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Boundaries – or, often, lack of them (!) – is a topic we seem to hear a lot about these days. 
 
Where that “line in the sand” is. What’s acceptable to you. And what definitely isn’t. 
 
What’s interesting is how often they’re seen as a way of controlling another person. Of making them behave in the way you want them to. 
 
But this isn’t what boundaries are for at all. They’re never about controlling another person but always about protecting yourself. 
 
 
While this may sound like two sides of the same coin, they’re very different. 
 
So, here’s the difference: 
 
“You don’t do that” is trying to control another person. 
 
“You don’t do that to me” is a boundary. 
 
Or: 
 
“You don’t talk to people like that” is control. 
 
“You don’t talk to me like that” is a boundary. 
 
Now here’s the rub. A boundary is only a real boundary if you’re willing to enforce it. And that’s up to deciding whether you want to remove yourself from a situation – or relationship – instead of continually telling another person to stop doing that. 
 
And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a personal relationship or a business one, it’s the same. 
 
Oh and a couple of other things before we close for today. 
 
Never use a boundary to make someone feel guilty – or bad – about their behaviour. 
 
How they behave is up to them. Whether it’s acceptable to you is quite another. 
 
And, finally, when you’re enforcing a boundary only ever focus on how you feel if they step over that line. It’s all about protecting you, not controlling them. If they want to continue behaving that way, that’s fine. They can just do so without you. It’s really that simple. 
 
As always, the choice is yours. 
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