9 Boundaries You Should Set For Yourself In Your 20s

Alexey Kuzma

Your 20s are a time of self-discovery, plenty of inhibition-less fun, and lots of hard #adulting lessons.

This experience is helping you nail down what kinds of people you want to be around, what environment you want to live in, and what your most precious beliefs are.

As you continue discovering all the pieces of who you are, you should start locking down boundaries.

You don't want to look up and be the 30-year-old woman who puts everyone before herself, can't say "no" to anyone, and who has never really lived life to the fullest.

Here are nine boundaries you can go ahead and start setting for yourself in your 20s, so that you can ride out this time knowing you kept yourself fearlessly healthy and happy.

1. Let People Know They Cannot Just Say Anything Around You

Of course, you don't want to be the one who everyone walks on egg shells around, but you also don't want to be the person who people feel comfortable dropping racial slurs, or bullying other people in front of.

Establishing this boundary is less about making one person feel restricted and more about making sure you and other people feel safe.

2. Make People Call Before They Come Over

Nope, this doesn't apply to the bestie you've known since middle school who knows your house and refrigerator better than you do.

This does, however, apply to friends and new associates who you don't have the same closeness with.

Don't let people assume you are always home, always available to them, and take advantage of your personal space. Encourage people to respect your time and your space.

3. Don't Let Guys Make A Habit Of Last-Minute Dates

Spontaneity is fun and even a little sexy, but don't let the guys you're dating always spring things on you that they didn't plan or take the time to ask about in advance.

Go with the flow sometimes, but other dates need to be something he asked you about before, because you are nobody's afterthought, and your time deserves to be respected.

4. Establish A Mutual Respect Between You And Your Boss

Too many people accept the idea that their boss can say whatever he or she wants to them, simply because they are the boss. Nope.

You are a human being and it doesn't matter if you're the entry-level new kid on the block to their senior-level status, you deserve to be treated with some respect.

It's OK to ask your boss not to yell at you or embarrass you in front of your co-workers. Remember, though, this is about mutual respect, so you can't get out of character, either.

5. Call Out People Who Only Call You When They Need Something

This goes for your mother, your cousin, and even the alumni donations people who still call you periodically from your alma mater.

People who really care about keeping up with you won't just be dialing your number when they need gas money, a ride, or advice.

When you pick up on this, call it out and let that person know how it makes you feel that they only call you when they want you to do something for them.

6. Don't Make A Habit Of Always Being Somebody's ATM.

There are some people, maybe even family members, who don't always call only when they want something, but still seem to want something an awful lot. You don't have to give it to them, especially if the person doing the asking is an adult just like you.

If you are always the ATM-to-the-rescue for someone, they'll probably never grow up. Them learning to be more independent is what they need to learn. You letting them is what you need to learn.

7. Don't Involve Yourself In Every Family Quarrel

If your parents are fighting, that has nothing to do with you. If your siblings aren't getting along, that also isn't your burden to carry.

Families fight, but if you're not the one doing the fighting, then don't take on someone else's problems and stress.

Snatch some peace up for yourself, and let them work it out. Also, demand that they not put you in the middle of their mess.

8. Tell People To Mind Their Own Relationship Business

OK, you don't have to say it like that, but you can set a standard from the very beginning that you are not into telling all of your relationship business to your friends. Sure, everyone needs someone to vent to, but be careful to select the person you spill all for wisely.

For people who you don't feel comfortable sharing secrets with, make it known you prefer not to discuss the subject, but that you're handling your relationship just fine and they don't need to worry.

9. Break The Habit Of Working Off The Clock

When you already have a job you love in your 20s, or one that's helping you hustle toward the job you love, it's easy to get so caught up with working hard that you overwork.

Go ahead and establish the boundary that when your work day is done, it's just done.

The rest of your day should be devoted to caring for yourself and your household. This doesn't mean you can't be passionate about your career and give your best, but you've gotta go ahead and cement self-care practices. That's what will make you a better employee in the long run, anyway.