I am Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits.
People are marvelously imperfect, all of us. We make mistakes from time to time. Many times when someone steps on our toes emotionally, it isn’t intentional. Sometimes it is. In any case, here are a few tips for addressing situations where you feel like relationship boundaries were not honored.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Boil Over
Don’t respond immediately. Give yourself some time to process difficult emotions. You may have seen this happen before. You can’t believe someone harmed you in some way. Your emotions are running high and hot. You say something that you regret later, and you wish you would have stepped away from the situation before you acted.
Let the offending party know you are upset. Then communicate that you respect the relationship enough not to make it worse by talking about what happened before you can control your emotions.
Communicate Your Boundaries Again, and Be Specific
Talk about what happened. Don’t be vague. Don’t tell someone, “I just need a little space.” That isn’t clearly detailed. Your needs won’t be met because you didn’t express them in specifics. Instead, say something like this.
“I am still processing what happened. I need some time to think about things. Let’s set aside some time tomorrow to meet and talk this out. If I can have some alone time until then, I think that would be better for both of us.”
You are being very clear about what you need right now. You let the other person know what you expect of them, and what timeframe you need before you discuss what happened. Then when the two of you sit down, clearly communicate what boundaries you feel they overstepped and how that made you feel.
Communicate Clear Consequences
You are hurt. Someone betrayed you in some way. You surely don’t want this to happen again. Maybe you assume that it was a mistake and was a one-time deal. You tell the offending party that it’s not a big issue and you simply move forward with the relationship.
That’s very nice of you, but all this is doing is making it likely that something similar might happen in the future. That’s because you didn’t communicate that there would be clear consequences if there is a repeat performance of an overstepped boundary. Respect yourself and the other person enough to tell them what you are prepared to do in the event of overstepped boundaries.
Boundaries are all about respect. Both parties need to respect themselves as individuals, as well as any other people in a relationship. That doesn’t happen without clearly defined boundaries. When those borderlines are established and overstepped, these are a few things you can do to help get the relationship back on the right track.
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I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits. Please go to businessofrehab.com/contractnegotiations to pick up the free guide to help you negotiate the contract of your dreams.
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