Abuse is about control.

An abuser doesn’t always need shouting or physical intimidation like throwing things or grabbing in order to control someone. Abuse can be present without those behaviours.

An abuser can talk calmly and even use a friendly tone of voice or a progressive Consent Culture vocabulary and still be abusive, because the abuse lies in infringing on someone’s autonomy.

If a peer relationship feels abusive but you’re doubting if it’s Really Abuse, look at whether each person is making choices about their own bodies, schedules, activities, and external relationships.

A boundary is about your own body and life, not someone else’s - it’s “I don’t want to do X thing with you” and not “I don’t want you to do Y thing at all even if it does not involve me.” Someone making choices that override your autonomy, even “for your own good”, is not allowing you to have boundaries.

If you don’t want to be in a relationship with someone because they do Y thing that doesn’t involve you, that’s your choice. You can simply end the relationship, or you can say, “Is Y important to you? Because it makes me uncomfortable,” and have an honest conversation about conflicting needs/preferences to see if a relationship is possible.

But there’s a problem when one person says to their peer, “Stop Y thing that doesn’t involve me, or I will do something to punish you,” or even “You’re not allowed to do Y anymore, I don’t like it.” You don’t get to make choices for other people.

-from tumblr user thatdiabolicalfeminist