Recognizing when someone is being emotionally manipulative may be more difficult if you grew up with similar treatment or with little communication about emotional topics. Caring for oneself is necessary to recognize your own needs in a relationship and to not be overly needy or overly controlling of the other person's actions or emotional space. Healthy boundaries give people room to be themselves within a relationship whether with an intimate partner or within a family or family or other type of group. We have a right to not be manipulated or asked to do more than we are comfortable with doing for another person or group. We also need to recognize if we are asking too much of others whether for physical things like money or gifts, or favors of service, such as chores or errands, or expecting more of their time and attention. Healthy boundaries mean I am I, and you are you, and we sometimes may spend time together but we also may spend time apart. Courtesy means communication, making clear any expectations of what the comfortable boundaries are or what is not comfortable, and reaching a compromise if one person's comfort level is far different than the other person's preference. Boundaries can also be a problem in a work setting. If you don't know how to say no firmly or are more focused on pleasing others than taking care of yourself than you may be asked to do more overtime than is healthy. No one is a superwoman, even if it can seem like expectations are to do great work, while looking great, and spending time with social activities and volunteer or church activities. Some boundaries are about adequate rest, regular healthy meals, and all of those other things. Prioritizing your own health is necessary to prevent an overload of stress which can lead to physical and mental health problems. Burnout is a phrase used for work overload but it is a mental health diagnosis and can leave symptoms of depression and apathy. See: "The Ultimate Reason Why Setting Healthy Boundaries is a Sign of Self-Care," by Sara Fabian for a little more information on the topic of boundaries. ( medium.com ) See: "Peace is enough employees for the job," for more about work burnout - which can also be volunteer or social activity burnout. ( peace-is-happy.org ) I like myself but I haven't always taken good care of myself and I didn't learn healthy boundaries until fairly recently. I did overwork during my career and had symptoms of work burnout and also relationship problems. Recognition is the first step towards change, self-forgiveness is a good follow-up, and a lot of practice and error, and more practice, are the baby steps that can make the change your new approach to life. See: "Tips for Changing Habits," ( transcendingsquare.com ) for an overview of habit change, the examples are more about actions than mental change though. "What to Say When You are Talking to Yourself," is the title of a book by Shad Helmstetter about changing your self-talk, examples and a link are included in a post that focuses on the technique for coping with emotional overeating problems: ( transcendingsquare.com ). Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.