Signs Your Friends Don't Respect Your Boundaries
Friends are the family we choose.
They make our lives far less boring, and whether you're hitting the beach together or just passing Riverdale memes back and forth, they can definitely make you feel a little less alone. Unfortunately, even the closest friendships can come with some hiccups, especially if our friend routinely refuses to respect boundaries.
According to Kathryn Chaya Lubow, LMFT SEP, a licensed marriage and family therapist who spoke with Sweety High, "a boundary is an invisible line between you and another person that helps show you your own personal limit. It's important to set boundaries so that you can speak up for yourself and what you need."
You may not even realize that your friend is stepping over your boundary line—but if you've experienced it before, you definitely felt the uncomfortable tension. Hanging out with a friend who doesn't respect your boundaries may cause you more harm than you even realize.
How do you know if your friend has boundary issues? Here are a few signs to watch out for.
They Insist You Tell Them Everything
A great friend is someone who will lend an ear when you're dealing with a tough situation, and who will keep your personal stuff under lock and key. That doesn't mean you should feel obligated to tell your friend everything, especially if it's stuff that you would rather keep private. If your friend pushes to share details of your family or relationship life that you're not comfortable with—and have expressed as much—it may be time to reevaluate how close you want to be with this person.
They Don't Respect Your Schedule
Most of us would love to forego studying to binge the latest Netflix series with our friends, but sadly, the love triangle in Emily In Paris is not on the geometry midterm. The same goes for family plans: Sometimes, your great aunt's birthday Zoom just is more important than the trivia night your bestie organized. If your friend gets mad because you can't hang out 24/7, or manipulates you into skipping plans you've already made, it's time you have a talk about respecting boundaries.
They Push You Do To Things You're Not Comfortable With
In every teen drama, there's a scene where a person is forced to drink when they don't want to, usually to disastrous consequences. Your own experience likely differs from TV, but it's very possible that a boundary-pushing friend pulls these same peer pressure moves, just in a more subtle way. If your friend judges you for participating in something that you're not comfortable with, or guilts you into it, it's a sign they're not respectful of what you want.
Guilting you to spend money you don't have (say, on a fancy birthday dinner or present) or encouraging you to gossip about a mutual friend are just signs that your friend is way pushier than they should be.
(Gossip Girl via the CW)
Not every friend who crosses the line means to do so, and if someone is a great source of support despite one or two not-so-fun interactions, they likely will be open to talking about how you feel when these boundaries get crossed. If, however, it seems like your "friend" is making you more uncomfortable than they are happy, it may be time to cut them loose.
Want to read more about navigating tricky friendship situations? Click HERE to learn how to deal with a friend who LOVES drama.