Healthy boundaries help maintain respect, mutuality, and connection in relationships.

You get to decide which boundaries are most important for you to set with others.

For instance, you can choose to set physical boundaries around who you feel comfortable accepting affection from. Or you may choose to set boundaries on your time by declining to attend one event, while prioritizing another commitment elsewhere.
In relationships with people who are generally healthy and safe, setting boundaries may feel more effortless. They already accept your limits and are open about theirs as well. Negotiating and making compromises with them takes place naturally and doesn’t feel like you’re tiptoeing around a landmine.
Unfortunately, the people you need to set boundaries with most are often those who are least likely to respect them. You tell them you’re busy, they show up anyway. You ask them not to bring up a sensitive topic, and they talk about it at every opportunity. That may leave you wondering, what’s the point in setting boundaries at all?

It’s important to remember that boundaries are requests, not demands.

A boundary isn’t about controlling someone else’s behavior, it’s about keeping  yourself safe and managing your resources wisely. People can (and often do) say no when you try to set boundaries with them.
When it comes to those in your life who tend to ignore, dismiss, or reject your boundaries, make sure you have a plan. You can’t control their behavior, but you can come up with ideas for how to better protect yourself when your boundaries are crossed. Then, present your boundaries to the other person in the form of options.
For example:
“I want to figure this out with you, but I feel overwhelmed when you call me names. If you can talk about it without calling me that, I can stay on the phone, but otherwise I’m going to hang up and take a break for now.”
“Could you please not do that when I’m in the room? I start to panic whenever this happens, so if it continues, I’ll have to leave until I can calm down. I don’t mind staying otherwise, as long as this stops.”
Let the person know how they can best connect with you in the situation and what you’ll do if they choose not to accept your boundaries. Then – and this is key – make sure you follow through! If you tell them you have to go home if they continue to cross your boundaries, go home if they continue. If you don’t follow through on what you say, the person will assume you’re not serious and they’ll keep pushing past your limits. The more you stick to what you say, the more likely they will be to adjust to your requests in the future.
Of course, you’ll also come into contact with some people who push your boundaries constantly. If you can get distance from them, that’s great, but in some situations that isn’t always possible. For example, maybe there’s someone at work or school that you have to interact with on a regular basis. Maybe you’re dealing with someone who’s crossing a boundary every five minutes. Realistically, catching them on every single thing may be exhausting or even impossible. Choose your battles. Take time to consider which boundaries you’re willing to let slide at times and which are non-negotiables for you.
Especially if you’re not used to doing it, setting healthy boundaries takes practice. Consider working with a professional for extra support. 
You can also check out this free workbook for more tools on how to set boundaries: Workbook
 Written by: Summer Greenlee, LPC