8 Ways to Set Boundaries in Addiction Recovery

One of the most important emotional skills to learn in addiction recovery is how to set boundaries. As you become more self-assured, you will see the power of communicating with others from an authentic place. Learning to be more assertive, communicate more effectively, and set boundaries at home, at work, and in life will not only help improve relationships, but will also help you maintain your recovery. 

There are many ways to set boundaries in your life, but here are eight ways to set boundaries in recovery:


Learn to Say No

It is easy to want to please people or worry about what people will think of you. But when you are worried about what other people want or think, you can lose track of what you want and what you need. When someone asks you to do something that you are not 100% comfortable with or convinced of, say no. All it takes are two letters: NO. Practicing this important boundary will get easier over time, but you will see the benefits of learning to say no right away.


Communicate Your Feelings

Often in conversations, it is easy to create misunderstandings. When you take the time to clearly express your feelings, that gives them the opportunity to better understand where you are coming from. This may not always work if the other person does not hear or understand you, but if you have expressed your feelings, then you have done your part and will have a clear conscience. 


Respect Yourself

How can you possibly expect other people to respect you if you don’t respect yourself? Some boundaries need to be set with yourself. Do you talk to yourself in a positive or negative way? Negative self-talk is very damaging to the way that you perceive yourself. It impacts how you present yourself to others, and then others may see you that way, too. You are worth positive affirmations and encouraging self-talk, so start learning how to respect yourself.


Express Your Needs

You are the only one who knows exactly what you need. So, use your voice and tell people. No one can truly meet your needs unless they know what they are. Surrounding yourself with people who want to know your needs and will try to meet them is an important part of a support network in recovery.


Maintain Your Values

Living outside your values is basically like lying. When you are not true to the values you have established for yourself, then you are not living authentically. Maintaining your values is an important boundary to keep so that you can maintain your other boundaries, too. 


Let People Earn Your Trust

Trusting people is good but trusting them before they give you any reason to trust them may set you up for disaster. When you are in treatment, you work to trust yourself again. Let other people do the same thing. Give them opportunities to earn your trust little by little until you have a strong foundation of trust to rely on. 


Build Relationships Slowly

Related to letting people earn your trust is to build relationships slowly. Particularly in the case of romantic relationships, you might feel really good after treatment and want to jump back into a relationship. But recovery is a journey, not a destination, and you are still learning new things about yourself. To truly build a strong, healthy, lasting relationship will take time, and will be worth the wait. Consider that you are upgrading yourself each day in recovery, so the longer you take to build a relationship, the better the other person will be worthy of you, too.


Believe in Yourself

Ultimately, your recovery relies on you believing in yourself. During the best of times and the worst of times, your self-belief will pull you through. If you believe that you can maintain your recovery, then you will. Self-belief is a core principle of success in any area, but especially in recovery. So believe. You are worth it.

Setting and maintaining boundaries may be really hard or feel strange at first but doing so can be very empowering. Setting boundaries with others helps you thrive and live your best life. Discover that life today by setting boundaries.


Boundaries will help you and others to honor who you are and help you maintain your recovery. From learning to say no, to respecting yourself, to maintaining your values and more, this is a skill that can be life-changing. Boundaries change the way others see you as well as the way that you view yourself. At DiscoveryMD, we know how important it is to set boundaries in recovery. Our rehab treatment center can help you to achieve success in your recovery and in your life. We offer outpatient care for those with busy schedules and commitments to family or work. We are flexible so that you can be firm. Let us help you learn to set boundaries to make you stronger and more assertive in your life. Our compassionate staff knows the value of learning to be true to yourself by communicating and setting boundaries with others. Contact us today to learn how boundaries can help you in your recovery.

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