enforcing them can lead to physical or emotional trauma, please seek professional help in how to set boundaries.


  1. Unable to say ‘no’ when asked to do something for someone when you don’t want to do it.

Saying ‘no, no thanks, I’d rather not’ and so on can be very challenging. Boundaries can help to overcome the anxiety, fear and guilt of saying no, without long defensive explanations or even resorting to lying. Calm, assertive and polite boundaries are very helpful – don’t back down or justify your reasoning.

  1. Assuming that everything that goes wrong around you is your fault.

When you have weak boundaries in this situation it is because you have been blamed in the past for events that have gone wrong and not been able to defend yourself or too fearful to speak up. Now you find yourself doing it to yourself. Now is the time to  to calm self-criticism when blaming yourself.

  1. Constantly putting other first and yourself second or as an after thought

The more that you put others first the more this becomes a habit.  You feel obliged to see to others contentment and needs rather than your own.  This is where boundaries can be flexible given the circumstances you find yourself. But remember that seeing to everyone’s needs and not your own can ultimately affect your health. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

  1. Feeling utterly powerless in someone else’s company.

Often when feeling powerless to speak up or say our truth, this is either because of fear, or potential fear of reprisals or ridiculing. It is time to evaluate why you feel powerless.  Usually, the other person has a strong controlling personality and when responded with boundaries such as a stoney look, upright body language and short responses this can help to disperse their power.

  1. Blaming others afterwards for making you feel so worthless and controlling you.

This is a sign that boundaries are not in place.  The blaming after the event is too late. If you don’t set boundaries, the person won’t know how far they can go with you.  You have to set the parameters of what is acceptable to you. 

  1. Unable to mention that someone has behaved badly towards you.

Again boundaries are weak, as either there is fear of reprisal or maybe in the past you’ve been ridiculed or simply didn’t want to cause a scene in public.  When it is the latter, a simple stoney stare is very effective. In these cases less is more.

  1. Accepting being blamed for thing that having nothing to do with you 

When this habit of someone that you either work with or a friend or related to is directed at you, boundaries remind them that you are not their scape goat and that you will accept responsibility if it is justified.

  1. Accepting ridiculing 

No one should accept ridiculing and the put-downs. If folk feel that can do this with you then your boundaries are not set well. One would have to evaluate whether this person’s company is something you want to engage with in the future.  If you do, then a boundary that is firmly and calmly set is needed informing them that you do not appreciate ridiculing.

  1. Feeling you are responsible for solving everybody else’s problems. 

This is where you have to make a decision whether you are or not the solver of all problems.  This situation of problem solving for everyone can become a habit and the times that you have stepped back from a situation, you may feel guilty.  Allow others to work out their own issues and if asked then you can help if you are able and if you want to.

  1. Feeling undervalued and not appreciated for your efforts.

So often we do things for people and not even a ‘thank you’ is received.  This makes us feel undervalued.  The fault is with them for having bad manners, but also think about who are you doing this for.  Is it to get the gratitude or are you happy to help because you want to.

  1. Feeling guilty when you are not meeting other’s needs. 

The fawn, the people pleaser, the rescuer is here in this situation.  Leave the guilt to one side and then re-evaluate the situation. 

  1. Having to justify your actions – feeling defensive all the time.

Sometimes we do have to explain what we have done and why, but when we are constantly on the defence for our actions, what we said, how we behaved, we have to question whether defending ourselves is warranted. Boundaries help us decided whether we want to explain ourselves or not.

  1. Expected to share sensitive information about yourself or someone else.

Strong boundaries are needed here.  Sensitive information by the very nature of its title, says that its not for common gossip and boundaries are needed to be enforced to block divulging any confidence.

  1. Following everyone else’s opinion even though you know it’s not yours. 

This often makes us feel uncomfortable.  Many studies have shown that following the crowd is as a result of being unsure of ourselves, not wanting to stand out, or fear of voicing our opinion or doubting ourselves. Boundaries can be valuable in this situation as they can be very flexible as the situation dictates how we respond.

  1. How much information to give someone.

If you are in the company of someone who uses information either as emotional blackmail or to enhance their own standing- the latter can happen very much in the  workplace, or to openly ridicule another, then boundaries are crucial. Gauge the  person and how much you can trust them with information without them using it to their advantage.


If you unsure of how to set boundaries the always seek professional help