Saying ‘No’ with Confidence: Mastering the Art of Boundary-Setting



Course created by Dr Emma Bisschoff

Course content

21 PDF modules

14 Audio

10 PPTX presentations

Healthy Boundaries Journal (50 pages)

Welcome to “Saying ‘No’ with Confidence: Mastering the Art of Boundary-Setting.” This course is designed to help you develop the skills and confidence to set boundaries in both your personal and professional life. Many people struggle with saying “no” and feel guilty or obligated to say “yes” to requests and demands from others, even if it means sacrificing their own time, energy, and well-being. Learning how to say “no” assertively and respectfully can improve your relationships, reduce stress and burnout, and increase your sense of control and self-respect. In this course, we will explore different types of boundaries, common challenges to boundary-setting, and effective strategies and communication techniques to help you establish and maintain healthy boundaries.

Do you often feel you can’t say no? Do you feel spread too thinly between work, emotional relationships and family and your responsibilities and chores? Perhaps you feel overloaded with to-do lists, promises to friends, financial obligations or that intangible pressure to succeed in everything you do all at the same time. You may feel frustrated that there is never any time to do those things that really matter to you – whether it is to write a book, spend unpressured time with your loved ones or just be alone guilt-free.

When it comes to the romantic connections we may develop, some people may lose themselves in the relationship if they don’t employ appropriate boundaries. Losing ourselves in relationships mean we get so connected to our significant other that we eventually find it difficult to determine where we begin and where our partner ends. A romantic relationship requires a certain level of connection, but co-dependence and dysfunction appear sooner rather than later if healthy boundaries are not established and maintained. A healthy relationship means both parties see the importance of boundaries and respect them. Many common relationship problems can be eliminated or decreased if the relationship maintains strong, healthy boundaries. If a couple has healthy boundaries firmly in place, disagreements can be managed more effectively without blaming each other. Each side recognizes the importance of personal responsibility for the conflict and resolution is easier to attain.

Healthy boundaries are the ultimate guide to successful relationships. Without healthy boundaries, relationships do not thrive – they result in feelings of resentment, disappointment or violation. These feelings, if left unchecked, can lead to being cut off from others or enmeshment, where there is no clear division between you and others’ needs and feelings. Neither of these situations is ideal.

Module 1


Module 2

What are boundaries?

Know your limits

Be assertive

Practice makes perfect

If all else fails, delete and ignore

Video:     The reason people don’t hold boundaries

Audio:     Areas of your life that you should have boundaries in

Module 3

Different types of boundaries

What healthy boundaries look like?

Physical boundaries

Emotional boundaries

Emotional boundary violations

Time boundaries

Time boundary violations

Sexual boundaries

Sexual boundary violations

Intellectual boundaries

Material boundaries

Common traits of rigid, porous and healthy boundaries

Audio:     Common obstacles in the way of implementing good boundaries

Module 4

How to set healthy boundaries

Understand why setting healthy boundaries is important

Decide what you want

Examine existing boundaries

Keep your boundaries simple

Take it slowly

Set reasonable consequences

Stick to your boundaries and remain consistent

Focus on yourself when voicing a boundary


Boundaries may vary for different parts of your life

Recognize and respect others’ boundaries

Use common sense

How to set healthy boundaries when boundaries are repeatedly violated

Audio:     Does setting boundaries make me a selfish person?

              Tips for setting boundaries

Module 5

Feeling guilty about setting boundaries

What to do if you feel guilty about saying no

When you set and honor your boundaries

You cannot please everyone

Audio:     How to say no without feeling guilty

Module 6

Personal boundaries

What are personal boundaries?

Why are personal boundaries important?

How to set personal boundaries

Identify your boundaries

Determine your values

Start simple

Listen to your feelings

Learn to say no

Be assertive

Set consequences

Practice self-awareness

Seek support

Video:     Personal boundaries explained

Module 7

Boundaries and yourself

Financial boundaries

Health boundaries

Scheduling boundaries

What happens when it is too much?

Module 8

Boundaries and children

Setting limits

How to establish boundaries

Breaking point

What does the child learn by pushing against the boundary?


Module 9

Boundaries and work

Types of boundaries to set and protect

Physical boundaries

Mental boundaries

Emotional boundaries

Ways to establish and keep healthy boundaries at work

Assess your personal boundaries first

Communicate upfront

Create clear structures

Keep your relationships professional

Delegate work when appropriate

Say no

(Actually) Take time off

Use technology to help

What to say when a boundary is broken

How to handle overstepped boundaries

When you need to set realistic expectations

When asked to take on extra work

Meeting scheduled during a break

Module 10

Boundaries and relationships

What are healthy boundaries in relationships?

