It is important with any personal relationship, to set healthy boundaries from the very onset of the relationship. By “personal relationship,” I am not referring strictly to romantic ones but also friendships, family members, and professional relationships within the workplace. I think too often, people don’t really set their standards and expectations too concisely so it is easy for someone to feel like they are getting taken advantage of which is why it is beneficial to be mindful about how to set healthy boundaries from the start.
Communicate and Be Honest – It is most essential to be concrete when expressing to others what your boundaries are. This can be done with your words or your actions and sometimes a combination of both. If someone does something that bothers you, then you need to speak up and convey that to the other person. No one is a mind reader which is a reason why it is important to tell someone immediately if there is an issue so that it does not become an ongoing problem. Being as open and honest as possible is a good thing and one should never feel that they have to hide what they are feeling in order to maintain a relationship with the other person.
Apply Consequences When Necessary – Sometimes consequences are needed in order to shape a person’s behavior and show how you expect to be treated. I would consider this to be a tough love tactic but one that often works because most people don’t really learn a lesson unless there’s a consequence in place. I am not saying that you need to stoop to their level but find a way to implement a consequence and see if the other person’s behavior changes for the better.
Be Willing to Walk Away – The other person will always have the upper hand if you settle and tolerate their bad behavior. If you have the ability to walk away, you gain respect and send the message that you are not putting up with anyone’s nonsense. Although taking time away from this person might be temporary, it might be a good time to assess if you should remove yourself from this person altogether. People come and go and sometimes you have to weed out the bad ones who don’t have a place in your life to begin with.