He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I always had trouble with boundaries. I didn't know how to keep people from encroaching on my stuff. Nor did I know how to keep out of other people's stuff. On the one side, I suffered from a lack of self-respect, thinking that if people were walking over me, they must have a right to. On the other side, not knowing who I was and what I stood for meant that I didn't recognize when I was straying outside of my own boundaries. Coming to know myself better, especially through working the inventory steps, helped me to find and set my boundaries, to start to like myself, and to gain self-respect. Today, when someone crosses a boundary, I am often able to speak my needs simply and forthrightly. And, conversely, when I respect myself, I don't need to try to control those around me, I don't need their validation, because I can be comfortable in my own skin.
A meditation for April 17, 2013.
I recently read an article that neatly explains about setting and respecting boundaries in a work context. Check it out.