4 Reasons Why Your Boundaries Aren’t Respected

Updated: Nov 26



Healthy boundary setting is an integral part of any relationship and is a quick and easy way to set us up for self-care success. When we set boundaries, we give people instructions on how to treat us. This helps set clear expectations and allows us to be less resentful when our needs go unmet.


However, sometimes we like the idea of a person or a relationship so much, we compromise our boundaries to maintain this relationship. Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries can be difficult if your natural personality type is a people-pleaser or fixer.

If you feel like people tend to disrespect you or treat your worse than how you treat them, this can be due to not appropriately setting boundaries. Read on four reasons why people don't respect your boundaries.


Your Boundaries Are Too Flexible

Vague boundaries are hard to set and to maintain. When setting boundaries, be as specific as possible - this includes your required action from the other person and your response if your needs are unmet.


For example, a clear-cut boundary might look like you are offering to help someone after you have completed your workday or telling a friend you are willing to go out if you can be home by a specific time.


Remember, for boundaries to be effective, they must be crystal clear.


Your Boundaries Are Too Vague

Vague boundaries are hard to set and maintain. When setting boundaries, be as specific as possible - this includes your required action from the other person and your response if your needs are unmet.


For boundaries to be effective, make them crystal clear.


For example, a clear-cut boundary might look like you offering to help someone, after you have completed your work day or telling a friend you are willing to go out, if you can be home by a specific time.


Your Boundaries Have Not Been Verbalize

Believe it or not, sometimes your boundaries are only in your head and have not been verbalized. You may have previously been in an environment where your boundaries were not challenged or tested or are a person who prefers to limit interaction to avoid their boundaries being disrespected and have never needed to verbalize your needs and boundaries.


Some example scripts of how to properly verbalize boundaries are:

  1. I want to help you with this, but I'm exhausted from work today and don't have the energy for such a big project now. Can we plan a time in the future to work on it together?

  2. I don't feel comfortable with ________. My preference is to __________

  3. I feel most loved/respected when you _________

  4. No. (Because it is a complete sentence)

When setting boundaries, do not be afraid to verbalize your wants, needs, and limits or feel guilty for enforcing them.


You Set Boundaries That You Are Not Ready Or Willing To Enforce

One of the most challenging things about setting clear boundaries is being ready or willing to do the hard work of enforcing that boundary when the time comes.


This can look like staying at work late because you just started a new job or not speaking up in a new relationship. The best time and way to set boundaries is early and often.


Enforcing boundaries may cause conflict. Be sure to be respectful and not be aggressive and prepared to lose friends It can be hard to stand up for yourself, but it is worth it. And enforcing boundaries will help ensure people who are in your life are good for you.

Sometimes no matter how crystal clear our boundaries are set and enforced, people will still refuse to respect them. Examples of someone who continues to push your limits can present like the following:

  1. They ask you to complete actions you find uncomfortable or would be an inconvenience.

  2. They encourage you to partake in activities detrimental to your physical, mental, or emotional health.

  3. They use your insecurities against you.

  4. They prey on your personality type to help people without ever reciprocating your actions.

If you have people in your life that refuse to respect your boundaries, you should probably limit contact or cut ties completely. However, if you are unsure if this should be a temporary or permanent change, check out How To Set Boundaries With Toxic People for steps you can take when people don't respect your boundaries.


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