To inform someone that they are crossing a boundary in a relationship can be quite a challenging task, right? So, learning how to communicate boundaries in a relationship is not only important but necessary.
Necessary because the only person hurting is you when you don’t communicate your boundaries. Effective communication is key. Communicating your thoughts in an honest but respectful way is healthier than avoiding the conversation completely. Don’t assume you know how the other person is feeling, even if you feel you know them very well.
Are you making assumptions?
Making assumptions creates a lot of misunderstandings in a relationship. Sometimes we are too quick to blame others for how we feel. Instead, take a moment and look at your situation objectively. Ask yourself, “Are my actions contributing to the situation”?
Be honest with yourself and take responsibility for your actions only. It’s not your responsibility to take care of the other person’s feelings or communication.
Each of us has the right to be treated with respect and fairness. When another is not willing to respect your personal boundaries, then as hard as it may be, there may come a time when you need to consider ending the relationship.
Setting, maintaining, and enforcing healthy boundaries is a skill that doesn’t happen overnight. But if you work on yourself by trusting your instincts, being open, and practicing them though, you will start to see that relationships worth having only get stronger over time.
If you’re struggling to communicate your boundaries because you worry about how others will react or because you just don’t know how to express your needs, then below are three quick steps to help you communicate assertively and respectfully.
- Describe your situation, using ‘I’ statements, and share the feeling you are experiencing in the situation.
- Express what you would like to happen instead in this situation.
- Share what the positive effects of the new situation will be.
What’s also helpful is to reflect on situations where you’ve struggled to communicate how you were feeling. Imagine yourself being in that situation again and then apply the three steps above.
Keep practicing until your message is clear. This will have you feeling more confident to express yourself the next time you encounter such a situation.
Do want help with setting and enforcing personal boundaries, then take a look at my new coaching package; Empowering boundaries for women. Or contact me at [email protected] for a free 30 min no-obligation consultation call.