You listen to what others need.
You don’t offer what you can’t or don’t want to give.
You ask for what you need.
You take what is offered.
You do not take what is not offered.
Trust is given, not taken.
If someone violates a boundary, it is his or her offense.
If someone does it again, it is your mistake.
Obviously, this can’t apply to children. A child has no choice. She has to trust that adults will do what is right, that her needs will be met, that care will be given.
A child has so much trust because she has no choice.
When a boundary is violated, a child doesn't learn not to trust – because that isn't possible. Instead, she learns that she is powerless, that it is hopeless, that she is vulnerable and that the world is a scary and dangerous place. She learns not to ask for what she needs because she will only be given what others decide she will have. She learns to give whatever others want – even before they ask – because she doesn't know she has a choice.
It takes a very long time for that child to learn the basic rules.
I don't have to try to guess what others need.
I can wait to hear what others truly need.
I can decide if I can and will meet those needs for others.
I can ask for what I need.
I can take what is offered.
I can find another way to meet my needs if the person I ask can't help me.
And if someone tries to take what is mine,
what is not offered,
it is not okay!
I don’t have to let anyone take what is mine!
I can be angry and I can say that I am angry, that I will not tolerate it, and I have a choice
Who to spend time with and who to stay away from.
I have a choice.