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  • Writer's pictureMette Bloch

Mastering Boundaries

How to Deal with People Who Don't Respect Yours

Dealing with people who don't respect your personal or professional boundaries is never easy. But it's crucial to learn how to manage these kinds of situations so you can maintain your self-respect and mental wellbeing. Here's a suggestion on how you can tackle this challenge the next time it comes your way, because let's face it, we all encounter this from time to time.

1. Understand your boundaries Before you can communicate your boundaries to others, you first have to understand them yourself. This might involve some deep self-reflection, considering your values, your comfort zones, and your capabilities. What's okay for you? What's not okay for you? If you're clear on what you can and can't tolerate, it'll be easier to express that to others.

2. Communication is key Be clear but considerate when communicating your boundaries. Don't apologize for having boundaries – they're part of who you are. But you can explain them in a respectful way that doesn't make others feel attacked. For instance, you could say, "I'm in the middle of something I'd like to finish, so I can chat later."

3. Stick to your guns If people continue to overstep your boundaries even after you've communicated them, it's important to stand your ground. This can be hard, especially if you're wary of conflict, but it's essential for maintaining your self-respect. It's always okay to voice your discomfort and say, "I'll have to leave if there's any yelling at me. I won't tolerate that." If you're clear and straightforward, those around you will quickly learn what you will and won't put up with, making it easier to be around you. People with clear boundaries don't push others away; they make collaboration easier.

4. Seek professional help, if necessary If you're struggling to handle the situation yourself, it could be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist or a coach can provide you with tools to manage boundary-crossing behavior and can help you understand why you find it hard to set boundaries. If it's at work, it would make sense to approach a union representative or a manager with your challenge, because the sooner these kinds of situations are addressed, the better for both you and the person who hasn't understood your boundaries.

5. Practice self-care Last but not least, remember to take care of yourself. Dealing with people who cross your boundaries can be stressful and draining. Make sure to give yourself time to relax and recharge, and ensure that you have supportive people around you who can help you through these challenges. Talk to someone! - Don't keep it to yourself. If you don't address it, you may end up questioning your own boundaries and wondering if you're just being sensitive, which you're not.

Standing up for yourself and your boundaries isn't always easy, but it's crucial for your wellbeing and self-respect. Over time and with practice, it'll get easier, and you'll find that you're better equipped to handle boundary-crossing behavior. Remember, you always have the right to say no, the more you practice, the better you'll get at it and the more natural it will become to you. Your boundaries are important and worth protecting.

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