Is your boundary being ignored?

Some people just don’t get it. You can tell them “no” a hundred times, but they keep right on going. How do you respond when your boundary is just being ignored? Do you:

Shrug it off or make a joke about it?

Get all indignant and tell someone off?

Or capitulate and pretend you didn’t set the boundary in the first place?

In this vlog, I share some examples and tell you what you can do to get your boundary respected. Here goes …

Setting boundaries can be hard work.

You swallow hard, push past the fear and finally say it:

“Please stop calling me at work. We can talk when I get home.” Or “Please call before you stop by. I’m busy and I need to plan my time.”

There! It’s done! You feel so much better, don’t you?

Until you answer the phone at your desk, expecting it to be Sue from accounting. Or the doorbell rings just as you’ve settled down in front of your favourite TV show.

What’s going on here?

It took you months to work up the courage to set those boundaries – and they’re acting as if it never happened! How do you deal with that? What do you say to people who only hear what they want to hear?

The answer is actually pretty simple.

If others won’t respect your boundary, you’ll have to respect it for them. When you answer the phone and discover that it’s your needy friend, don’t let her start her story. Don’t let her talk about anything. Just tell her that you’re busy and you’ll have to chat tonight. Then hang up.

If your spontaneous friend drops by again, remind him that he’s agreed to call first. If he won’t take “no” for an answer, simply say, “Goodbye,” and close the door. You need anyone’s permission to spend some quality time alone.

They’ll probably keep trying, so be persistent. If you get tired of repeating yourself, consider screening your calls at the office. And have a text message ready for your spontaneous friend – something simple like, “You need to call first.” Stick with it for a while and they’ll get the message.

Sometimes words aren’t enough.

If you haven’t set many boundaries, people may not take you seriously at first. But don’t worry – they’ll come around. Remember that old saying: “Actions speak louder than words.”

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