Many people around us fail to respect us. Some people use us and take advantage of us, while others talk and behave with us in ways that offend us and hurt us. However, when people fail to respect us it is our own fault. It’s our fault because we have failed to establish boundaries for these people. Setting boundaries is one way to get people to respect you.
The first thing to determine when someone is disrespecting you is; are they intentionally doing this or are they just not aware of your boundaries? Knowing the answer to this question will help you to decide how to respond to get the results you desire. If the person is not aware of your boundaries the solution can be as simple as making that person aware of the boundary. However, there are many people in the world who don’t care about the boundaries of others. These people become a little more problematic to deal with.
Nonetheless, in boundary setting it is vitally important for you to determine what a boundary is for you. Sometimes we confuse boundaries with a pet peeve. A pet peeve is something that gets on our nerves, something that is really not a disrespectful behavior directed toward us, but that just rubs us up the wrong way. Take for example the person who just talks to hear themselves talk. This is not really a disrespect of your boundaries, although it can drive some people crazy. Unfortunately, there just happens to be people in the world who just talk to talk, with not much useful to say. This then becomes a matter of acceptance or, if it bothers you that much, one of avoidance.
Once you have determined the difference between a boundary and a pet peeve you need to consider any consequences of boundary setting with those not used to you setting boundaries. More often than not, when people violate our boundaries it’s because we have let them and when we try to establish them after the fact, these people may themselves take offense, which in turn can result in a negative response.
The thing we have to weigh out in establishing boundaries is the value of our boundaries verses the value of the relationship. Some people will over react to your boundary and it then becomes an issue those individuals need to resolve for themselves, if you are serious about your boundaries and the resulting respect you will gain. But this can affect your relationship with that person. To gain respect from others you must have respect for yourself, and in so doing you may have to take a stand on those grounds. Moreover, gaining respect from others has nothing to do with them liking you.
Now that you have determined that it is necessary to set a boundary you may want to practice what you will say to the person. Because setting boundaries is often touchy ground you will want to make sure you say the right thing. This does require a degree of sensitivity to the other’s feelings while at the same time establishing the desired boundary. This can be tricky. Setting boundaries is not always easy and therefore you might want to find a friend you can trust to help you with what to say.
Next, set up a time with the person you want to talk to about setting the boundary with. The time you select should be a time when you can have the other’s attention, a time when they are able to listen to you in explaining what is bothering you. In these types of communications your lengthy explanations are not necessary. It is best to get right to the point as soon as possible.