Boundaries: What We Do Not Tolerate Cannot Hurt Us

Boundaries, we all know what they are. As children, they teach us what a boundary is. How far we can go before we get in trouble. Where the line is that we just can’t cross. They have taught us this for our own protection. To keep us safe.

We sometimes even put up with things that annoy us, bother us, concern us, or even scare us and completely ignore the lesson of boundaries. As we grow and learn to spread our wings, we, as humans, forget the lesson of boundaries. We can be more forgiving, possibly even be more tolerant in some situations to be a good person.

According to IPFW/Parkview Student Assistance Program: “A boundary is a limit or space between you and the other person; a clear place where you begin, and the other person ends… The purpose of setting a healthy boundary is to protect and take good care of you” (n. d.).[1]

Boundaries: What We Do Not Tolerate Cannot Hurt Us

— Joseph Binning

When we don’t have a strong sense of self value or identity, it may show that we have not set proper healthy boundaries in our lives. Boundaries, what you will or will not tolerate, protect you. Words lead to actions. Actions lead to results. Results lead to consequences. Sometimes terrible consequences.

Boundaries can be emotional, physical, or mental, depending on the situation we need them for. Boundaries are self-care. You can read more on this here:

Setting up healthy boundaries can have many benefits, including helping people decide based on what’s best for them, not just the people or circumstances around them.

So, what are Boundaries: What We Do Not Tolerate Cannot Hurt Us.

Boundaries are the separation you keep between yourself and another person or a particular circumstance for your own wellbeing. When we ignore our own wellbeing over another person’s we are telling ourselves that we don’t matter. We tell ourselves the other person is more important, or worthy, than we are. We send ourselves the wrong message.

When we ignore our own wellbeing over another person’s we are telling ourselves that we don’t matter.

At work, for example, always keep your personal life separate from your work life. That means when others gossip about someone you might know, politely, but firmly, inform them you do not wish to hear such things. Will this cause you tension with co-workers, possibly.

In the workplace, people forget that we should always strive to set a professional standard. These things backfire, especially when someone finds out from someone else that someone has been gossiping about them and you are in the middle of it. If this happens you will have wished, you would have set a boundary.

In a relationship, be it friendship or romantic, always set boundaries of what you will not accept.
If for example you do not appreciate being spoken to in a loud voice, politely, yet firmly, inform the other party that that is not acceptable with you and be willing to draw a line in the sand on the issue.

You can read more on this here:


People will not respect you until they see what it is you respect.

 — Joseph Binning

People will not respect you until they see what it is you respect, especially if it’s you that you respect. By communicating your boundaries to the other person, you will prevent resentment and or possibly anger from arising in either of you.

Stand firm in your boundaries. When you set a boundary with someone you do not need to over-explain the reason why you set it with them. Briefly, say why it is not acceptable to you and expect them to honor it. By drawing a line in the sand and saying to the other person “you can go this far before we have a problem” you are communicating your boundaries. This is Boundaries: What We Do Not Tolerate Cannot Hurt Us.

If they know where the line is that they cannot cross with you, they cannot hurt you. It’s when we fudge the line, when we erase it and draw another trying to be “flexible” that we lose sight of why we set the boundaries. We dishonor ourselves and the peace we deserve in our lives when we do not honor our boundaries. With all boundary violations must come a consequence if we are to honor ourselves.


“When one person is in control of another, love cannot grow deeply and fully, as there is no freedom” (Cloud & Townsend, 2002).[2]


As parents, we set boundaries for our children. It’s for their protection. “No Johnny, you can’t play catch on the freeway”. Sounds silly saying it, but it’s a good example of a healthy boundary. Johnny really wants to play catch, but you as a parent do not want to see the consequences of what might happen should a car speeding should hit him.

For the same reason we need to set similar boundaries for ourselves, to prevent the consequences of what might happen if there were no boundary set. When we set boundaries for ourselves, we become more secure. Secure that we are honoring ourselves, possibly for the first time in our lives, because we matter. Because we will not tolerate what we do not wish to have manifest in our lives.

“What we don’t tolerate, cannot manifest in our lives.”

— Joseph Binning

Boundaries work both ways. We need to set personal boundaries within our own lives to maintain a level of peace within ourselves. Knowing we re-think a boundary, or re-shape it, or just plain old forget it entirely negatively affects our self-esteem and our sense of self-worth. When we do not honor ourselves, first, we cannot be honorable or be worth honoring by others.


In my recently published book titled You Matter, even if you don’t think so which you can purchase on Amazon here  Amazon You Matter, even if you don’t think so I discuss Boundaries: What We Do Not Tolerate Cannot Hurt Us.


If you change the way you look at things, you will change the way you see things.

— Joseph Binning




You can read more about change and why you need to do it here:


If you have enjoyed this article, please visit me at for more helpful tips and articles.

You can also get more helpful information in my book You Matter, even if you don’t think so which you can purchase on Amazon here Amazon You Matter, even if you don’t think so

For my free report Happiness Is A Choice click here: Happiness Is A Choice Free Report

Remember: Happiness is a choice, so choose to be happy.


