Learning how to respect boundaries is not a one-time thing that you learn and then can go on with your life. It is something that we all must learn to do if we want to have successful relationships with others. Many of these things can be easily understood if you think about how you would feel on the flip side. I hope these tips on how to respect boundaries make your relationships much richer for knowing them.
1. Accept What Others Want to Share
One of the first things you need to know about in how to respect boundaries is to accept what others want to share. This means that you don’t push for more information when the person you are speaking with is finished sharing. Sometimes this can be difficult when you are speaking with someone that you really care about. You may want more information so that you can better understand what they are going through, but accepting their limit on what they share is an important part of respecting boundaries.
2. Don’t Expect Others to do What You Say
You know, a lot of times we think that we know what is best for those that we care about. Sometimes we are spot on about what they need to do in their lives. But most people, no matter how much they love you or how close you are, will not do what you say. Each person has to make their own mind up about what is best for them to do in their life. We want the same respect, don’t we?
3. Be Careful in How You Frame Your Advice
Be very careful in how you frame your advice to others. If what you have to say comes across as condescending or make you sound as if you are a know-it-all, your advice will not be well received. The person you are giving advice to will be highly unlikely to take that advice. It is best to say that you have a suggestion they may want to think over or to say what you would do if it were you. Think carefully about the advice you give before you give it.
4. Don’t Offer Unsolicited Advice
Going right along with number 3, it is usually best to not offer advice unless someone asks for it. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, the person will most likely ask for your advice if they want it. Secondly, they are much more likely to give your advice serious consideration if they have sought it out rather than you giving it without being asked. Observe this situation for a period of time and see what you think.
5. Don’t Ask Nosy Questions
You know, it is difficult when you love someone to not ask nosy questions sometimes. You love them and you want to know that they are doing okay because you care. That is admirable. But there are some people that will not interpret your caring as such. It is best to not ask nosy questions so that there are no potential problems to come of it.
6. Don’t Be Overly Helpful
I will admit I have had to learn this lesson the hard way. When I care about someone, I will just do anything within my power to help them. I want the best for those that I care about. Sadly though, many people do not wish to have your help and will even resent you for it. Although your intentions are good it is best to offer help but leave it at that in most cases.
7. Respect Other’s Intelligence and Abilities
Other people have the ability to think for themselves. And in most cases, they have the intelligence to make their own decisions in life, whether or not you agree with them. Realizing that you are only responsible for yourself and your life is a great big step in learning to respect other’s boundaries. Many of these little tips are things that you realize are only common sense when you think about them. However, some of them are very difficult to realize until you have learned the hard way.
I truly hope that these little tips bring you greater peace and happiness in your relationships. Do you have others to add? Have you experienced learning any of these tips yourself?