China Elevator Stories

When You Have Set (Reasonable) Boundaries But They Have Been Ignored, The Problem Is Not You But The Other Person

Another boundary violation = another post.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


Many of us had our boundaries smashed so badly as children that as grown-ups, we have to re-teach ourselves healthy boundaries.

After having learned a lot about boundaries and after having set good enough boundaries for a long time, you may realize that the problem with regards to boundaries is not you but the other person.

When I set boundaries, I like to look at how they can be set, which options are available, and which person can set them or is responsible for setting them. It is not always the case that you are the person who has to set certain boundaries, sometimes other people need to step in as well – for example, if a boundary violation occurred via a third party.

I like to compare boundaries to a flat with a door.

If you don’t have a door you can close, others may run into your flat without asking, they may take away your stuff pretending it’s theirs, or they may start to talk with you when you were asking them to leave you alone.

So naturally, if you lived in a flat without a door, the solution would be to get a door! Ideally, it would be a door you could lock.

But what if some people disrespect boundaries so much that they will then climb in through your window? Or get another key so that they can unlock your door and still get into your flat?

If you have run out of boundaries you can set with a person, the change has to come from the other person in that they actually start respecting your boundaries instead of violating them.

A decent person would respect your boundaries early on. Neither would they blame you for having healthy boundaries nor would they try to violate your boundaries on purpose.

A narcissist will disrespect your boundaries, and the worst narcissists will disrespect all or most of them all of the time.

Think Joris.

When I am sick, in his opinion, I am not allowed to lay down and sleep. I have to keep pretending that I am healthy and still make him the center of my attention.

Because he has violated my boundaries again, I am sharing this personal information about him as a consequence for another boundary violation:

He initially kept an important information about him a secret, which was that he is an alcoholic. It took a long time until I found out that he is. It is actually quite obvious if you look at a few of his videos – but I wasn’t aware that he could be, therefore I wasn’t even looking for clues.

He knew that I would not get into a relationship with an alcoholic, which is why he kept this a secret from me as long as he could.

One of the main reasons I got into a relationship with him was because he tricked me into getting into a relationship with him!

(On a side note: I am not actually wanting to blog about this, and I call this ‘over-blogging’. But things have gotten so out of hand that I have decided to blog about this with the hope that Joris will eventually learn to respect my boundaries.)

Have you ever tried to set boundaries with an impossible person?

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