5 Tips on Boundaries

April 13, 2023

As individuals, we engage in relationships daily – whether romantic relationships, friendships, a professional relationship, or a familial relationship. Regardless of the relationship, boundaries are essential.

Tracey Tevis is the Education and Prevention Specialist in the Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office. Her role often focuses on engaging students in dialogue around healthy behaviors when interacting with others. Through education, the Title IX Office works to provide resources for students that aid in the prevention of sexual assault.

1. Set boundaries early.

“I tell our students to set your boundaries early,” Tevis said. “It’s important to have a conversation and it’s so much easier to set the boundaries at the beginning rather than just waiting until a situation comes up.” And, if you don’t know where to start, consider brainstorming together with your friend, colleague or romantic partner; ask what’s important to each of you, how you can maintain respect, how you’ll maintain those boundaries, etc.

2. Be okay with rejection.

If you’re someone who is comfortable with physical touch like hugs and you have a friend who isn’t, respect that boundary they may have. “Rejection is the other side of boundaries,” Tevis said. “We each have to understand that other people may not have boundaries we agree with, but we need to be respectful of those boundaries.” This also goes into our next tip…

3. Ask for consent.

If you are unsure what boundary a person may have, ask! Can I have a hug? Would you be comfortable being a part of this project? Can I kiss you? Are you comfortable holding hands? Is it okay if I call you after class? I prefer you don’t share this information with another family member – can we keep it between us?

And then, after asking – respect that individual’s answer.

4. Give yourself permission to evaluate the relationship.

Sometimes, a relationship may not be a good fit – especially if you don’t feel safe. “If a person isn’t respecting your boundaries, that might be a sign,” Tevis said. “Regardless of if it’s romantic or a friendship or whatever it may be – give yourself the space to evaluate if you feel safe and respected.”

5. Boundaries can change and it’s okay when they do.

There’s a difference between boundaries and non-negotiables. “A non-negotiable is something you’re not willing to compromise on,” Tevis said. During the school year, maybe you don’t want phone calls after 9 p.m., but maybe during the summer, that time changes. Boundaries will change, just be sure that you feel comfortable if they do change.

Boundaries are essential – be sure to take the time to set them and respect them.

For more information on events or resources, email Title_IX@baylor.edu, call 254-710-8454 or visit the Equity Office website.



Report instances of sexual or interpersonal misconduct by contacting the Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office by calling 254-710-8454, submitting a report through Baylor’s Report It website, or visiting the office located at Clifton Robinson Tower, Suite 285.


The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence. NSVRC translates research and trends into best practices that help individuals, communities and service providers achieve real and lasting change.

Each April, NSVRC leads Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a campaign to educate and engage the public in addressing the widespread issue of sexual assault. On college campuses, research has found that one in four women and one in 15 men are sexually assaulted during their time in college. With that knowledge, individuals, communities and the private sector are already successfully combatting the risk of sexual violence through conversations, programs, policies and research-based tools that promote safety and respect for all members of the community.



Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.