#109 - Is It Ever Okay to Violate Another Person's Boundaries?


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By Vicki Tidwell Palmer, LCSW, Vicki Tidwell Palmer, and LCSW. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The reality is that we violate other people’s boundaries all the time, and tell ourselves that we have a right to do it. But is that true? Is it ever okay to violate someone else’s boundaries? You may already know the answer as soon as you hear the question, but there are a lot of nuances to this complex topic, so we’ll take a deep dive into it.

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #109:

  • If you have an agreement with another person about something that’s usually a boundary, such as an open phone policy between partners, it’s not a boundary violation.
  • Each of us has a right to our bodies and our physical belongings (such as our phones, computers, or journals).
  • We cannot control other people. If you try to control another person, you damage connection and intimacy.
  • If you’re tempted to violate someone’s boundaries, be honest with yourself about what you’re really concerned about. Remember that other people are free to make their own choices—even if they are poor, unhealthy, or self-destructive choices. How will your intrusion into their circle of control be helpful to your relationship with them?
  • When you have the power to protect yourself, do it! But if something you need or want relies on another person changing their behavior, you don’t have control over that.

Highlights from Episode #109:

  • Vicki welcomes listeners to the show and shares the question at the heart of today’s episode: is it ever okay to violate another person’s boundaries? [00:39]
  • We get a refresher on what boundary violations and ruptures are, with a few examples. [05:55]
  • The listener question that inspired this episode relates to the physical boundary, Vicki explains. She then shares examples of times when we might be tempted to violate boundaries. [11:26]
  • What do you do if you’re tempted to violate another person’s boundaries? [15:50]
  • We often focus on trying to get more information, instead of what we can do to protect ourselves, Vicki explains. She then shares another consideration to take into account when you’re tempted to violate a boundary. [20:12]
  • Vicki suggests a few questions to ask yourself when tempted to violate a boundary. [23:13]
  • We all end up violating another person’s boundaries from time to time. However, there’s a cost to intimacy when we do that. [27:27]

Links and Resources:

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