ACT and Boundaries


Q:  What should I do if people overstep the mark?

A:  Fix your boundaries!


I had not intended to write a post about boundaries, I had not even been thinking about them, and then I read a post written by Tony at Sir Tonix entitled “Learn To Say No” and it got me thinking.

I really like what Tony has to say and I like the way that he says it, so if you have a problem with setting boundaries then I recommend you head over and pay him a visit.

Essentially he outlines seven steps that we can take to help us stop letting people walk all over us or, as is also often the case, to stop us walking all over other people.

One of those steps rang particularly clearly to me.  If we start setting new boundaries he warns us that we can expect a push back.  Of course we can.  But forewarned is forearmed!  We don’t have to roll over.

I know I can have problems with boundaries.  Mine can be a bit leaky at times and that can cause no end of trouble.  But we do have a right to say no.  Healthy boundaries are good for everyone.

I wrote the poem “BOUNDARIES” to remind me of that.


  • How do you deal with leaky boundaries?
  • How good are you at setting healthy boundaries?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.





Let’s think a bit of boundaries, our own and all the rest,

And let’s reflect on how our boundaries can work to serve us best,

For they’re there for a good reason and can serve us very well

If we know how to protect them and insurgents can repel.

There are those who’d seek to breech them, there are those that we’d invade,

And then wonder at the trouble inadvertently we’ve made

When we’re feeling very threatened or we’re warned to stay away,

Yes our boundaries are there to help us fight another day.

And it’s not easy to interpret the mixed messages they send

When we’re getting muddled up in where they start and where they end,

But we’d do well to re-establish where our boundary lines fall

Before we’re caught out in a trespass and relationships then stall.

But let’s not be too defensive, nor else careless cross a line,

Let us try to remain flexible when boundaries we define,

For when we’re learning to set limits in a skilful way we’ll see

That a bit of give and take works best with any boundary.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “BOUNDARIES” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

The following quotation seems to me encapsulate the ACT therapeutic message when it comes to setting boundaries.  Why?  Because VALUES are at the heart of it.  It can be difficult to know where to set our boundaries.  For those of us who find it hard to say no, boundaries may have become blurred if not non-existent.  We may have forgotten where we end and someone else begins, we may have become fused to such an extent with someone else’s life that we have lost all sense of our own individuality.  This is not OK.

If we are aware of this and ready to begin to reinstall our boundaries but are unsure where to begin, then our values can be our best guide.  They will not mislead us.

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes


Published by

Corinne Shields

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, erstwhile teacher for thirty plus years, and permanent student. I have long been interested in psychology and spirituality and enjoy writing inspirational poetry. Hence the publication of this blog at ACT Made I play golf badly, piano a little better and I love reading, writing, and all things French. I divide my time between Wales and France and enjoy travelling with my husband, Len and my dog Charlie.

6 thoughts on “ACT and Boundaries”

  1. So very true. If people walk all over us it’s because we haven’t set the boundaries. Having lost some friends to this, I am now quite confident in saying a firm, but polite, no! Perhaps if I’d been more assertive and set boundaries these ‘lost’ friends might still be part of my life. It does get easier with practice! Xx


    1. That’s so true. We teach others how to treat us and setting clear boundaries in the first place might have saved a lot of misunderstandings and anguish. But I guess some folk would have disappeared long ago if we had set initial boundaries making it clear that we weren’t up for being doormats!


  2. It can be so difficult at times to say no and to set bounderies, even when I know I should … Thank you for your post 🙂


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