“Pay attention when people react with anger and hostility to your boundaries. You have found the edge where their respect for you ends.” — Unknown
CONDITIONAL love is the same as conditional respect. In response to safe boundaries some people respond by switching off their respect. Some people think that love and respect are dependent on how they feel. But effective relationships depend on love and respect if trust is to flow.
It’s important to have had some relationships where our boundaries have been treated with disdain. It teaches us the difference between relationships that work for both parties as opposed to those that work for just one person. It’s apparent straight away, that when relationships work for just one person, where there is respect just one way, the end of the relationship as it is needs to be nigh.
Those who disregard our boundaries tend then to get hostile when we enforce them.
There is another offender; one who oversteps the mark, continually forgetting where it was. Can we trust people who are repeat transgressors? Not beyond the realms of possibility, but there’s work to be done. It depends on the person’s heart.
It is good to have the courage to enforce boundaries and to reinforce them by removing trust when respect is denied. How else are they to learn? Why would we enable their bad behaviour? Why would we make that rod for our own back?
The biggest problem with people who will not respect our boundaries is the anxiety that increases in us as we interact with them. That is our heart telling us something: ‘I don’t feel safe here, with this person in this situation.’
So, pay attention when your wishes attract the ire of someone who wishes for you to trust them. Neither trust nor respect work one way. They are always reciprocal. Reasonable people respect boundaries.
None of this work of enforcing boundaries is easy, but if we are to have safe, loving relationships we will use trust and respect as the barometer.