What defines a boundary? The Webster Dictionary defines it as “something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent,” but I’m seeing a lot of people define it as “a suggestion to follow when I choose.”
Quite frequently, boundaries are set between strangers, friends, families and partners and instead of being respected, they are tested.
A common example is when a guy at a bar asks a girl for her number, she says no I’m not interested, and yet he continues to badger her in hopes she will give in and give it to him. It is also seen between friends, in relationships or in the family.
Wherever there is a boundary needed, you are allowed to set that and allowed to stick by it.
It is okay to be firm on the boundaries you have, they are there for a reason. If people get hurt or offended by those boundaries, let them. That is their problem – not yours.
Too often than not, when lines are drawn in the sand, the people you have made them for keep trying to slowly wash them away. They think you should be taken out of your comfort zone, or that the lines can be tip-toed or they decide that if they push hard enough you’ll give in.
If you have drawn a line for someone, make them stay behind it — preferably six feet behind it. Don’t let them push you, or tiptoe around it, or guilt trip you because they feel offended.
Being strong in the boundaries you set helps a better communication flow, as well as maintaining the relationship you want that is healthy for everyone.
And if someone sets a boundary for you — Do. Not. Push it.
If you say okay, then revisit the topic over and over again, that’s pushing.
If you get upset and then guilt trip or pout until they feel bad about it, that’s pushing.
If you make constant jabs, jokes and pokes about it, that’s pushing.
It is the same thing as when you would ask your mom to do something as a kid and she said no. If the answer wasn’t “yes ma’am” and that was the last of it – there would be trouble for everyone involved.
We are all adults and should respect others and the boundaries that they put in place. It’s tiring to feel as though you can’t have a conversation with someone without hearing about how you turned them down, or how you don’t visit every weekend. You don’t want to be put in that place, neither do they.
Bottom line — no means no. It isn’t a maybe you can come back to later, it means no. So get over it and move on.