Some people are nice and all…but then they don’t know how to respect your boundaries.
In that case, they’re not really nice, are they?
It’s time to pause and assess your relationships—from your besties, to your parents, to your colleagues, to your partner.
If someone you know displays these behaviors, they don’t respect your boundaries (and it’s probably time you do something about it).
1) They don’t ask permission
They don’t ask for your permission, they INFORM you instead.
They’d use your clothes and eat your food without asking if it’s okay with you. They’ll just tell you “Oh, I forgot to tell you, I ate your chocolate. I hope that’s okay.”
They make surprise visits too because hey, why can’t they drop by your house? They’re welcome, aren’t they?
To them, asking for permission is for acquaintances. But since you’re close, there’s no use for such a thing.
What’s yours is theirs and asking for permission is totally unnecessary because they KNOW you’ll say yes anyway.
2) Everything is “no biggie” for them
So what if they use your pen? It’s just a pen!
And what if they used your shampoo? It’s just freakin’ shampoo!
And what if they hang out at your place for a couple of hours? It’s not like they’ll live there for a month!
They always minimize and even question your boundaries.
And they’d find it offensive if you call them out because why should you make such a big deal of these “little things”?
People who shame you for setting boundaries want you to feel awful for setting boundaries because they feel like, if you really see them as someone special in your life, you wouldn’t mind sharing your stuff.
3) They think “No” means “Maybe”
Let’s say they do ask permission from you. But they don’t want to hear “No.”
So they’ll keep begging and using manipulative tactics so you’ll turn your “no” into a “maybe”, then eventually a “yes”.
And you know what’s annoying?
Most of the time, people who do this are proud of how they have the skills to change people’s minds.
They’ll brag about how much you really love because you can’t say “no” to them.
4) They “forget” your boundaries
You’ve told them about your boundaries—repeatedly.
Let’s say you’ve told them more than three times that you don’t want them to visit you at work because you want to keep personal matters outside the office. But they’ll do it anyway.
It’s like they never even heard you or they suddenly got amnesia.
And when you confront them again about it, they’d say “Ahh yeah, I totally forgot that” or “Oh geez, I didn’t know you meant that!”, or worse “But it’s just for a few minutes! Calm down!”
5) They always have some excuse to cross your boundaries
“I know you don’t want me to use your things but I have a very important job interview and I need good pants, so …”
“I know you hate getting calls at midnight but I think I’m going to explode if I won’t share what happened to my date!”
They always have some sort of emergency and “valid” excuse.
And it’s very clear that they simply care about themselves because they don’t give a damn if they inconvenience you.
6) They leave you with no choice
If they know you’ll turn them down if they’ll ask nicely, they’ll just drop the bomb so you will have no choice but to deal with it.
So let’s say, if they know there’s a chance you won’t babysit your niece if they ask because you’re too busy, they will just drop your niece at your front door!
That way, you won’t even have the heart to decline their request.
They’ll say “Sis, I’m sorry, I have to leave her for a few hours. I have something very important to do. Love you!”
Of course you now have no choice. You can’t shoo away your niece, can you? Unlike others, you’re a compassionate human being!
7) They ignore your hints
Sometimes, it’s hard for you to say “no” directly.
You’re just not assertive enough and so you’d rather express your boundaries in indirect ways, hoping they’ll be sensitive enough to read you.
So instead of telling your friends to go home because you have work to do, you’d turn on your laptop and start working.
You might even tell them “I gotta work”, hoping they’d respect you enough and leave you, but they just… don’t.
Unless you become explicitly clear of your boundaries, they’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist because they’re still enjoying what you have to offer.
8) They promise it will be the last time
They won’t ignore your boundaries, but they’ll still cross it and tell you it’s the last time they’ll do it.
“I know you told me not to invite friends over but I promise this is the last time. I just have no choice!”
They’ll try to act nice and tell you they have no choice and that you’re the only one who can help them.
The thing is…of course, it won’t be the last time. There’s going to be another “last time” and another one, and another one.
9) They use the family card
They believe that family SHOULD be there for each other— all the time, no matter what!
So if they need something from you, it’s hard for you to say “no” because otherwise, you’re not being a good daughter/ son/ sibling.
And in those times where you’re able to build the courage to set your boundaries, they’ll make you feel guilty for even setting boundaries…like you committed a sin.
They’ll make you feel like you’re a heartless person for “betraying” your family.
Of course, they’ll forget all the good things you did for them because they’ll just focus on the fact that you said “No”.
10) They use the friendship card
So like your toxic family, they’ll use your friendship as a way to get favors from you.
They’ll say “Hey, aren’t friends supposed to be there for each other?” or “I know you’re a really good friend and you won’t turn me down…”
It’s annoying to hear these lines because it’s hypocritical.
If they’re really a good friend, they’d care about the sustainability of your friendship and most of all, they’ll care about YOU—and the least they can do is respect your boundaries.
11) They’ll express themself because “it’s their right to”
I have an ex who kept bothering me with text messages.
He texted me “I know I’m not supposed to, but I really miss you.” or “You’re still my best love”.
I repeatedly told him that I don’t want to receive these types of messages and if he still wants my friendship, he should stop.
His reply was “It’s my RIGHT to express my feelings. You can’t take this away from me.”
Well, I have the right to block him, too. So I did.
If someone makes you feel like it’s their right to do anything even if it crosses your boundaries, then they’re selfish and they don’t really care about you.
12) They ask help from others to “win your heart”
If you say “no” to their requests, they won’t say another word…but they’ll ask the help from others!
So let’s say they wanted to borrow your car and you said you’re not comfortable about it, they’d ask your mother to convince you that they can be trusted.
Or you said “no” when they borrowed $5,000 to buy a ticket for a flight to Bali with their daughter. They’d ask their daughter to message you directly and say “Please auntie…this trip is very important for me and mom”.
They won’t give up without a good fight because people who don’t respect boundaries don’t really care about what others feel. All they care about is getting what they want. Period.
Setting boundaries is not easy, and neither is being mindful of the boundaries of others.
It’s like a dance.
You set your boundaries and people know it, but sometimes they can’t help but step on your foot. And it’s also expected that you’d step on their foot from time to time.
But with a little bit of assertiveness, patience, and most of all love, you can help each other dance more gracefully.
But if you realize that they really don’t want to respect and cooperate with you, keep your distance. Don’t allow them to get closer until they can prove to you that they’re someone who knows how to respect others.