People are talking about boundaries in relationships and it’s for all the right reasons. Sometimes relationships are tough and there are moments when your feelings may not be considered. When you feel violated or disrespected in your relationships with a partner, family member, a friend, or even a coworker, neighbor, or someone who follows you on social media, the lack of boundaries can allow that violation and disrespect to continue.
Boundaries are important and it’s literally the only emotional protection that you have in any relationship. If you are wondering how to boundaries work here are three steps you can take to get started:
- Identify why you need the boundary
- What is bothering you?
- How do you feel disrespected or violated?
- What needs to stop?
- Set the boundary
- What do you need from the person who has disrespected or violated you?
- What do you need to do differently to protect yourself?
- What will you no longer tolerate or allow?
- Maintain the boundary
- Express the boundary (if needed) to the person who has disrespected or violated you.
- Practice the boundary by holding yourself accountable to it; no wiggle room.
As important as boundaries are, it is easy to neglect yourself and give free passes to those you love and care about. You deserve to be respected in your relationships but it is important to remember that boundaries are not easy to set and it takes practice to maintain them.
Even if you are a master boundary setter, knowing what boundaries you need, setting the boundaries and practicing applying them is not enough. You may find yourself still dealing with disrespect in your relationships and unsure of why or feeling frustrated about your boundaries and feeling like you are doing something wrong. Here are the three things you didn’t know about your boundaries:
1. Your boundaries not their responsibilty
Eliminate the expectation that the people in your life will automatically follow the boundary that you have set. That is not their responsibility, it’s their choice. Anyone in your life can choose to accept your boundary but they don’t have to. Of course you want them to respect you enough to change their words or behaviors, but you cannot control their choice to change. Your boundaries are your responsibility to set and maintain and it can feel frustrating when someone is still not valuing what you have asked for, but all you can do is focus on what you can control.
2. repeat your boundaries over and over
Sometimes the person you are in relationship with is worth the wait. This may require you to repeat your boundaries so that they can get use to this change you have set for your relationship together. It is your responsibility to remind this person of what you need, want, and desire from your relationship. Repeat yourself. It’s okay.
3. you need consequences for your boundaries
Make sure you come up with what will happen if the person you are in relationship with chooses to ignore your boundaries and make sure to let them know about it.
Expressing a consequence is a part of boundary setting. If someone continues to violate your boundaries and disrespect you, it may require you to redefine the relationship with them or release them from your life altogether. This is a tough decision to make but sometimes it is necessary.
Here are three tips for you the next time you are setting boundaries in any relationship:
- Be clear and be direct.
- Express what they can expect from you and what you expect from them.
- Tell them what will happen if your boundary is crossed or violated.
Expecting that someone will automatically follow your boundary and not taking responsibility for them by applying consequences is a sure way to continue being disrespected in your relationships. You deserve what you desire in your relationships but it’s up to YOU to demand it.
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