Expecting The Bad Guy To Respect Your Boundaries?

by | Dec 26, 2023

Are You Expecting The Bad Guy To Respect Your Boundaries?

You often hear the term “boundary setting” in self-defence teachings. You are setting a limit in a conflict or self-defence situation to what you will accept in another person’s actions or words. Boundary setting is often taught to express the need to show confidence and assertiveness. You are drawing an invisible line in the sand, and if they cross it, then what? 

Many people teach boundary setting under the guise of conflict resolution, which I often see taught as “If you do this, you will face consequences.” I don’t consider that approach to be considered conflict resolution for several reasons with a few, including: 

Most boundary setting I see taught is one-sided, not with the goal of win/win, but to “win.” The person you are in conflict with will often see this approach as challenging, mainly when you command them to respect your demands. 

It is often based on the assumption you are right, and they are wrong, eliminating any dialogue on possible options that both parties might respect. 

Boundary setting is often taught to show your strength to dissuade the one you are in conflict with, but if they don’t believe your body language or words and Plan A has failed, do you have a Plan B? 

The body language taught with boundary setting is often confrontational and lacks strategic value if they don’t respect your demands. 

Boundary setting often gives a person a false sense of confidence. Confidence in conflict resolution is also necessary, but true confidence is not aggressive, assertive and one-sided communication as often taught with this “fence.”

Many people can pull off this aggressive approach and dissuade the other person from escalating the conflict. Still, this approach is very limiting for most people, leading to a higher probability of violence.   

Unfortunately, as a self-defence coach for the past 30 years, my experience is that the conflict resolution side of violence prevention is the most difficult for people to adopt for various reasons. And while I would love to teach one approach that works all the time, that would be dishonest. What works well in one scenario might be the worst with a different person on another day.  

The key is to give people principles and concepts that can be adapted based on the variables of any given conflict, which include the people and the personalities, along with an inner knowledge of one’s strengths and weaknesses, but always with the goal of win/win entering any conflict. 

All these concepts are discussed in my book DISARM DAILY CONFLICT – Your Life Depends On It, which is available on Amazon or by visiting www.safeonlineselfdefence.com 

Until Friday, December 29 at noon, you will receive a free download of the book with each purchase of the Rich & Roberts Conflict Resolution Drill Package. A link to the eBook will be sent after purchase.