Marking boundaries – how wombats do it and what we can learn from them

It was a beautiful spring day for a mountain bike ride through the Wombat forest.

Even saw a wombat, a native Australian marsupial, that lives in underground burrows dug with its teeth and claws.

You hardly see them by day, but there it was, right outside the entry to its burrow, a couple of meters off the bike track.

Shy, and pretty fixed in their habits, they are almost impossible to be diverted off their track. They are very strong and you wouldn’t want to get into a fight with them.

They have another, quite neat habit – leave distinctive cubic faeces on exposed rocks and logs.

Having been cleared of litter, the bike track shows quite a few of them.

It looks deliberate.

What could this mean?

I see it as a marking of their territory.

As a statement, that “here are my my boundaries.”

The learning?

We too, can set our boundaries, calm and clear. Here’s how:

First, find out where your boundaries are.

This, you can do by watching yourself when someone comes closer to you. When does it start to feel uncomfortable?


For example, at a gathering of people, you might notice yourself taking a step back while the person you are in a conversation with takes a step forward.

This person has just overstepped your boundaries.

Now, that you know the distance that feels comfortable, you can start doing something about it.

Sit back with a calm authority.

Most of the time it’s enough, when we have a clear vision of what feels good for us, feel it in the cells of our body. People respect that.

Sometimes we might have to state our boundaries more clearly, and say something to the other person.

However, because we are respecting our own boundaries, the words will come easily and be respectful of the other person’s boundaries.

Need some help with developing this skill? Then you might be interested in the resilience program I am offering.

Get in touch to find out more about it.