Are you tired of being voiceless and walked all over in your relationship? Every time you try to speak up about your concerns you feel like it’s falling on deaf ears. You’re slowly turning into a wilted petunia and feel as though no matter what you say you’re not getting the respect in a relationship you deeply desire.
What if it’s not what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it? This can make a significant difference. To receive respect from others, you need to define your core values and operate from them consistently. This is where you will communicate from and how to get your needs met. The more in tune you are with what you want and need for a fulfilling relationship, the easier it will make to gain the respect you desire.
Here are 7 ways to become a boundary badass and get the respect in a relationship you need.
1. Define your limitations
Knowing what you accept versus what is crossing the line begins with establishing your limitations. Your limitations are based on your core beliefs and give you a place to speak from when establishing boundaries. For example, you believe cheating is disrespectful to a relationship. So, you will want to communicate to your partner “I value loyalty in my relationships. Is this something you’re willing to give to me?”
When defining your limitations, it’s best to establish at least five relationship values that you will operate from within your relationship. Because when differences arise you can bring your concerns to your partner’s attention from a place of value. This prevents emotionally flooding your partner. And, if your partner isn’t willing to give you the respect in a relationship you deserve based on your values, then it may be best to let this person go. You won’t be happy in a relationship that is incongruent with your relationship values.
2. Listen to your feelings
When your feelings are being evoked, you may instinctively feel the need to react emotionally to the issue at hand. However, when you’re in a heightened emotional state, this can sometimes lead to verbal outbursts or the opposite, a complete shutdown. And most likely, the discord will only spiral downward from there－not much can be resolved from a fiery or stonewalling situation.
But, what if you could take a step back and actively listen to what is going on internally when your partner has crossed a personal limit. When you’re able to achieve a calm emotional state and listen to your feelings, you can understand the root of your uncomfortable emotions. This allows you to speak from a place of respect based on your values, not emotion.
For example, say your partner went out all night with their friends and didn’t respond back to your text messages. You’re extremely upset and lash out by stating, “It is beyond disrespectful to ignore my messages. I told you not to do this to me. Where are you?” Your partner continues to dismiss your text messages and waits to talk to you when they get home.
When circumstances like this arise in a relationship, blaming your partner won’t get the response you want. You want to switch your approach from reactive to constructive for your needs to be met. You can state the following to your partner from a place of values using “I” statements, such as “Open communication and trust is something I value in a relationship. Being ignored makes it difficult to have trust. Is this something you’re willing to work with me on?” Your partner shall respect what you’re saying and make the adjustment based on your values.
If not, then is it really worth the frustration and hurt feelings? A healthy relationship needs two people who want to respectfully work together for the greater good of the relationship. If one partner does not, then it will be one-sided and the other partner will find difficulty in being happy in the partnership.
3. Be direct with communication
When establishing boundaries with your partner, you’ll want to be clear and concise with your message. Drawn out emotional responses will lose the attention of your partner, often going in one ear and out the other. Overly emotional communication can be seen as dramatic. If you want to be heard, then you’ll want to keep to the point in when getting your needs met.
Direct communication can be defined by following your ABC’s: Amicable, Brief, and Constructive. When your message is conveyed using the ABC’s it will be easier for your partner to understand what you’re asking for. They then can determine if it is something they can work with you on.
Calm: Statements are positive, kind, and respectful.
Concise: Short and firm points will help to eliminate misunderstandings.
Constructive: Effective and valuable. Use “I” statements to speak from a place of values. And ask yourself, How can WE work together to resolve this matter?
4. Believe in your self-worth
If you lack self-worth, then speaking from a place of value may seem like a foreign language. You may feel guilty or fear your concerns aren’t valid in your relationship. If your partner tries to dominate, then working on your self-worth will do you wonders to becoming an equal.
This will help you feel more confident in your relationship and dissolve any power struggles.
When you know your self-worth, operating from your values if fairly easy because you know what you bring to the table in the dynamic. You believe you are worthy of love and respect in a relationship and you won’t accept anything less. Setting boundaries will be a no-brainer when you know what you deserve.
5. Practice self-care and self-love
Having healthy boundaries in your own life, allows you to establish them in your relationship. Taking care of your own needs by doing what makes you happy, enables you to thrive day in and day out. This is the first step to a healthier you.
When you honor your own feelings from a place of self-love, it’s much easier to navigate with others.
Your feelings give you the ability to create movement in your life, therefore motivating you in the direction you need to go. Making yourself a priority is the best thing you can do, as you are your longest commitment at the end of the day. When you feel better about yourself, you become more confident in communicating your needs.
6. Seek support
If you feel your partner continues to cross your boundaries after addressing them, then seek counsel from someone you trust. Whether it’s a family member, a dear friend, a health professional or a relationship coach, understand you deserve to feel validated and heard.
Seeking counsel can assist in the practice of setting boundaries. This can help ease or minimize any uncomfortable feelings you have around communicating boundaries to your partner. Additionally, this allows you to step away from the discord and breathe, giving you time to reach an amicable and constructive approach to express to your partner.
7. Initiate boundaries
The more you initiate boundaries, the easier it becomes to set them and have your needs met in your relationship. Your initial feelings will be less overwhelming, leaving you more in control of your own life. Not only does setting boundaries keep you healthy, it gives you courage, confidence, and communication skills to use in all your relationships, love or platonic. The sooner you set the boundary, the happier, and healthier you’ll feel and receive the respect you deserve.
Using these 7 ways to establish boundaries will help you feel confident in asking for respect in a relationship. When you establish your values, then meeting your needs will come with ease. A healthier and happier you gives you a healthier and happier relationship.
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