One of the biggest blocks to setting boundaries with people is that we don’t want to get into a discussion about “Why?”  Many times the whole point of the boundary is to limit certain interactions, but setting the boundary provokes the interaction we don’t want to have.  What’s worse is the “Why?” questions around things can either be confrontational or, sometimes even worse, be coercive by seeming kind and rational.

We should know why we’re setting the boundary or at least be curious about why we need it and figure it out eventually.  Most people are really clear as to why they need a boundary even if they aren’t willing to tell you about it.  We should be able to clearly communicate the boundary to others.  A boundary that you know you have and that you know will effect a person(s) should be communicated clearly to that person(s) before it is violated.  You can’t communicate a boundary you don’t know you have until after you’ve found it, usually by someone having managed to find it for you – thanks very much :p – , and then it’s ok to react and communicate later.  But if you know it’s there and they are headed for it, then you’re the bad guy when they cross the line as you’ve set them up to fail.

But here’s the thing.  There’s a difference between communicating a boundary or an action clearly and explaining your reasoning for it.  You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Many times people aren’t asking you to explain your actions because they are confused or curious, they are asking in order to make you back up, push you off balance, or get you to engage in a debate or discussion.  No matter if the intentions are nice, well meaning or not so much, you are not required to explain yourself at all.  You are who you are, the choices you’ve made are yours, and they are not up for debate.  Your life is your own, you are living it to the best of your ability, and no one has the right to judge that unless you let them.

So yes, setting boundaries is going to cause a reaction. Positive, negative or otherwise the person on the other side is going to comment and probably will ask “Why?”  You can choose to answer that query or not.  You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.  Choose to be a mystery with only one person holding the key…you.