What It Means To Set Boundaries

There is a difference between asking for what you want in relationship and setting boundaries. Asking is expressing your feelings and desires. Setting boundaries is protecting them.  – Regina Cates

Regina BannerIn making some of the final preparations to publish my book I went to Google and did a search of several key phrases and terms I felt confident were original to me. I wanted to be certain my writings were indeed mine. I did not want to claim something someone else wrote, even if they were similar through an honest but unintended coincidence.

On the very first search I was surprised to find several of my original writings that I’d posted on Facebook on a woman’s Blog Spot page. She took my quotes verbatim but failed to attribute them to me as author. It was an example of blatant plagiarism because she had given credit to several well-known authors for their work. Each of my writings went without proper credit which gave her readers the impression they were original to her.

I wrote bringing the matter to her attention. I requested she remove all of my original writing from her site or give me credit. She was embarrassed claiming it was simply an oversight but agreed to comply with my wishes. In this case I clearly asked for what I wanted and she honored my wishes. But had she refused I would have been forced to take further action.

Asking for what we want in relationship and setting boundaries in our lives will not always be limited to family, friends, and those close to us. Regardless of the association we have with other people, no matter how distant or familiar, we must stand up for what is morally, ethically, and spiritually correct. To do so we must not be afraid to set boundaries with people who cross those lines.

No, it is not easy and it will not necessarily make us popular with those whose negative behavior is being challenged. But shining a light on unacceptable behavior is still the right action. One of the most important things to remember about setting boundaries is that our actions teach. If we clearly state what is unacceptable in relationship we are teaching others about appropriate behavior and how we value and respect ourselves. If we do not set boundaries because we do not want to rock the boat, or we feel we are protecting others by not speaking up, or we believe that challenging someone will make our life worse, we are teaching that abuse and mistreatment are okay. They are not.

For more inspiration from Regina check out her podcast.  Click the image below.

Regina Sundays