I don’t want your dog jumping on me to meet me at the door. Sorry, I just don’t. I don’t care how “friendly” it may be or if it “just wants to play.” Keep your dog out of my space. Some were just offended by my statement, but that’s fine. When you come to my house, I don’t unleash my children and have them jump on you, sniff your legs, or attempt to lick your face. Yes, it’s the same thing.
See, boundaries apply to every aspect of our lives. If you allow your pet to violate a personal space boundary without thinking twice about it, you may allow other boundaries to be violated as well. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that everyone who has a dog doesn’t know how to respect boundaries. Just stay with me.
Honestly though, I don’t like dogs. I had a dog as a young kid, but that dog attempted to run away many times until he was finally successful. I guess that tells you something about me and dogs. They don’t want to be around me and the feeling is mutual. I dislike going to people’s homes with dogs because I don’t want them to feel obligated to tie up their pet which might be more like a family member to them, yet I don’t want to have to be personally violated by their “baby” either. So what do I do? I set limits. It is my choice to go to their house, so I need to decide if I will say, “Oh no, it’s ok,” when Kudjo sits in my lap and drools all over my clothes and I pretend that I’m not uncomfortable or until I can’t take it anymore and freak out. OR I can just let them know up front that I am uncomfortable with dogs and establish my boundaries from the get go.
I asked my friends if they have problems with boundary setting and of course, the answers varied. Some are able to establish boundaries “like the Berlin Wall” in every situation from the jump because they make sure that they are “the priority.” A few others acknowledged that they can respect the boundaries of others, but aren’t as strong with maintaining that others respect their own boundaries and they eventually feel like a push over.
To be respected we shouldn’t have to say, “Hey you! Respect me!” Although, just writing that statement made me think about the recent event on a radio broad cast that turned into a hilarious series of memes, songs, and general comedy. You know what I’m talking about without me giving a full disclosure. As humans, we deserve respect on general principle. If you find that people are walking over you or pushing you around, you may want to look at yourself to see if you established your boundary with them.
Are you allowing them to disrespect your boundary or was it ever established in the first place? If you find that people are distancing themselves from you, maybe you’re one of those people who violates boundaries. In either case, don’t allow that dog in your space if you don’t want it there and don’t be the person unleashing your unwanted dog on others. Set boundaries for yourself and respect the boundaries of others.