user search icon     shopping cart icon 0   email icon       email icon

two people facing opposite directions in thought with a boundary between them

Healthy Relationship Boundaries

  blog post author icon   blog post published date icon   01/15/23


Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries within your relationships is becoming a bigger and bigger topic today within families and with mental health and relationship experts. While it may not necessarily be the cure-all to any of your relationship problems, having healthy boundaries with the people in your life is more of a side effect of good self esteem and reasonable expectations of those around you.

At first, healthy boundaries can sound a bit like a catch 22. They develop your emotional health and are also created by people with emotional health. However, breaking into this loop is possible and something you can start on today. You'll soon notice a difference in your self-esteem and confidence, and potentially also in the stress that previously came from some of these relationships.3

What Can Boundary Issues Look Like?

  • Feeling taken advantage of
  • Feeling responsible for solving the problems of the people around you
  • Feeling drawn into unnecessary arguments regularly
  • Feeling far more invested in another person than the timeframe or context would suggest
  • Feeling regularly stuck in a drama you had no interest in being in

If any of the above resonated with you, then you may have some opportunity to improve the boundaries in your relationships with others.

What are Personal Boundaries?

There are two sides to the personal boundaries coin: those who expect too much responsibility for the emotions and actions of other people and those who take on too much responsibility for those emotions and actions. What is interesting is that these people often end up in relationships with each other.

Having a healthy relationship means taking accountability for your own actions and emotions, while not taking on or reassigning those responsibilities to other people.

Some examples of poor boundaries include:

  • "You can't go out with your friends alone. It makes me jealous when you're with other people without me, so I have to come or you stay home."
  • "I'd love to take this job in Chicago, but my mother would never forgive me for moving her grandkids so far away."
  • "We can spend time together, but don't mention it to my friend Amanda. She feels threatened when I bring new friends into my life."

In each of these examples, one party is either taking on or reassigning their emotional responsibility onto another person.

Personal Boundaries, Self Esteem, and Identity

The people who maintain personal boundaries are also the people with higher self-esteem, senses of self, and confidence. Boundaries can also be thought of in terms of identity. When the responsibility for one's actions and emotions is unclear, it becomes difficult to determine who is responsible or at fault for what, therefore difficult to develop a solid identity for yourself.

For example, if you are training for a marathon and blame the weather or trainer for your lack of progress, you're not owning that aspect of your identity. Being a marathoner is something you do rather than something you are, and it's inauthentic and shifting responsibility will drive your self-esteem down and make your behavior unattractive.

Why Healthy Boundaries are Good for You

Setting and maintaining boundaries will do wonders for your self-esteem and help you develop your personal identity, but they also make your walk through life a whole lot easier.

  • You're not taken advantage of
  • You're not responsible for solving other people's problems
  • You don't get dragged into unnecessary arguments
  • Not everything your family, friends, and colleagues does gets under your skin

The Vicious Cycle of Poor Boundaries

Victims and savers get emotional highs off of each other. They're similar to puzzle pieces, fulfilling each other's needs however unhealthy or unsustainable. It becomes an addiction and makes healthy relationships seem like they lack that "spark" or "chemistry", and they pass on those opportunities for someone emotionally healthy and secure in favor of something more emotionally fraught.

For the victim, the biggest challenge is holding themselves accountable for their own feelings and actions. Their world has been built on the habit of believing they must not be responsible for any of these negative emotions or actions in order to feel love and intimacy. Letting that go is incredibly difficult.

For the savers, the biggest challenge is to stop fixing other people's problems and force them into what a saver believes would make the victim truly happy and satisfied. Their world view is predicated on the fact that love and intimacy for them is earned through fixing a problem or providing use to someone. It's equally terrifying to let this go.

Only once both our victim and saver start to build their own self-esteems can they begin to reduce and eliminate that needy behavior and become more attractive, secure individuals.1

How to Set Healthy Boundaries

The first step in being able to set and maintain healthy boundaries is to build your self-esteem. Self-esteem is something that is developed out of personal feelings of competency and how you feel you are doing in your life. If you have low self-esteem, you most likely feel that you are not measuring up in one way or another, and the first thing you can start doing is showing yourself more compassion. In accepting yourself as you are and continuing to work on yourself from that place, self-esteem blossoms. It's not easy and takes time, but you end up in a much nicer place.

