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How do you set STRONG Boundaries in your Relationships?

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

Do you often feel stuck with people in your life and struggle to set and keep boundaries with them?

I hear you!

Click to listen to my podcast episode on the 5 Step Method of Pause so you can hold your boundaries.

Today, I share my own personal P.A.U.S.E Method to help you with this! 5 KEY steps to making sure you're aligned to your needs and can RESPOND rather than REACT to those around you.

This is especially critical this time of year with the demands of family! Oh, the who is visiting who this year and who's doing all the cooking? got it...The CHRISTMAS conversation!

Don't you sometimes just want to hide from it all...stay at yours and just keep it simple?

As a Life Coach for Women, this time of the year is my busiest! So many of us truly don't know how to express our needs with others and with the season's a time of reflection and we can't ignore the statistics that prove most relationships breakdown at this time of year.

In fact, according to both a UK and Australian study shared by BestLife online, not only do most break ups occur now, they specifically happen on December 11th, according to Facebook's data. Apparently due to not wanting to introduce the partner to family when they already know it's not going anywhere!

Why is this relevant to BOUNDARY setting?

We truly do teach people how to treat us through our consistent words and actions. With strong Boundaries, we can express and communicate our needs, as well as attract the right kind of person to our life, who matches our personal values. A great foundation for a relationship.

Without BOUNDARIES, coupled with FEAR of asking for what you need due to lack of self-worth and confidence, we end up people pleasing. This ultimately ends up with being taken advantage of.

But ironically ladies, EVERY TIME we stand up for ourselves and express our needs, with particular attention to what works for us and what doesn't, our own SELF CONFIDENCE improves as well as SELF TRUST!!

When you trust yourself, you truly stand in your POWER as the Powerful Woman Aligned that you are!

So what is my P.A.U.S.E Method?

It's not necessarily the boundary itself that is the issue, but rather how we express it to others. The ONLY way to express your need in a way that is a calm response rather than a heated reaction is to take time to P.A.U.S.E.


When we feel our boundaries have been crossed, ignored, broken or we feel unable to share what they are in fear of the reaction, it's important to PAUSE and PROTECT your energy.

For years now, if I feel negative energy swinging in my direction, I close my eyes and visualise a safe bubble around me. Very much like Bella from Twilight. It's a superpower and one that needs practise to work.

Sitting quietly, focus your positive energy of love towards yourself by repeating, 'I am safe. I've got you!' And keep that bubble strong.

When the actions, words and energy come to your mind, simply visualise them bouncing off your shield and back to the owner they came from.

Repeat to yourself, 'This is their shit, not mine!'

It's so important to recognise what is yours to own and what is theirs.

Relax into your bubble and repeat this process until you feel your nervous system settle.

Never make decisions and react emotionally in the moment. Always wait until your mind and body feels calm.

The great thing about this trick, is all you have to do is close your eyes and breathe deeply. You can do it anywhere.


In your own time, journal and ask yourself how you're truly feeling about this situation.

What is happening here?

How do I feel about it?

What do I need here?

The power of journaling cannot be underestimated. By allowing your body to flow with the pen, your eyes to see the words, you can find your true answers that maybe lie deep within you. Usually choked and afraid to say anything, so let your body find the answers with a pen.

To support you if you struggle to name your feelings, you can use Mel Robbin's Emotion Wheel. This resource is fantastic and I use it regularly.


Where are your feelings coming from?

It's important now you know how you feel, before you set a new boundary, to find out if your feelings are coming from the past.

Is this truly a threat to you now or are you reacting to fears and assumptions based on how you've been treated in the past?

Spend the time again to understand where these feelings are coming from for you.

Then it's important to revise what your PERSONAL KEY VALUES are. What's important for you to feel in your life? TRUST? HONESTY? RESPECT? CARE? COMMUNICATION?

KNOW what your values are and remind yourself of them.


Now you set a CLEAR BOUNDARY in writing to yourself on exactly what you need for this situation which directly ensures your VALUES stay intact!

This is still private at this point. Before we can express our boundary to others, we need to express it to ourselves first.

Then it's useful to practise saying your new boundary out loud in a mirror, to help you prepare for when you share it with the person in question.

STEP 5 - E Stands for EVALUATE - Is it still working?

Very often, this is the step the gets missed and it's ESSENTIAL!

I often get asked, 'How can you keep your boundary when the other person reacts badly to it?'

We must remember that the right people for us will respect our needs. ALWAYS.

If somebody refuses to accept it, they must own that and act accordingly, by leaving.

The only way to trust yourself is to KEEP the boundaries you need in place.

However, saying this, sometimes, a boundary you may put in place might end up not working for you so you should always EVALUATE it.

Is it practically working for YOU?

Does it need editing for YOU?

You can always change your mind as long as the changes are suited to YOUR needs.

Often, clients in relationships feel conflict and challenge here by saying, 'but relationships are about give and take and compromise. I need to take their needs into account too.'

Whilst this is true, your boundaries are based on your basic human needs which are directly related to your VALUES as a person and those are NOT TO BE MESSED WITH under any circumstances.

If TRUST, LOYALTY, RESPECT and CARE are important VALUES to your whole being, mind, body and soul, then that's what you shall have for yourself lovely!

So get crystal clear on what your KEY non-negotiable VALUES are (Step 3)!

As always, keep learning and practising how to put yourself first. YOU are the most important person in your life. When your cup is full of self love, love ripples to others.

If you're truly ready to take your life and power back, I'd love to help you on your self discovery journey. We're never too old to have our hand held when we need to grow, shift, edit and emerge.

Are you ready to embark on your Somatic Healing Journey?

Here's how you can jump in and connect with me in a variety of ways. I look forward to meeting you.

Sam is a very kind, gentle soul, she was patient and calm, and made me realise what I was missing in my life! She made me question why I do things, took me back to my younger self and helped me to make changes that benefited me immensely!! Be prepared to go deep and let out your emotions! I usually find it very difficult to show my emotions, but I had uncontrollable tears streaming down my face! It's the most amazing journey you can go on, so if you are wanting to improve yourself in any way, Sam will be able to help you. I'm truly grateful for every second I spent with her, she is a powerful lady and has given me so many nuggets of information that I can use to move forward in my life! Invest in yourself. It will be the best money you ever spent if you have Sam as your therapy coach.~ Annie Lightfoot, 2022 ~

Always by your side whilst you rediscover yourself with love.

Samantha Jane x

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