How to Deal With Someone Who Doesn’t Respect Boundaries: 3 Tips for IT Pros

As an IT professional, it’s important to be aware of and respect the boundaries of both colleagues and customers. However, there may be times when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries. That’s when you need to know how to deal with someone who doesn’t respect boundaries. Here are three tips on how to handle the situation.

What Are Boundaries?

Boundaries define limits around your time, energy, and money. They serve as parameters for others to understand how to interact with you appropriately and outline your intended responses if someone crosses those limits. Learning to establish healthy boundaries in the workplace can be challenging. However, it is a skill that will improve workplace enjoyment.

Signs Your Boundaries Are Not Respected

Suppose you often second-guess decisions or constantly explain why you chose a specific action or behavior. In that case, that’s one of the most evident signs that someone disrespects your boundaries. None of us know what’s best for another person. When you are questioned about your personal boundaries, it can make you feel unheard and unimportant. Additionally, you may begin to feel unsafe. Boundary violations include not respecting “no” as an answer, asking too many personal questions, or encroaching on personal space (like if a co-worker continues to spend unwanted time in your workspace). 

How to Deal with Someone Who Doesn’t Respect Boundaries


Clearly communicate your boundaries: Explain the scope of your responsibilities and the limits of your availability to the person in question.

Communicating clearly and respectfully about your needs is essential, no matter the circumstances. Instead of expressing anger or frustration, speak calmly and directly. Do not assume that people will pick up on body language cues or subtle language. Be direct yet kind when communicating boundaries and their violations. 


Escalate the issue: If you believe you have had an unproductive conversation and the person continues to disregard your boundaries, bring it to the attention of a supervisor or manager for further assistance.

Being open and honest with your supervisor about your concerns regarding your desired work boundaries will help facilitate change within a reasonable time frame. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Sometimes, we encounter difficult people who need additional reminders to respect our boundaries.


Document the incident: Keep a record of any incidents of boundary infringement for future reference.

Remember that setting boundaries is vital for maintaining a productive and healthy work environment. Seek the assistance of your team lead if you feel uncomfortable or if the person is being abusive. By setting and enforcing strong boundaries, you are protecting yourself and the integrity of your work as an IT professional.

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