Joseph Binning

[1] Nelson, D. (2016, December 8). Self-Care 101: Setting Healthy Boundaries. Retrieved from

[2] Cloud, H., Townsend, J. (2002). Boundaries in Marriage. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

You Matter, even if you don't think so by Joseph Binning
You Matter, even if you don’t think so by Joseph Binning

As we enter the year 2020, in a world moving exponentially faster, we struggle more than ever to be seen, relevant, and valuable, to quiet the voices in our heads that make us want to give in—to stay alive long enough to make it to the finish line.  Yet, we live in an unlimited Universe.  Why do we press ourselves into such small boxes?  We need a truth powerful enough to lift us up and out of our darkness.


YOU MATTER author Joseph Binning takes our hand, guiding us to find our path, the path within where we discover the answers.   Who am I?  Am I worthy of the kind of love I desire?  Do I have the ability to do work that fulfills and inspires me?  Is there a deeper meaning for my life?  How can I serve?  With a vision even clearer than 2020, Joseph teaches us how to step out of our past and into our truth.  Shining the light on our greatness, Joseph is the voice cheering us on to our finish line, “Don’t give up, because YOU MATTER!…even if you don’t think so.”

Buy now on Amazon


We base relationships on four principles:

Respect, Understanding, Acceptance, Appreciation

— Mahatma Gandhi


Be it romantic, familial, friendly, physical, emotional, creative, business, social, communal, or spiritual, we base every relationship on four principles: respect, understanding, acceptance, and appreciation.


According to one of the many books I have read on this subject, since the time of Adam and Eve, men and women have struggled with taking responsibility for the way we regard, treat, and behave in our relationships.  When God asked Eve why she ate of the fruit, she answered that the snake had tricked her. When God asked Adam why he ate of the fruit, he answered that the woman (Eve) had tricked him?  When a relationship is struggling, it is typical for each partner to find fault in the other partner.  However, the method of discerning which person needs to take more responsibility in a struggling relationship is simple.  It is the person who complains.


I once knew a person who cared so much for others but could not care for himself.

That person was me. 

— Joseph Binning


For me, relationship was, are, and always have been, one of the most difficult things to understand and navigate.  I’ve struggled with them all of my life, so you might imagine how surprised I was when I found myself inspired to write about them!  I didn’t have much of a relationship with my father, because of his removal from my life at an early age (see my post What I Learned From Being Stuck And Frozen, And Why You Need To Read This).  My only learning in how to be in a relationship came in the first nine years of my life before he left.  That learning came in the form of yelling and screaming to settle arguments, which usually lead to broken dishes.


Conflict resolution and fostering a healthy relationship was not a model I was privy to.  In much of my adulthood, I based the success of my intimate relationships on how much sex we had. My mindset that I believed was, If we just have sex, we’ll become closer.  Sex will solve all our problems.  If we have a lot of sex, we’re fantastic!  Although my childhood experiences might excuse my inability to create and nourish my own healthy relationships, they shouldn’t.


It is our primary responsibility to create a healthy relationship with ourselves if we want to have a healthy relationship with anyone else.


That being said, for my learning, I had to look to others who had a better understanding of what a healthy intimate relationship is, so I could pass this tidbit of guidance on to you.


Intimacy and sex are two different things.  Intimacy starts with our deep, respectful, nurturing, and honest relationship with, and Love for, ourselves.  If we have that as our foundation, we can create the same with others. The truth is: if we have more intimacy with ourselves and our relationships, we will be more intimate.



A definition of Love: happiness that the other person exists.

—Walter Riso

Based on the findings of authors like Walter Riso and Jorge Bucay, the highest value of any relationship lies in the importance of each partner showing gratitude for the gestures of care and affection made toward one another. Neither person takes the partner or the gestures, for granted, but shows recognition and appreciation for them.  In this mutual recognition, appreciation, and gesturing, each partner is co-creating, experiencing, and enjoying a full, healthy Love, or rewarding satisfaction, if referring to less intimate relationships.


In reading Rios’s quote, I noticed that it made no reference to “me” or “I” am receiving anything, other than a feeling of happiness within me, created by my appreciation that my partner exists.


As I grew into adulthood, I fell in Love many times. I attracted and fell in Love mostly with mother figures, women who would take care of me like a mother would take care of her child because I was not taking care of myself. I acted like a man child.  I discovered years later that it was not possible to have a healthy sexual relationship with a mother figure.


When a man acts like a child in a relationship, it forces the woman to act like his mother. The problem with that is, you can’t sleep with your mother!
Joseph Binning


Without consciously knowing it, each of us prevented me from growing up and being the man, I needed to be—and the man they needed me to be, to receive the Love we both deserved. The problem which I realized many years later was that I needed to be Loved verses the desire of wanting to be Loved.  I hadn’t yet learned about, or integrated, the foundational principle of relationships:


You can’t have a healthy relationship unless you are healthy.


Most women are emotional, feeling-oriented beings.  Most men are rational, action-oriented beings. We have been designed in these ways to bring balance into our relationships, to complement one another. A man will trample on a flower.  A woman will notice its beauty and share it, so that the man can see it and come to appreciate it.  The man will remove its thorns before the woman touches it to protect her safety, beauty, and happiness. Balance is the natural order.

