15 Signs of Weak Boundaries [Take the Quiz]

15 Signs of Weak Boundaries [Take the Quiz]

Constantly pleasing other people, or trying to save them in one way or another, can fill our lives with much stress and anxiety. At the root of people-pleasing lies a problem with establishing clear boundaries in relationships. It is crucial that we identify where our responsibilities for ourselves start and end, and where it spills over into the lives of others. You may have been so busy with other people’s responsibilities that you have forgotten all about your own personal responsibilities.

Weak or non-existent boundaries in our lives essentially means that we are not being truthful with ourselves or others.

Boundary Quiz 

Answer these 15 questions to see if you have healthy boundaries: 

  1. Have you figured out what you truly LOVE (apart from partners or kids), and are you making time for it, regardless of everybody else’s needs and demands on you?
  2. Do you recognize that your needs are just as important as the needs of your family and other people?
  3. Can you shut down the voices of guilt and shame, telling you that you are a bad parent or spouse, when you take care of your own needs?
  4. Do you feel like a failure when your family have to fend for themselves for a change and the house is a mess because you’re doing something you love?
  5. Can you sleep in when you’re tired, or do you feel guilty?
  6. Can you ask your family to forgive you after you’ve just lost it, and do you also forgive yourself?
  7. Can you tell your friend that you really do not feel up to watching her kid again today, even if you don’t have any particular excuse?
  8. Can you tell your mother that you don’t agree with her and leave it at that?
  9. Can you say “I don’t feel comfortable about giving you an answer right now, let me get back to you?
  10. Can you tell someone that you’re angry without profusely apologizing two minutes later?
  11. Can you change your mind and just say“Hey what’s a mind if you can’t change it” without beating yourself up about all the people you might have disappointed by changing your mind?
  12. Can you make mistakes and be responsible for it without being overwhelmed by a feeling of guilt, shame, and failure?
  13. Can you ask for what you want, without feeling guilty for wanting something?
  14. Can you insist on being taken seriously and treated with respect, or take the necessary steps if it’s not happening?
  15. Can you stand your ground (not change your mind or trying to fix things) even in the face of someone else’s anger, silence, or disappointment?

Your Boundary Results

If you answered “NO” to many of these questions , your boundaries may need some work, especially if it is starting to affect your life in negative ways.

What are the dangers of weak boundaries?


If we don’t listen to our bodies’ needs, we are violating our own internal boundaries. We may feel sad and depressed because we are not being true to ourselves. 

If we focus so much on the needs and happiness of others that we actually abuse our own bodies (by not getting enough sleep, rest, exercise, etc), we may make up for this by “treating” ourselves to junk food, alcohol, drugs, and mind-numbing activities such as watching long hours of TV 

Healthy boundaries in relationships  consists of giving and receiving. This way we don’t become selfish, but we also do not burn ourselves out by only giving and never receiving. 

Healthy boundaries help you find the balance between “holding close and letting go.” People who have been smothered with love or given free reign to do whatever they wanted as children, were never given the guidance and discipline that help them put boundaries on themselves. It affects their relationships. They might be clingy, extremely jealous, and possessive of their husbands, children and friends. 

Healthy boundaries help you find the balance between “my responsibility and someone else’s responsibility.” Some people tend to make the problems of others their own, counsel and give advice all the time, or feel responsible for others’ decisions and mistakes. The great amounts of stress and anxiety many times find an outlet in addictive behaviors and substances.

Healthy boundaries help you find the balance between “freedom and control.” People who grew up in a home where they were controlled with an iron fist never forged a sense of self and stayed enmeshed with the parents’ identity. It affects their current relationships. They remain in a place where others have to make decisions for them. They are afraid of conflict or to give their own opinion. They never really found out who they were and struggle with their self image. For example, people sometimes use anorexia as a form of control when they feel they have no control in another areas of their lives.