As your self-esteem develops, healthy boundaries will slowly become more manageable and prevalent in your life. You will instinctively know what is and isn't an appropriate expectation by or for others, and you'll be much more effective in drawing and maintaining that boundary.1, 2

Steps to Set Healthy Personal Boundaries

Setting personal boundaries can seem daunting, but there are only a couple steps in doing so and making sure it is effective.1

  1. Set boundaries, explicitly. What is reasonable to expect from you? What isn't? Clearly defined boundaries are needed for all parties to be on the same page in their relationships with each other. This goes for family, friends, your partner, colleagues, your neighbors, etc.
  2. Decide the consequences if someone oversteps your boundaries. This is bound to happen, and more often at first as you all adjust. You may be biased by the person or context, so it's best to determine these consequences from the get-go. This way the other person can also be prepared.
  3. Follow through. Your boundaries and the consequences of breaking them should have been communicated clearly and calmly. If someone crosses your boundaries, do what you said you would. Having a boundary is ineffective if there's no consequence to it being broken, and it teaches the other party that your boundaries do not need to be considered seriously.

For More Positive Relationships

Healthy relationships are ones in which the people involved feel good in them. Though even the best relationships have disagreements from time to time, a healthy relationship consists of mostly positive interactions. These are enabled by individuals having healthy boundaries and expectations with each other. Everyone takes responsibility for their own emotions and actions, and the boundaries of what is acceptable for each person are understood and respected. No matter the nature of the relationship, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is essential to healthy relationships, and developing your self-esteem plays a massive role in being able to do this effectively. It can be hard work, but in the end you end up in a nicer place within yourself and with those around you. For more information on healthy relationships, visit our article Healthy Relationships and Your Well-Being.



headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

  • product discussion forum icon Discussion Forum
    Questions or Feedback?

    Ask questions. Share your thoughts.  Note that we cannot answer questions relating to specific medical conditions - please refer those to your qualified healthcare provider.

    Post a new Comment or Reply to an existing one. Help for using the Discussion Forum.

    Post Comment

    help icon Discussion Forum Help

    Comments are displayed in order of the last one posted so the most recent one is at the top and the oldest one at the bottom.

    Replies within a Comment are displayed in reverse order with the oldest one at the top and the most recent one at the bottom.

    Each post identifies comment posted by icon who made the post and the comment timestamp icon date and time the post was made.

    Mouse over the icons for tooltips that explain what they mean.

    audio file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach an Audio file to your post.

    document file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach a Document file to your post.

    image file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach an Image file to your post.

    video file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach a Video file to your post.

    You will see the ban post icon Ban icon (Report Post as SPAM) immediately following the Timestamp of the post. Click this icon if you feel strongly that the content posted is not appropriate and should be reviewed by the Forum Moderator. You will be provided with a confirmation dialog to be sure you wish to submit this post for review. If submitted, the Forum Moderator will be notified to review the post and will determine what type of action to take.

    Click exit icon in the upper right corner of this Help modal or anywhere on the web page outside of the modal to exit Help.

warning icon Session Expired from Inactivity

Do you want to?

You may also close your browser window/tab now to exit the website.

Session Arrays & Values

Are you sure you want to remove this item?

Order Policy

Please email if you have questions or need assistance.

Payment Processing

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards.

Payments are securely processed through industry leader of which is a Verified Merchant.

We DO NOT retain or store your credit card information after the purchase. We DO NOT share your information with anyone. We DO NOT auto-subscribe you to anything. Your information is YOURS.

The charge will appear on your credit card statement as with our phone number (888) 424-0032.

Shipping & Handling

A safe and accurate address for delivery must be provided at the time the order is placed. Once an order has shipped, is NOT responsible for lost or stolen packages CONFIRMED BY THE CARRIER to be delivered to the address provided for the order.

Since COVID-19, and the ensuing economic challenges in the USA economy, we respectfully ask that you allow some additional time for delivery for the carriers (USPS, UPS, and FedEx). Most orders still arrive on time, or near on time, but some may run late. We make every effort to get your order packed and into the carriers hands the same day, or by the next business morning if your order came in later in the previous day after carrier pickup, but we have no control over any delays that may happen within the shipping carrier's delivery system. Please order earlier for the time being if you are time-sensitive.