Examples of how to set healthy boundaries in relationships

Examples of emotional boundaries to set

Saying no

Refusing to take blame

Expecting respect

Dictating your own feelings

Finding your identity outside of the relationship

Accepting help

Asking for space

Communicating discomfort

Sharing mutually

Sticking up for yourself

Choosing to be vulnerable

Your right to privacy

Your right to your own time

The need to handle negative energy

The freedom to express Spiritual boundaries

The right to remain true to your principles

The ability to communicate physical needs

Your right to material possessions

Your ability to manage your own time

Find a calm moment

Be assertive

Be loving


How will you set boundaries in your relationship?

Video:     Recognize that boundaries change

Audio:     Meditation for setting boundaries

Module 11

Boundaries in marriage

Why boundaries in marriage are good for your relationship

Emotional boundaries strengthen the emotional connection in a marriage

Physical boundaries improve the quality of intimacy in a marriage

Financial boundaries are the cornerstone of a good marriage

How can we set financial boundaries in a marriage?

Boundaries in marriage help you stress less

Boundaries in marriage facilitate professional growth

Boundaries in marriage add more fun in your life

Boundaries in marriage give you the opportunity to grow together

Audio:     Signs your partner is not respecting your boundaries

Module 12

Teenagers and boundaries

What is an emotional boundary?

Why is boundary-setting important for your teen?

Tips that will increase your child’s happiness

Talk with your teenager about emotional boundaries

Teach teens to be responsible for their emotional reactions

Identify unacceptable actions and behaviors

Encourage action

What does it mean to set healthy boundaries as a teen?

Some signs that your teenager could use better boundaries

Lead by example

Respect the boundaries they set with you

Suggest boundaries when you see them getting overwhelmed

Give them some language to use

Video:     Teen voices and boundaries

Module 13

Setting boundaries with your ex

Why space between you and your ex is good for everyone

What poor boundaries with an ex might look like

People pleasers

How to set boundaries with your ex

Module 14

Other people’s boundaries

When someone says no

Mind reading

Set boundaries according to their priorities and comfort zone

Module 15

Setting boundaries online

Take ownership of your feed

Give yourself permission to unplug

Check in with yourself

Disable push notifications

Set app limits and downtime

Remember, not everything needs to be shared

Stop comparing

Connect with others in real life

Module 16

Boundaries and toxic people

What if someone doesn’t respect your boundaries?

Decide whether this boundary is negotiable

Write down what is happening

Practice loving detachment

Consider limiting contact or going no-go contact

Follow through on consequences

Get support

You have choices

Video:     You deserve to be treated properly

Module 17

Boundaries and neighbors

Just say no

Be proactive, not reactive

Mark physical boundaries

Communicate more frequently

Module 18

Boundaries with in-laws

How to set boundaries with in-laws

Boundaries for interfering in-laws must be defined early on in the marriage

Tips for setting boundaries with in-laws

Remember, it is all about spending time together

Tune your perspective

Don’t be competitive

Don’t direct your anger at your spouse

Stick to a schedule of spending time together

Get to know them

Don’t try to control the children in front of them

Don’t take it personally

Module 19

Setting boundaries with a narcissist

What boundaries should I have with someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder?

Don’t let them talk to you any way they want

Don’t let them treat you in a disrespectful or hurtful manner

Ask them not to share your personal information with others

Demand they respect your opinions and thoughts

Insist that they listen when you say no

Ask for your personal space when you need it

Make sure you are OK with the physical and sexual aspects of the relationship

Ensure that your financial relationship is equitable and acceptable

What to expect when setting boundaries with someone with a narcissistic personality disorder

Ways to set boundaries with someone with a narcissistic personality disorder

Find a therapist to help you

Decide what you are and aren’t OK with

If it doesn’t feel right or healthy, leave

You don’t have to justify, defend or explain why you need a specific boundary

Practice how to avoid or redirect negative comments and questions

Remember the power of a narcissistic personality disorder

Don’t be afraid to be firm and blunt

Don’t forget about the consequences

Don’t give anything more

Module 20

Measuring the success of boundaries

Success tracking methods

Successful boundaries

Unsuccessful boundaries

Audio:     What to do when someone oversteps my boundaries

              How to know when to adjust your boundaries

Module 21


A large part of healing involves setting boundaries

Things will happen in your life that change everything

Affirmations to help you set boundaries with love


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