Figuring out where to set boundaries and knowing how to set them can be challenging. I recently interviewed Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Associate Editor of PsychCentral.com about how to handle when someone consistently crosses your boundary.
(By the way, the photo to the left is of me and my dear friend and colleague, Joe Sanok. He actually has very good boundaries but I think it’s such a great picture.)
If you struggle to set healthy boundaries with pushy family members, pick up today’s Wall Street Journal and find Elizabeth Bernstein’s article “The Delicate Art of Pushing Back: When Nosy Relatives Step Over the Line, Be Calm, Clear and Set Firm Boundaries” for some helpful tips, including a couple of mine!
Here are my contribution to the topic…
Don’t worry too much about giving offense
Experts say when setting boundaries you can’t worry too much about giving offense. Remember that you have a right to set the boundary. “I often remind my clients that no one has ever died from being disappointed or offended,” says Julie Hanks, a licensed clinical social worker in Salt Lake City.
Assume positive intent
To establish, or re-establish, boundaries with someone you care about, start with empathy, Ms. Hanks says. Assume positive intent. The other person probably didn’t mean to hurt or annoy you. A mother-in-law who drops by unannounced too often may miss her grandchildren and want a closer relationship with you.
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