Sometimes a person doesn’t respect your wishes or does not understand you when you communicate your wants and needs. If this puts you in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation, you must set and enforce boundaries with that person.
Although you have a right to get your needs met, you don’t have a right to control someone else. Instead of telling the other person what to do, tell him what you’ll do if your needs aren’t met. This gives the other person a choice of meeting your needs or accepting the consequence. The consequence should be reasonable and, more important, it should be something you can and will enforce if you need to.
The consequence is the final boundary. It defines what you will not tolerate from others. Although it might be uncomfortable following through with a consequence, it’s important that you’re willing to do it when another person refuses to respect your wants, needs or wishes.
In situations where you’re afraid the other person may cause you physical harm, it’s important to share your concerns with an adult who can help enforce the boundary. The adult could be a family member, a trusted family friend or a law enforcement officer. It’s especially important to tell an adult if the person you’re setting boundaries with has threatened to harm you or your family or is physically, verbally or sexually abusive.