Do you know where your boundaries are? Do you know when someone crosses those boundaries? Personal boundaries are imaginary lines that we draw around ourselves. Lines that others must not cross unless invited to. We are all entitled to respect, privacy, love, kindness, consideration, honesty and decency. When people cross these lines we have every right to stand up for ourselves and object.
We have to draw the lines first though and the more self respect we have the sooner we draw our lines. The more secure we become with our boundaries, the less power others will have over us. The more clearly you define your boundaries the more you’ll realise that other people’s stuff is more to do with them and less to do with you – you stop taking things so personally.
You can’t expect others to respect you unless you respect yourself. You can’t respect yourself until you’ve created a clear picture of who you are. Setting boundaries is a part of this process. Respect yourself enough to set boundaries and be assertive enough to enforce these boundaries.
When you have clear boundaries over what you will and won’t accept in life, you don’t need to be scared of others. When someone crosses the line between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour, it becomes easier to say “No, I don’t want to be treated/spoken to in this way”.
Start small – with your family and practise exercising self respect. Others will respect you more for it. Speak your mind. Express what you like and what you don’t like – let others know. Give them warnings so that they know where they stand and what you expect.
Setting boundaries helps us to resist rude, bossy,aggressive people – people who want to take advantage. Draw your lines, stick to them and show others how to treat you. It really is true – we teach people how to treat us.