By Linda Kelly, MSW, RSW
Setting boundaries is an essential skill that many of us struggle with. If you say no, do you feel guilty? When you refuse a request, does the other person make you feel badly? That's not okay.
In healthy relationships, boundaries are easily set and respected by both parties. In fact, they are expected. I expect that I can't come over to your house and crash on your couch for 4 days without having a really good reason (and even then!), so in that case, the boundary is present even if we don't talk about it.
Having and acknowledging boundaries is about respect. So while we like to teach people about how to set and reinforce boundaries, the other very important factor is in how we acknowledge and respect the boundaries of others.
Be gracious. Try to understand. And mostly, do your best to react in a way that you would want them to react if the situation was reversed.
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