Allowing the Uncomfortable. Do you accept gifts, food, touch or sex that you do not want? Just like when our value systems are violated, when others push something onto us that we do not want or are uncomfortable having we become distressed. It can feel as if you are being rude by putting this boundary in place. You can feel as though you might hurt the other person’s feelings if you say no. However, you need to pay attention to the warning bells inside your head. Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t and you are allowed to turn it down.
Touching. Do you touch others without asking permission first? This includes touches to the arm or back, a hand on leg, touching a pregnant belly, stroking someone’s hair and so forth. It can seem harmless, but our personal space and our bodies are sacred. While this changes from culture to culture, American personal space dictates that we prefer to be asked permission before being touched. Most pregnant women do not like to have their bellies touched unless by someone they know and trust. Laying a hand on someone’s arm, leg, or back can feel violating, controlling or just uncomfortable for them. If you are not sure whether you have a relationship with someone where this is acceptable go ahead and ask.
These boundaries are ones that keep us safe and give those we come into contact with a sense of safety. If we want to reach trusting relationships with people it’s important that we respect them and ourselves. Why Respecting Boundaries Is Crucial, Part 3