Set personal boundaries

How to Deal with Someone Who Doesn’t Respect Personal Boundaries

We all experience at some point in our life people who don’t respect personal boundaries and just leave us feeling not good. Simply put they are toxic. So, how do you deal with someone who doesn’t respect boundaries?

Firstly, there is no quick fix because you can’t make people respect your boundaries. However, what you can do, is know you have a choice with how you can respond to a boundary violation.

Is your personal boundary negotiable?

Some of our boundaries are more important than others but which ones? Get to know which boundaries you consider negotiable and non-negotiable. To be willing to compromise can be a good thing, especially in a new relationship for example, where both people are adjusting. However, this doesn’t entail abandoning your needs to please them.

Time to disengage?

When dealing with someone who doesn’t respect personal boundaries, accept that you can’t control another person’s behavior, so detach yourself instead.

  • Don’t participate in unproductive conversations
  • Decline invitations that involve spending time with them
  • Don’t react to their disrespectful behavior
  • Walk away
  • Hang up the telephone (politely)

Take care of yourself and be realistic about what you can and can’t do such situations.

Ready to limit contact/No contact?

When someone repeatedly violates your most important boundaries it’s time to ask yourself just how long are you going to continue to accept such treatment. Quite often we accept for too long people disrespecting us, living in the hope that the person will eventually change. Sadly though, in hindsight, we tend to only look back and see the person had no intention of
changing or respecting boundaries.

If someone is hurting you physically or emotionally, putting some distance between you and this person is necessary. Regardless of what others may think or say, you don’t have to continue relationships with anyone who makes you feel not good about yourself.

Family and friends should lift you and support you, not leave you depressed, anxious, angry, or confused.

Remind yourself you’re in charge!

How you approach your personal boundaries is really up to you. Difficult people want you to believe that you’re just over-reacting or being too sensitive. And that’s ok. Let them think that. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them or allow them to violate your boundaries.

When you have controlling or toxic people in your life, it’s a good idea to examine three areas; TIME, SPACE, and ENERGY and identify which area is most valuable to you and adjust accordingly.

Asking yourself questions is powerful, here are three you can start asking yourself.

1. What time limit do you want to set, what works best for you?
For example, how much time are you willing to spend with them. Whether that be in person or over the telephone.

2. How much of your space are you willing to share?
For example, maybe you have a friend or family member who always turns up unexpected and overstays their welcome.

3. How much mental and emotional energy are you willing to invest?
For example, a friend is going through a difficult time with their partner and constantly in touch and off-loading onto you.

Looking after your emotional wellbeing should always be a priority and boundary setting plays an important in the self-care role.

Time to reach out?

Are you experiencing a difficult/toxic relationship and want support to set, maintain, and enforce your boundaries? Why not check out my new coaching package; Empowering Boundaries for Women or send me an email at [email protected] and ask for a free no-obligation 30-minute consultation call.

Rachel Goss
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