"You've got to be aware that if you don't communicate your boundaries nobody will know how to treat you, and what you don't want," Neo said.
For example, it's common in relationships to just go along with things at the beginning that you aren't keen on. For example, your new partner may speak to you in a way you're not comfortable with, or spend too much time on unhealthy activities. This may be because your partner is going through a tough time, so you think to yourself that if you're kind and supportive, you can always bring up issues later.
But this often doesn't work out as planned. It's how resentment builds up, Neo said, because you may start to think your partner is ungrateful for the sacrifices you've made to your happiness. Unfortunately, without initially putting boundaries in place, your partner is likely to think you've been fine with everything all along.
"That's why boundaries need to be communicated early on, because people are not mind readers," Neo said. "Good people will know how to adjust, bad people won't, and that's when you know to kick them out."
In a sense, knowing your own boundaries means you can trust yourself more too, Neo said. For example, if you tell yourself you don't want to sleep with someone until you're in a committed relationship, it removes a lot of anxiety about your interactions. You know that you can have fun without questioning yourself all the time.
That's not to say that your boundaries are set in stone, though. While you'll probably feel guilty that you're being tough on people at first — especially if you're a people pleaser — it won't last. Once you start to get comfortable with your boundaries, you can bend and adapt them. It's a bit like when you start a diet, or learn a new skill.
"When you start to draw, you don't break the early rules until you master them," Neo said. "Then you can learn to play with those rules. It's the same way when you're growing boundaries. You're going to be tougher on people at first, but that's just you finding your own feet. People need to be aware of that, because they beat themselves up about it."