By Eleanor Beeslaar
An imperative part of having healthy boundaries in your relationships is recognizing when your boundaries have been crossed and knowing how to deal with these violations in a healthy and constructive way. Unfortunately, we will all have moments where people we know and even care about deeply will cross our boundaries in some capacity, and when this happens, it is important for us to stand our ground and protect our boundaries. When we hold others accountable and refuse to let boundary violations slide, we set the precedent that we deserve to have our wants, needs, and limits respected.
How exactly do you address boundary violations when they occur? When confronting someone about something they did or said to cross your boundaries, it is important to do so when you are both calm and able to communicate clearly. If you feel calm and confident in your ability to communicate your feelings clearly and directly right when the boundary violation occurs, it may be helpful to address it right away. However, if you don’t feel ready to talk about it in the moment, know that you have the right to take some time to think or even write down what you want to say before addressing it with the other person. A great skill to keep in mind when addressing boundary violations is to use “I statements.” This can help you practice constructive communication as you talk to the other person in the relationship about why the boundary was crossed, how it affected you, and how you can work together to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
Another key factor in maintaining healthy boundaries is to respect your limits and refrain from violating your own boundaries. What exactly do we mean by this? Respecting your limits means saying “no” when you are asked to do something that you do not have the energy for or do want to do. For example, when your friends ask you to go out to dinner with them and you say you can’t because you’re feeling exhausted after an especially challenging week, you are respecting your own limits and upholding your boundaries.
We hope this information will help you maintain and uphold your boundaries when they are violated! Stay tuned for more information about healthy boundaries in sexual relationships in tomorrow’s blog!