Tag Archives: Violating boundaries

What To Do If Your Boundaries Aren’t Respected.

20 Dec
happiness

image from myinsidejobonlife

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. Brene Brown.

Boundaries are guidelines put in place to encourage emotional and physical safety and are created by people who respect their own strengths, abilities and individuality as well as those of others.

Most of us are pretty clear about our distinct values, beliefs, psychological needs and preferences. Knowing who we are in our inner world and how we want to live in our outer world is a healthy and empowered way to be.

The imaginary line we draw around us to say this is who I am and these are the things that are important to me are not always respected by

  • habitual advantage takers
  • chaos and catastrophe addicts
  • drama makers with no self behaviour filters
  • the overly needy who expect you to save and solve their constant problems
  • people who are overly invested or amazed by you after only knowing you a short time
  • poor listeners
  • shame and blame throwers
  • judgemental disapproving types
  • manipulators, abusers and bullies.

The distress we feel when a boundary is violated is a message to protect ourselves and a signal to clearly express to bothersome people that there are things we don’t want them to do or say to us, one moment longer. When we set a limit or say no, or stop or don’t, it should count. We can state our feelings and wants and needs clearly, and set a reasonable consequence even though others are not responsible or obligated to honour what we ask for. They will either respect our limits or they will push and weasel and work their way across the boundary lines. This is likely to cause us to become

  • uncomfortable
  • drained
  • overwhelmed
  • shaky and shocked
  • reactive and emotionally charged
  • flooded with thoughts and feelings of what to do to fix it
  • angry at being mistreated or used.

Do not tolerate crappy behaviours because of fear. We are not obligated to meet the needs of others while sacrificing our own, just because we fear the consequences. Do not scramble for approval or acceptance. Accepting situations that are really unacceptable just to keep someone in our life means giving up whats important to our emotional safety. We needn’t compromise our values, integrity and self-respect. We are as entitled to make choices that others may not like as they are to make ones that we don’t like. It’s whether those choices are respected that makes the difference.

What can you do if others cross your boundaries?

  • Change what you can change. Let them know what they are doing. Say you won’t be taking that on, or that you aren’t someone who lends your things. Say no more often. Make yourself unavailable. Let them know what you like and don’t like (again) express your bottom line, and say things like you promised yourself you would not take calls in the evening or accept unannounced visits.
  • Accept what you can’t change.
  • Remove yourself from completely unacceptable situations and don’t feel bad about your choices. Ask them to stop immediately. No means no. Inappropriate is inappropriate. Walk away from constant judgement, teasing, criticism, put-downs and negative comments without giving up or getting angry. Don’t engage in a justifying and defending match with people who refuse to hear your concerns. Instead, wait for them to not like being “told” and watch them exit.
  • Have it be ok to make your world smaller if need be. Find your tribe. Those safe, solid, authentic connections who are capable of compassion, are easy to be around, where mutual respect is common place. Hang out with uplifting souls and energise each other.