Boundaries need consequences to matter.
Because quite simply, if there’s no consequence, there’s no boundary. The consequence clearly states what will happen if the boundary is ignored and clearly allows for the line to be drawn. So in this short video, I’ll speak about why consequences are important and how you go about stating these consequences especially when someone keeps ignoring your boundaries.
Not everyone will share our values.
With some people, our boundaries go understood. We know what’s OK and what isn’t. Because our values are similar, treating each other with respect is usually enough.
And on the rare occasion that it isn’t, we just have to speak up: “Please don’t tell anyone that I’m thinking of breaking up with Joe. I’m not ready to talk about it with anyone else yet.” Or “Please don’t joke about that. It still hurts.”
Not everyone shares our values. And not everyone consistently treats us with respect. In these situations, we need more than just words. Our boundaries need teeth … and that means consequences or outcomes if our boundaries are ignored.
Have you ever told someone not to do something – again and again?
Whether someone keeps asking you for money, yelling at you in public or telling embarrassing stories about your childhood, you shouldn’t have to keep telling him to stop. People ignore our boundaries for many reasons, most of which we’ll never know. Fortunately, we don’t need to. Because there’s only one reason that matters –the only one we have control over.
Disrespectful people trample all over our so-called boundaries because we allow them to.
We may demand that they stop, we may nag and complain … we may even plead with them. But at the end of the day, we’ve given them permission to keep right on trampling. How? By failing to give our boundaries teeth.
Disrespectful people – or anyone who’s acting that way in the moment – won’t stop disrespecting us just because we want them to. At that point they’re only interested in themselves. That means that the only way we can motivate them is through consequences.
So what are the consequences?
The next time he starts an embarrassing story about you, remind him that you’ve asked him to stop – that he knows how you feel and that you’d like him to respect your wishes. Trust me – the people around you won’t be laughing. (If they are, you’re hanging around with the wrong crowd.)
The next time she wants to borrow money, end the conversation. Completely.
And when he yells at you in public, let him know that it’s not OK – and walk away.
And if it doesn’t work?
If these kinds of consequences don’t work, it may be time to reconsider the relationship. Because when others won’t respect you, it’s up to you to respect yourself.