You appear to have somewhat rigid boundaries. This is
not the same as "healthy" boundaries, since you are actually at risk of being stressed
or limited by your fear of letting people get too close. A common misconception
about boundaries is that keeping walls up to protect yourself from others is
equivalent to having healthy boundaries. Actually, boundaries are more like semi-
permeable membranes than walls-you can let people through in controlled doses,
but not so much that you are overwhelmed, and not so little that you are isolated.
(Social support is important, too!) Healthy boundaries let you get close to people,
but not be engulfed by them, and not letting yourself overwhelm them, either. If
you work on your ability to understand what you really need from people (in terms
of closeness and space), and to communicate your boundaries, you may feel less
The following resources can help with boundary-setting:
If you feel you need additional support with relationship health, family therapists
and counselors can be quite helpful in this regard.
- The Benefits of Assertiveness
Learn how assertive communication can make boundary-setting easier, and can
help in other areas of your relationships as well.
To Use Assertive Communication For Stress Relief
Assertive communication is a beautiful balance between being too passive and too
aggressive. Learn to talk to people in a way that is comfortable for them to hear, and
unmistakable to understand.
- How To Say No
Learning to say no in a way that is firm enough to demonstrate that you mean what you say, but gentle enough to keep from offending, is one of the best skills you can aquire. Learn to stay no in a way you can be proud of!
The following are additional resources and self tests that can help you relieve stress in your life:
More Personality Tests and Additional Stress Resources:
- Self Test: Is Your Lifestyle Stressing You?
A certain level of stress is inherent and necessary in a healthy lifestyle, but is the way you're living your life causing you excessive and unnecessary stress? This quiz helps you assess different areas of your life to see which minor changes can bring about a major change in your stress level. Learn to prevent stress before it happens, with this quiz!
- The Lifestyle Balance Self Test
Are you overscheduled and overstressed? This test helps you assess your lifestyle to see if you may be taking on too much, and supplies resources to help you restore a greater sense of balance in your life, creating a less stressed lifestyle.
- Quiz: Are You An Optimist?
Research shows that optimists enjoy better health, productivity, and overall life satisfaction, making an optimistic attitude a great stress reliever. However, many people believe they're optimists when they actually have a pessimistic way of seeing the world. Take this personality test to help you discover which you are, and find resources on being more of an optimist.
- Personality Test: Are You A Perfectionist?
Perfectionism sounds almost like a good thing, but this mode of thinking can actually cause you to be less productive, less happy and much more stressed than non-perfectionists (not to mention the people in your life)! Learn whether or not you're a perfectionist (or to what degree), and find resources for change by taking this personality test.
- The Job Burnout Quiz
Does your job put you at risk for burnout? Take this self test and discover how close you may be to burnout, and find resources for finding more job satisfaction and less stress at work.
- Type A Personality Test
Do you have a Type A Personality? Take the Type A Personality Quiz from About's Stress Management Site and see if type a personality characteristics may be causing more stress in your life. Also, find more information about type a personality and resources for dealing with type a personality characteristics in yourself and others.
- The Assertiveness Self Test
An assertive style of relating to others can help build strong relationships and help you get what you want in life without causing unnecessary conflict with others. Do you relate to others assertively, or do you cause unnecessary additional conflict and stress in your life with aggressive, passive or passive-aggressive styles of relating to others? Take the Assertiveness Quiz to find out!
- The Stress and Health Quiz
You may have already learned from this site or other sources that stress can affect your health in a negative way, but do you know exactly how? This quiz is designed to test your knowledge, pique your interest, and inform you on the connection between stress and your body.
- Free Online Learning: A Course in Low Stress Living
This free, ten-week e-course will help you examine the role of stress your life, and learn stress management techniques to transform your life from a source of stress to a source of joy and vitality