Why You Must Set Personal Boundaries

As you go through life you will meet many different people from all walks of life. They will all have their own likes, dislikes, opinions, viewpoints, and sense of humor. Everybody’s life experiences are unique, which is why each person’s perceptions about the world are different.

For this reason you must decide which behaviors are unacceptable from the people in your life. Even more important, you must be able to effectively communicate your personal boundaries at the appropriate time.


You Must Know Yourself First

Before you can communicate to people what your personal boundaries are, you have to figure out what they are. You have to determine for yourself how a person must treat you if they want to be a part of your life. This goes for all kinds of relationships – friends, lovers, and even family. Take some time for yourself to really think about how you want to be treated. Write down your personal boundaries for every type of relationship and look at them every day until you internalize them.

You must be willing to commit to keeping your personal boundaries intact with every person that is a part of your life. If anyone should refuse to respect your boundaries and mistreat you, then you have to remove them from your life. In cases where this isn’t possible, such as when it’s a coworker, then minimize your contact with them and be professional when you do have to be around them.

You must do this no matter how much you may like the person, no matter how much you may be attracted to them. This is not out of hate or rejection of them; it is out of love and respect for yourself. Love and respect for yourself is one of the most important things to have; not just for successful relationships, but in all areas of your life.


You Must Let People Know When They Have Violated Your Personal Boundaries

Once you know what your personal boundaries are, you must let people know when they have crossed the line into unacceptable behavior when they are with you. It’s best to avoid making a scene; don’t confront the person in front of others. This can tend to put people on the defensive, and they will be less willing to listen to you.

As soon as you can after the incident, pull them aside and tell them in a calm and firm voice what they did that was unacceptable. If they choose to repeat the same offending behavior again after you have made it clear that you find it disrespectful, then it is time for you to stop associating with that person.


Addition by Subtraction

Unfortunately, I have had to end several friendships over the years with people who lacked respect for my boundaries. One guy in particular I had a great time hanging out with, but whenever any girls entered the picture he would try to embarrass and belittle me in front of them. He tried to tear me down to make himself look better, which is often a sign of an insecure person that has a scarcity mentality.

I talked to him about it after the first time he did it, and made it very clear that it wasn’t cool and he shouldn’t do it again. He stopped doing it for a while, but eventually he did it again. As a result, we stopped hanging out, and the friendship was over.

While it is true that you need other people in your life, you don’t need anyone that doesn’t respect you. Never sacrifice your self-respect for someone else.

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