"I thought for a long time that boundaries were like rules I made for other people to follow. But I never really had much luck in getting people to do what I think they should do. It wasn't till I came to AA that I learned that boundaries are really agreements I make with myself. It's the commitment I make to myself about what I will do if a particular situation happens again -- whether it's with the same person over and over, or the same situation but with different people. The boundary is the agreement I make with myself, not a rule for them. And it doesn't always have to be a big exit or something. It can be as simple as a smile and changing the subject. But my boundaries never started becoming firm until I learned that they weren't about making other people do -- or not do -- something. It was about what I would do -- or not do. When I got that, that's when my boundaries started working. That's when they became real. And I got better."