Recently I wrote a blog about setting boundaries. If you missed that one, scroll down and take a look. Someone asked me “but what do you do if your boundaries aren’t respected?”
(Breathing Deep) That can be difficult. For the most part, when I am going to go through the process of making a boundary with someone it is because they are important to me and if they are that important then there is a very good probability that I respect that person. So when I make a boundary and the person will not respect my boundary, it leaves me in a tough spot.
I know in reality that I can only control myself. I cannot make anyone do anything that they don’t want to do or agree to. Making a boundary is asking someone to do something for you and there is a hope or expectation that the request will be respected. When my boundary isn’t respected I need to make boundaries with myself. I need to ask myself some hard questions that will determine how I proceed in the relationship.
I need to decide what the boundaries I need to make with myself are. How important is this boundary to me? What compromises can I make without compromising my needs or myself? What am I willing to put up with in my life? How much does this boundary crossing affect my life? Is my boundary asking them to take care of me or just not hurt me?
There may be times where I discover that the boundary I was trying to make was actually asking someone else to take care of me. It is not anyone else’s job to take care of me but I can ask that they support me in taking care of myself. In this circumstance it is helpful for me to look at what I need from them in support without making my self-care their responsibility.
If the boundary crossing turns out to not really be affecting me then maybe I choose to accept it. If the boundary crossing is affecting me and I find that I am not willing to put up with it in my life or I find that I will be compromising myself if I continue to accept the behavior, then I need to make boundaries with myself. There are many ways this can take shape. I may decide that there are certain situations where I will not show up to be with that person. For example, if my best friend continually behaves in a way that I am not comfortable with when we go out for dinner together I may decide to not go out for dinner but still see her at one of our homes or maybe we can meet for coffee. Or, if a family member has a problem with drinking excessively I can make a boundary that I will choose not to be with them when they are drinking.
There are different ways we can make boundaries with ourselves. The most important thing to remember is that we always have a choice. You get to choose what behaviors you allow in your life and you get to choose what you show up for and how you show up.
This brings me to “NO!” No can be a powerful word in making boundaries. I think I know what my next blog is going to be about.