Your boundaries are about you. Not them.
They exist to keep YOU safer. They are chosen by YOU, for YOUR reasons.
Don’t let anyone try to make your boundaries about them.
There are totally people who will TRY to make your boundaries about them.
They’ll act insulted that you feel the need to set a certain boundary with them.
They’ll try to convince you that they are the exception to your boundaries— that you’re being unreasonable to expect THEM to adhere to this boundary that you’d expect anyone else to adhere to.
When somebody else tries to make your boundary about them, what they’re actually trying to do is construct a loophole for themselves.
The fact is, we don’t have boundaries in place just to piss off or inconvenience anybody else.
We have boundaries because we need our relationships to have a certain amount of predictability and relative safety in them.
When our relationships DON’T have that predictability and relative safety, it become hard to function within them, because we are always on our guard.
You wouldn’t know it from the way some people respond to setting boundaries or having boundaries set with them, but most boundaries are actually pretty straightforward.
If someone wants to be in a relationship with us, either casually or intimately, it’s normal to expect there to be some boundaries involved.
Boundaries can range from “don’t talk to me like that,” to “I prefer not to reveal that information to you,” to “don’t touch me like that,” to “I’m not available during this time frame.”
We adhere to boundaries all the time in almost every one of our human relationships. Most of them are NOT hard. Many boundaries are implicit in our everyday interactions with many people.
All of which is to say, you are NOT “high maintenance,” mean, or otherwise unreasonable for needing and expecting boundaries in all types of relationships.
It’s a bummer that some people think boundaries are an insult. Because actually they are kind of the opposite: if I’m setting a boundary with you, it means I have at least some hope you’ll adhere to it, which is really a sign of respect.
Some people will try to emotionally blackmail you into letting them violate your boundaries. I wish that didn’t happen, but it does.
It’s difficult to watch someone be upset by a boundary we’ve set.
It can trigger old stuff in us, often which revolves around the idea that our basic needs and preferences are somehow harmful to someone else, thus we don’t have a right to those needs and preferences.
How someone else reacts or responds to a boundary isn’t up to us.
How someone feels about having to adhere to a boundary of ours is a “them” issue. It’s not a “you” issue.
Sometimes someone will be straightforward about the fact that if they’re not allowed to violate this boundary of yours, then they don’t want to be in this relationship with you.
It’s a bummer if someone feels that way, but, again: that’s a decision THEY are making.
Don’t let someone else’s bad behavior dictate what you are and aren’t willing to do to keep yourself emotionally or physically safe.
This WILL get easier with practice.
Just remember: you are NOT responsible for someone else’s maturity— or lack thereof.