The Link Between New Boundaries and Respect

The link between new boundaries and respect

The link between new boundaries and respect

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss the link between new boundaries and respect.

First a quick update:

“12 Tips to overcoming end of year blues, sadness and depression”
When something comes to an end, there is always a sense of loss, even if it is something we actually wanted and hoped would end.  Endings naturally bring about grieving. And for most people, the same applies to the end of each year – grieving for what has passed or ended and, hope & joy or fear & anxiety for what is about to come. Read my article with the top 12 tips.

Now, let’s talk about the link between new boundaries and respect.

In my seventh annual list of the Top 10 Celebrity Meltdowns, I identify that the theme in 2013 was the blurring and shrinking lines and boundaries of right and wrong. And above all, it is celebrities that are blatantly blurring the lines and boundaries of decency, respect and morality. Read the article here.

Moral boundaries are simply delineations of what are acceptable behaviors, and what are not acceptable behaviors.

Do you know and do you have personal limits and boundaries?

Do you know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in your life?

Do you know your personal boundaries in relationships?

Recently, I was at an event with a couple of friends. A new friend, Jillian was chatting with some people. One man, upon learning that Jillian is a masseuse, said he wanted a demonstration. He turned his back to her and gestured that she should begin to give him a shoulder massage so that he could determine whether or not he would want to use her services.

Jillian proceeded to fulfill his request.

Of course, her response was her choice but the question remains, was she demeaning the value of her work and services?

It might have been obvious to onlookers that this man was either engaging in a power struggle, making a flirting action or at the very least revealing that he did not respect her work as a professional.

If she had been a doctor or dentist, would he have asked for a complimentary diagnosis there in front of everyone?

The point is that Jillian was not clear about her professional, personal or physical boundaries and chose not to say “No” or “You are welcome to make an appointment or review my testimonials.”

Jillian was not clear about her boundaries.

What she also did not realize in the moment was that she was giving away her personal power, allowing someone else, a complete stranger to tell her what to do while also diminishing the value of her services.

Personal boundaries are also a measure of self-esteem.

Just this week, the former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife Silda announced that they were ending their marriage, more than five years after she stood by his side as he resigned over a prostitution scandal.

In fact, when he resigned over the scandal, Silda blamed herself for her husband’s use of a prostitute stating it was her fault because she was inadequate: “The wife is supposed to take care of the sex. This is my failing; I wasn’t adequate.”

However, it appears that maybe Silda finally determined her boundaries: the split comes after allegations by the New York Post that Elliot Spitzer was in a relationship with a spokeswoman for New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.

We teach other people how to treat us based on what we allow them to do – the behavior we deem by others as acceptable. If you allow a person to slap you a second and third time, then you are clearly saying ‘you can slap me.’

Personal boundaries can also be viewed as lines of self-respect i.e. ‘I will not allow you to disrespect me in this way.’

The first step in creating new boundaries is to clearly indentify and mark them.

Personal boundaries can be split into material, physical, mental, psychological and spiritual boundaries.

1. Material – What is it that you want people to stop taking from you?
This can refer to clothes, money, your car and other personal belongings.

2. Physical – What is it that you want people to stop doing to you?
In another example with Jillian: she has a male friend who simply grabs her and hugs her; although she feels quite uncomfortable about it, she has not done anything about it – yet.

3. Mental – What is it that you want people to stop saying to you?
This can refer to flirtatious, inappropriate comments or negative comments to you about you. A client complained about a colleague who makes flirtatious comments to her, even though she is married and believes that she has done nothing to encourage it; she had also done nothing to stop it i.e. clearly state her boundaries.

4. Psychological – What is it that you want people to stop doing around you?
This can refer to specific behaviors (bad personal habits) or words (cussing, rude, derogatory words, jokes or language.)

5. Spiritual – What is it that you want people to stop saying to you?
This refers to your religious or spiritual beliefs and implies a mutual respect and acceptance of each other’s beliefs. Interestingly, the controversy sparked by reality TV star Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty who stated his Christian beliefs about sin (admittedly, in a coarse and offensive manner) has also now created a battle over the boundaries between Christian beliefs about homosexuality and gay advocacy groups.

6. Emotional – What is it that you want people to stop doing to you?
This refers to people trying to emotionally manipulate you by using guilt, blame, or unfair expectations. Conversely, beware of taking things personally – be responsible for your own emotions and emotional responses.

Once you have indentified what you are willing to accept and what you are not willing to accept, the next step is to state in positive terms what you want and what you expect from this person if he/she wishes to continue to have a relationship with you (personal, social, romantic or professional.)

Setting personal boundaries is a choice and the other person has a choice to respect your boundaries or not. Not everyone will welcome your new boundaries; you must be willing to stand firm for your boundaries and be willing to give up the relationship if the boundaries are not being respected and if the relationship is destructive or unhealthy.

Every relationship should include behavior which is supportive and which demonstrates sincere caring, concern and respect.

Remember, people won’t respect you if you don’t respect yourself.

Finally, when you are ready to say “No” read these articles:

How to Say “No”

Saying “No!”

5 Tips to Setting Boundaries

The Fear to Speak Up

And if you need help to gain emotional strength, consider a one-on-one private session with me. Watch the video here.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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