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7 Signs That People May Be Walking All Over You, and Here’s What to Do About It

Some people in our lives disrespect our needs and wishes without us realizing it, whether it’s someone from work, a family member, or a friend or partner. Setting boundaries in our lives is important because it keeps us safe and helps our needs to be met. Such boundaries could be physical, emotional, or romantic, and can suck our time and energy.

Because it’s so important to have healthy relationships in our lives, Bright Side has collected some of the most common ways your boundaries can get crossed.

1. You receive things that you didn’t ask for.

To feel heard and understood is important, like if you and your partner agreed to save money and not buy each other expensive presents. This is an important part of having a respectful relationship with someone.

This can leave you feeling guilty for not appreciating such gifts. It’s important here to reclarify your feelings and let them know that you had not agreed on this.

2. You justify their behavior.

For example, saying things like: “He only behaves like this when he’s stressed,” and “She makes fun of me, but I know she loves me really,” are not beneficial.

Instead, it’s important to recognize such behavior and then communicate what you don’t appreciate about it. Set up a boundary by communicating the consequences of their behavior, such as: “I will feel unhappy if you do that,” or “You’ll have to leave if you continue.”

3. You blame yourself when things go wrong.

This is common when boundaries are crossed as you take on the responsibilities of others. For example, if you and your family throw a party, you may end up doing everything on your own. When it starts to fall apart, you blame yourself for not being good enough.

Instead, it’s crucial to understand that you were not the only person responsible for the party and that perhaps it didn’t work out because no one helped you. Don’t take on the responsibilities of others — decide your contribution and stick to it.

4. Your decisions are not considered.

Anyone from a partner to a family member can potentially hurt you. For example, a boyfriend could be pushy with you by pressuring you to do things you’re not comfortable with, or your family doesn’t listen when you say, “No.”

In this case, communicate that you’re not happy. Use phrases such as: “That doesn’t work with me,” or “I am unhappy with this.” This will help you to calmly communicate and reclaim your boundaries with them.

5. You feel guilty about letting people down.

This could be seen in a situation where you have a planned night off from the kids but your partner keeps calling you, saying that your children miss you, which makes you feel guilty about not being there.

But remember that this is your night off and your partner has the responsibility of giving you this time. Firmly set up your boundaries so that you can focus on your own responsibilities, and your partner will have to deal with their own.

6. You often feel annoyed after spending time together.

This can happen when you go against your own values and wishes, as your feelings are not considered important by other people.

It’s crucial to first understand why you’re feeling so angry so that you can then put boundaries in place by telling them how you feel. It’s always important to be consistent with your boundaries so that there isn’t any confusion about what and what isn’t okay for you.

7. You notice they don’t take responsibility for their actions.

This means that you can find yourself in a position where you’re doubting yourself, as the other person may go as far as to deny their actions. This is a sign of “gaslighting,” a complex form of abuse.

It’s important to be direct about your boundaries, making clear what they are, saying when they’re crossed, and what will happen if they’re broken. But it’s crucial to remember that if someone is always intentionally crossing the line, then they may be a waste of your energy. You don’t have to fix them because they may not actually want to change.

Do you have any experience with people crossing your personal boundaries? How have you dealt with it?