“Everyone is in the middle of a life story and your story is being shaped by what you say yes to and what you say no to”, says Sarri Gilman, a pronounced family therapist.

Meeting new people is a fun and exciting time. I remember when I first came to UVic I was thrilled to meet people and make friends. Being the extrovert I am, I spoke to everyone possible but unfortunately, that also meant I came across people that were not on the same wavelength as me.

I always knew setting boundaries was important, but I never actually set them. I always thought setting boundaries is being selfish in a way. Later did I realize they are our important guards that are a way to take care of ourselves and prioritize our wellbeing. When you understand how to set and maintain healthy boundaries, you can avoid the feelings of resentment, disappointment, and anger that build up when limits have been pushed. If I could go back in time and give the first-year myself a piece of advice it would be to find my boundaries and save my energy.

Boundaries can take several forms… physical, emotional, intellectual, material, etc. What I have found immensely helpful is to jog through a set of questions every day to keep me intact with my boundaries. Listed below are a few of such questions that one can ask themselves likewise:

Emotional Boundaries:

  • Do I have someone available in case I need to share something personal?
  • Do I feel like I am over-sharing with someone? If so, why?
  • Am I taking enough time to process emotions myself first before dumping them on others?
  • Am I keeping in mind what topics are off-limits in different group settings? 

Time Boundaries:

  • Am I reserving enough time for myself every day?
  • Am I prioritizing the things that I do in my free time properly?
  • Am I going overboard in helping others?
  • Is my presence being appreciated in group settings?

Physical Boundaries:

  • How am I comfortable being touched by others?
  • Who am I comfortable being touched by?
  • Am I comfortable setting my physical personal space?

Material Boundaries:

  • What can I afford to share?
  • What am I willing to share?
  • How will I share what I have?
  • Who will I share with?
  • What will I not share?


~Agam Kamran

Highly recommended Ted Talk: Good boundaries free you | Sarri Gilman | TEDxSnoIsleLibraries

The views expressed in this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the University of Victoria. I monitor posts and comments to ensure all content complies with the University of Victoria Guidelines on Blogging.