The Taoists refer to this as Yin Yang. Yin Yang is the universal balance that embodies the Harmony of opposites.

But, in every relationship, balance comes with responsibilities.  If something is not working, it is the responsibility of both partners to share in working out the solution, though not necessarily in equal parts.  Sharing is something that becomes easier over the long run. It’s not about taking responsibility for all the elements of every problem or splitting them all fifty-fifty.  It’s more about finding a natural balance in our abilities and strengths to care for and nurture the relationship, while always committing to keep the channel of communication and appreciation open.


To share these responsibilities, communication plays a major, fundamental role in the relationship. We can’t make a commitment, take on a responsibility, or reach any kind of agreement without it. We have to be honest and tell the other person what we can and cannot do. It’s a process, with various sub-processes, of continual growth that will work for the benefit of the relationship, and for the benefit of each individual within the relationship, if their Love is healthy.



I’ve always thought the most beautiful response to ‘I Love you’ is: ‘And I can feel your Love.’


— Jorge Bucay



I found an article that really resonated with me on the website Exploring Your Mind that lists the “7 Pillars of Healthy Love:”



  • Respect


Healthy Love is more about quality than quantity. Loving a lot doesn’t mean loving well. Loving well implies respecting, trusting, being honest and mutually supportive, balancing the giving and receiving, maintaining separate identities, maintaining individual sources of interest and happiness, and communicating effectively.  Having self-respect and showing respect for the other person are equally important in the foundation of a healthy relationship.


  • Trust

Trust is not having to verify everything the other person does and says. It’s feeling certain and relaxed in your belief that the other person will stay committed and willing to share both the good moments and the challenging moments.  Trust is also believing in the relationship’s value and its ability to thrive.


  • Honesty

Honesty is being sincere about our feelings, needs, and wants—with ourselves, and with the other person. Being honest with ourselves requires self-inventory.  There can be no sincere and complete exchange for it. This includes being confident that our individual desires, needs, and behaviors don’t violate our partner’s rights.


  • Support

It’s important for each partner to show support for the other, being able to differentiate our needs and happiness from the other person’s needs and happiness, and supporting their growth, in all areas.  Support doesn’t always require action or even words.  Many times, it is non-verbal—a look, a hug, a wink, a thumbs up, a clap, a high five, a kiss, or just showing up.


  • Equality


Every healthy relationship needs a balance between giving and receiving, in which both partners have a responsibility to care for the relationship. Reciprocity is the basis of a healthy, thriving Love. Effective relationships solidified by exchange. When we give Love, we expect Love. When we exchange generosity, we feel a stronger bond of Love.


  • Personal Identity

It’s imperative to maintain our individual, separate identities so that each partner can be all he or she can be. Practicing individualism, where each person keeps self-care, interests, and self-Love alive, is a responsibility each person has to him/herself and his or her partner.  This enables each partner to enter, and continue through the relationship, feeling complete, healthy, and happy already, not needing to feel completed”, healthy, or happy by the relationship, or the partner.


  • Good Communication

Communication is paramount in any relationship.  When we’re trying to achieve a healthy partnership, it’s necessary to have good sending and receiving communication skills, for the basic conversation, and when expressing needs, desires, and gratitude, and in discussions and negotiations. A relationship is two people making many, but not all, decisions together and many times, but not always, sharing a point of view. For a couple to agree, it’s vital to have a calm, open, free, and trust-filled conversation.


Here is an exercise to help you identify who you Love, what you Love about your relationships, and why you Love them.


Take a sheet of paper and make two lengthwise columns. On top of the right column, write “Love.”  On the top of the left column, write “Reason.”  Make a list of all the people you Love and everything you Love about your relationships.  Next to that list, write the reasons you Love them.  Take your time with this. Don’t rush it. Really contemplate it.  After you’ve completed the lists, come back to this page and read the rest of this exercise—don’t read it now.  Wait until you’ve finished writing your lists.  Don’t cheat. Now, stop reading and start your lists.


Later, after you’ve completed your lists:


Read each Love and reason, one at a time, and if the reason centers on you, write “Superficial” next to it.  If it centers on the other person, write “Meaningful” next to it.  Now, look at the people and things you listed that you marked “Superficial” and note any realizations, thoughts, or feelings that come up in you.


Last, examine the names of the people you listed, particularly the order you listed them in.  Note any realizations, thoughts, or feelings that come up in you.


Did you list yourself?  If so, where on the list?  If not, why?  Note any realizations, thoughts, or feelings that come up in you.


To Love someone, you must Love yourself first.  If you have not come to Love, value, and nurture yourself, you have no capacity to do that for another.


Practicing the seven pillars is not a foolproof guarantee of a couple’s successful union or future, but if Love and health are there, these will support a healthy, dignified, fun, growth-oriented, and inspired union for both partners.



Your first job is to work on yourself.  The greatest thing you can do for another human being

is to get your own house in order and find your true spiritual heart.


–Ram Dass