Standing your ground is a lot easier said than done. For many of us, we’ve been conditioned to be as polite and accommodating as possible to the people around us – even if they treat us rudely. There’s a fine line between being polite and being a doormat, so how do you put your foot down and get people to respect you?
If you’ve ever had trouble drawing the line for people, here are some simple suggestions to help you be a firmer, more assertive person. Just keep doing these things, and people will learn to treat you with the respect you deserve!
Be consistent – make it clear that no means no.
One of the reasons why you may be having trouble setting boundaries is that sometimes you say yes, and sometimes you say no – even when the situation is exactly the same. Don’t let yourself be swayed by your emotions or the heat of the moment!
Consistently refuse, and people will stop thinking they can get away with walking all over you. Over time, saying “no” will become a stronger habit for you, and they won’t think they can bully you into something so easily.
Steer clear of people who clearly don’t respect boundaries.
Sometimes no matter how much energy you spend trying to establish boundaries. There will be some people who will keep trying to make you do what they want. It’s very frustrating when these people are your friends or your loved ones. So, focus your time and effort on the people who do respect you.
While you don’t have to cut them off. You can choose to limit your interactions with them, and avoid getting into situations where they will try to make you compromise your boundaries.
Communicate how you’re feeling, but focus on what you’re saying – not how you’re reacting!
The key to establishing clear boundaries is to tell people what they are, in no uncertain terms. It’s important that you put aside any heated emotions. Instead, tell people “I want ____” or “This is how I feel.” Focus on “I” statements and don’t get tempted into a shouting match. It’s better to walk away than to waste your energy on people who are willing to rile you up like that.
Tell yourself that it’s okay to set boundaries in the first place.
People have a hard time setting boundaries because they feel too intimidated to speak up and ask for respect. Remind yourself that what you are feeling is valid and that you have a right to be treated with consideration and care. You should also tell yourself that you deserve to have the regard of the people around you and that your feelings matter more than their opinions.
Remember: it doesn’t matter if they say “it’s just a joke” or “don’t take it too seriously”. How you feel should come first.
Be kind to yourself while you’re in the process of setting up your boundaries. It can take some getting used to. Especially if you weren’t always the kind of person to speak up for yourself.
When in doubt, think about how you would defend your own friend if someone violated their boundaries. That’s how much you should defend yourself. Because, you should give yourself that same love and care! With these suggestions, people will start giving you respect and taking more care with the way they treat you.