Orders that contain only FirstFitness Nutrition products have a shipping fee automatically calculated based upon the actual shipping weight of the items purchased. The charge ranges from $4.95 to $14.95.

For orders with NuMedica products you may choose from the shipping options below on the Order Checkout form in the Shipping Information section on the first line that says Choose Shipping Method.

Shipping Options

Country Option Schedule Cost
United States Standard 3-6 Days $4.95
United States Priority 2-4 Days $9.95
United States Free 7-10 Days $0.00
International FedEx International 4-7 Days $79.95*
International GlobalPost International 12-21 Days $39.95*
*International shipping costs may be higher depending upon package weight and destination. We will contact you for your approval of the additional amount if this occurs. may use the email or phone number provided on your Order to call or text you regarding Order Status or to inform you of changes to the Order Policy.

When your order ships we will send you a confirmation email with the delivery tracking information.

International Shipping

Shipping anything these days internationally is expensive. COVID resulted in more rigorous customs import processes, and now with much higher energy prices, international shipping rates are higher.

FedEx is the most reliable and faster carrier, at least for now, but they are expensive. Our FedEx international shipping fee is a minimum of $79.95. It usually makes more sense to get several months of supply (3 months or more) in one order to minimize the shipping expense per order over time. While the added weight of additional items may increase the base shipping price by a little (usually 10-25% depending upon total weight and destination), it is usually not by very much relative to shipping an additional small order later.

We also offer a lower-cost international shipping option using GlobalPost International for $39.95. So far, they have been reliable in getting packages correctly delivered but it takes 2 - 4 times as long to get the package delivered. Packages may take longer to process in the receiving country's customs process and status updates may not be reported as quickly. Please be patient if you choose this option to save money.

Some International orders may cost more to ship depending upon weight and location. If that happens we will contact you first and get your approval for any additional charge before proceeding. International orders may also be subject to additional customs fees and duties/taxes based upon the destination country's customs import laws and policies. These fees are NOT known or included on our order form and are typically charged and collected by the shipping carrier when they are delivering the product to it's final destination once the package has cleared the destination country's customs process. It is recommended that the buyer research custom import fees for the products/services they are importing beforehand to be aware of potential, additional fees.

Shipping Refrigerated Products

Our manufacturers formulate their probiotics to ensure their products retain viability until they reach the consumer. Probiotics that are recommended to be refrigerated remain so until the time of shipment, then shipped alongside an ice pack to ensure potency (Note: Ice pack will not arrive frozen, and product may not arrive cold). Orders placed on a Thursday-Sunday requiring cold shipping will not ship until the following Monday.


If your order has not been shipped yet, you can request a cancellation. Your original purchase amount will be refunded within three business days. If your order has already shipped, see Returns and Refunds.

Changes, Returns and Refunds

If you want to make a change to your order, please email us as soon as possible so we can make the change before your order ships. If your order has already shipped you may incur additional shipping charges for the second shipment and the return label for any products returned.

If we have made a mistake on your order, or the product arrives in a damaged or unusable condition, we will make every reasonable effort to right the situation quickly to your satisfaction. Problems of this nature must be reported to us within 5 business days of the package delivery date documented by the carrier status.

We accept returns subject to when the return is requested and the condition the product is returned in. All returns must first be authorized by contacting us. In your request, please let us know why you are returning the item(s). We will respond promptly with authorization, the return address, and a return shipping label if appropriate.

If your order has already shipped you can return any un-opened products within 30 days of receiving your order for a 100% refund of the price paid for the product, less the actual shipping charges we incurred to get the product to you originally and then returned, less a $10 restocking fee. Un-opened means the protective seal on the bottle or container, or the shrink-wrap on the box or kit, has not been broken and the product has not otherwise been damaged in any way. You may use the original packaging for the return or acquire your own. We will provide the return shipping label. We DO NOT accept returns for NuMedica products once the protective product seal has been broken.

Upon receipt of returned product(s), we will refund your credit card within three business days for the product(s) returned.