In recent years, people have been throwing the word “boundaries” around like it’s their job. But, as often is the case when pop culture co-opts terminology from clinical psychology, complex ideas are taken out of context and distorted to the point that they can cause more harm than good.

Here are three surprising mistakes you can make when setting boundaries that can actually sabotage your relationships and emotional well‑being instead of boosting them.

Forgetting Boundaries Are Actions Not Words

There’s a big difference between setting boundaries and enforcing them. Setting a boundary is a verbal expression of where the line is; whereas, enforcing a boundary is taking an action to protect ourselves when our verbal expression is not honored.