Boundaries vs. Compromise


I had a deep & meaningful with my daughter recently, about the difference between a “boundary breach” and a willing compromise.

So how do you know when your boundaries are being breached (by a person or situation), or when you should compromise.

One of the big elements of this puzzle is knowing where your boundaries are and it also helps to know what your values are. When you are navigating these “in the moment’, it’s very easy to find yourself bending well beyond what you might have done, if only you’d had ten minutes more to think it through properly before making a judgement call.

That is not to say that your boundaries are static.

We change, life changes and circumstances change and as a result, your boundaries will flex and change as you grow too (sometimes on a near daily basis and it can be bloody uncomfortable!).  However, there is a huge difference between them being trampled on vs. you making a conscious choice that something has shifted, in order that you want to make a different decision to the one you might have made two weeks previously.

An example might help us here...

One of my core personal values is HONESTY and this is very much also tied up with the values of RELIABILITY and INTEGRITY. It’s very important to me that people speak what’s on their mind, mean what they say and then follow through and do what they say they’re going to do (or communicate that they can’t).  So if I were to spend time in a relationship where these values were ignored and the boundary frequently compromised, it would erode the trust in that relationship and over the long term, would likely result in the failure of that relationship.

It would be very easy to blame the other person for being dishonest and unreliable, but would this really ring true?

WE are responsible for our needs, our values and our boundaries, and I would argue that in my example, the breakdown was caused because I didn’t communicate my needs, didn’t enforce my boundaries and didn’t stand up for what was important to me. Who knows what part the other person played as I didn’t give them the chance to interact.

Crucial side note: Be watchful of YOU being the “other person” fucking with your boundaries - it’s not always other people that trample all over the roses!

So the takeaways?

  • Discover your Core Personal Values so that you can live them consciously.

  • Work on understanding where your boundaries are (tips to uncovering these below).

  • Does it feel good? What I mean is, when you are making that “compromise”, do you feel good about reaching a middle ground or are you secretly seething - check in with how you feel!

  • Call a Time Out - don’t be afraid in the heat of the moment to call a time out and take those magic 10 minutes to think things through in the quiet of your own company.

Have you signed up for my FREE three-week course YOUR values | YOUR life yet? Your Core Personal Values are one of the bricks in the first pillar of Four Pillars of Belonging to Yourself "KNOW Yourself"; when we live, love and work in a way that honours our values, we feel safe and fulfilled. Are you living, loving and leading aligned to your Core Personal Values? Click on the image to find out more.