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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Setting Boundaries

Do you have somebody in your life who constantly violates your boundaries? If so, I have some useful tips on how to keep these people in check.

Rule #1 is never to explain your actions. Make a decision, inform people if they really need to be informed, and stop talking. 

“I’m not going to work on this project.”

“No, I can’t join this committee.”

“I’m going on a trip to Málaga next month.”

That’s it. No “because, I’m so busy right now, this trip is very important to me, etc.”

You don’t lose the battle when you fail to convince that your reasons are valid. You lose the moment you accept that somebody is entitled to a debate on your decisions. {Of course, I’m only talking about people who violate boundaries. A discussion with those who don’t do that can be a very good thing.}

The problem here is strictly internal. The person you really need to convince that you have the competence and the authority to make your own decisions is yourself. Boundary violators sense your doubts and peck at you because they know you are vulnerable in that area. 

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