Healthy boundaries help you find the balance between “saying NO and saying YES.” People who have been abused as children have been robbed from their boundaries and sense of self. It affects their current relationships. They feel ashamed and afraid and tend to isolate themselves from healthy people and thus healthy relationships. They learned at an early age that they don’t have any say in their own lives and that their NO doesn’t mean anything, so they never honor their internal boundaries and never teach others to respect their boundaries. The few people they do let into their lives are usually broken themselves and tend to further abuse them. 


What can be done about weak boundaries?


Healthy boundaries does not come naturally, most people have to work at it, but the good news is that everybody can learn how to be assertive (telling people what you want in a nice way)

Do you often try to help or save others? Are you often drawn into their drama or problems? Maybe you find it difficult to say no, or feel guilty when you do?

You are not alone, setting healthy boundaries is a big problem for many people

Please reach out for help in the form of individual or group counseling if this is you. We are running a group at Life Solutions Counseling in Beaverton where you can learn what healthy boundaries look like. You will also practice with others in the group on how to be assertive, stand up for yourself, say no, and teach others to respect your boundaries.

Why Therapy? Can’t I Just Talk to a Friend?


Why Therapy? Can’t I Just Talk to a Friend?

Therapy has many different faces. Some of the most effective therapy happens when good friends get together to eat, drink, laugh, and cry. Sometimes we just need to hold a puppy, talk to our moms or complain to our hairdresser.  And then other times we need good old fashioned psychotherapy. That said, most people are nervous to see a counselor or therapist. It can be especially difficult if it is your first time seeking therapy or if you had been disappointed by previous experiences. So, I thought it may be helpful for you to know what to expect if you come to see me at Life Solutions Counseling. ,


What Does Therapy at Life Solutions Counseling Look Like?

We will initially talk on the phone for 10-15 minutes when you call me, or I call you back after you scheduled an appointment online. I will answer any questions you may have about me or my work, and also ask you a few questions to assess if we are likely to be a good fit. If be both agree, we will set up our first meeting. 


The first session can be stressful and awkward for many clients, so I want you to  know that I am aware of this and I will make it as relaxing and pleasant as possible. You can expect a casual conversation, with me asking you questions and listening intently to your concerns. By the end of the first session I will share with you my observations and suggestions and we will look together at a tentative plan and an approximate timetable for your therapy. Some people only need a few weeks while other may need more time to deal with difficult issues.

It is Crucial to Find the Right Counselor For You

Typically clients come to see me once a week, but even this is something we can talk about. I strongly believe that psychotherapy is a collaborative process, so we will work together from the beginning, to insure that you benefit from the experience. By the end of the first session most clients are clear whether my counseling style and the plan I recommend will be helpful or not. This is very important because one of the most healing factors of therapy is the relationship you have with your therapist. If the relationships is good he/she will know when to be a sympathetic ear and when to challenge you. You will also be more likely to be open and vulnerable because you will feel safe. As a result, this reparative relationship will allow you to grow, heal, and stick with the therapy process

8 Benefits of Counseling [Therapy]

  • It helps in the long run: Therapy not only helps you work through current issues, but it helps you deal with future curveballs, because you develop the tools you need for certain scenarios in the future.
  • It can heal physical symptoms. Psychological trauma can sometimes have debilitating physical effects, and in dealing with the one, you may also deal with the other. 
  • It helps your relationships: Not only do you learn to understand yourself better, but you get rid of the negative thoughts and assumptions  about others when you process it with your counselor.
  • It gives you clarity: Turning around thoughts in our heads get us nowhere, but once we talk about it, we start sorting it out and make sense of it. 
  • You feel less alone: Talking with a therapist can be a huge relief, because it may give you the support you need. 
  • It can heal your brain: Medication has been known to heal the imbalanced brain, but there are compelling evidence that talk therapy does the same. 
  • Stop the self-medicating: If we finally address what is really going on with us, we can let go of some of the things we use to self-medicate, and also get out of some destructive and abusive cycles. 
  • It’s a relationship: In counseling you get to practice the kind of relationship you want to have with someone else in the future; one of trust, compassion, and honestly. 


Did some of these things resonate with you? Why don’t you give me a call so we can have our initial 10-15 minute conversation? Counseling may not be for everyone, but for some people it makes all the difference between struggling and thriving.