Demand Respect for Yourself by Putting Physical Boundaries in Place!

Thursday, May 31, 2018 @ 12:23 PM

Setting boundaries is a way of caring for myself. It doesn’t make me mean, selfish, or uncaring (just) because I don’t do things your way. I care about me, too. - Christine Morgan

You have taken the time to do some self-reflection. How has it been going?

So far, you have taken the following steps:

1. You identified what your physical boundary looks like. I would encourage you to give it as much character as you need to be able to envision it. Red, prickly, a bubble, soft, glass, etc.

2. You decided how far your boundary would span. Was there anything that created discomfort in deciding this? Were you afraid that you might get pushback from someone when setting this boundary?

3. You then practiced putting this boundary in place. While you were practicing, did you verbally express this boundary to those around you?

Ask for What You Need.
The #1 thing to remember when setting a boundary. You are NOT responsible for the other person's reaction/response to your boundary. You are only responsible for doing what is best for you by asking for what you need.

Setting Physical Boundaries
Physical boundaries can encompass any of the following:
1. Your body
2. Personal Space
3. Privacy

Personal Space
You explored one area of setting a physical boundary when you examined how much space you needed to feel comfortable. Now, lets take this a step further. What would it look like if you made others aware of your personal space by setting a boundary? The following are some examples of ways to enforce your boundary:

1. If someone comes into your personal space, you can move away. This shows them through body language that they have come too close.
2. You can say to them, "I am uncomfortable with this amount of space, I am going to take a step back."
3. If they continue to move closer, you can put your hand up, tell them to stop, and move back yourself.
4. If they continue not to respect your boundary, you can walk away.

Boundaries do not have to be rude. You are asking for what you need. Most people will respect that.

We all need and deserve privacy. The level of privacy each person needs though is individual. Maybe this means that you are in the bathroom or your bedroom and need privacy. Maybe this means that you have a journal or place in your phone that you keep notes that are personal. The following are some examples of ways to enforce your boundary:
1. Express what you want and need.
(ex. You can say, " I need privacy in my bathroom or bedroom, and I ask that you not come in unless you knock, out of respect for me and my privacy.")

2. You discover that your boundary isn't enough and you need more.
(ex. The person respected your boundary and knocked, but didn't wait until you responded and came in. You can then say, "I appreciate you respecting what I asked for with knocking, would you also wait until I respond, as I also need that time to prepare for you to open the door.")

3. Can I say no to someone after they respected my boundaries?
Yes. You can ALWAYS say no. If someone respects what you have asked for thus far and you still feel like you need further privacy, you can always ask for that. (ex. "Thank you for respecting my boundaries. Now is not a good time, can you come back please?")

The same goes for a journal or private notes in your phone. If someone asks you to read them and you do not want someone to read them. (ex. You can say, "No. Those are my private notes and I do not feel comfortable with you reading them.")

Your Body
Your body is sacred and you get to treat it as so. You get to determine what you are comfortable with and who you are comfortable with.

If you have experienced a boundary violation in this area, I would encourage you to spend extra time around figuring out what feels safe for you.

YOU get to determine what feels safe. Do you feel comfortable letting anyone hug you at any point? Does it matter whether they hug you from the front or come from behind you? Do you need to be in a good spot mentally to accept touch/hugs? What do you need around feeling safe with touch?

You can set boundaries around your body by saying:
"I am not comfortable with you touching me without my permission."
"Please ask my permission or let me know before you come up to hug me."
"I will let you know what I am and am not okay with. I am not okay with you touching me however and wherever you want."
If they are touching you without your permission or aggressively, you can tell them to, "Stop!", push them away, then walk or run away to a place that you feel safe.

In all of three of these areas, there can be different comfort levels. It can change our comfort level if we are the ones initiating touch, the proximity, or level of privacy, in comparison to someone else initiating it. We can feel more comfortable if we initiate and less comfortable with others. When others initiate, it can be unpredictable, which can raise the levels of discomfort. ‚Äč