IT’S UP TO ME TO SET MY LIMITS
it’s up to others to honor or ignore them
PREVIOUS: Setting Healthy Bs (Part 1)
1. FOR YOURSELF (Part 1)
2. IN RELATION TO OTHERS (cont)
DEVELOPING Healthy Boundaries (cont)
• Don’t punish others if they’ve forgotten your requirements. In general, consequences should simply be an inevitable outcome of the choices each of us make. These outcomes may or may not feel like punishment to the violator – depending on how intensely they’re still run by their WIC.
— If you feel a strong urge to punish someone for ignoring your requests, it would be best to work on yourself before talking to them again. It means that while they are indeed ‘stepping on your toes’, you probably have let it go on too long and may also be taking it too personally.
Violators act like that with everyone, or anyone who will let them! Do rage work in private, share about it in Al-Anon & therapy, pray for patience & talk or write to your Inner Child. Then remind the other person again OR just tell them they’ve crossed the line for the last time!
• Make a plan of action to use whenever someone severely violates your Bs (& somebody will!):
a. Tell them what they’re doing that you don’t like – be specific & if you’ve already talked to them about it, refer back to that conversation
b. If it applies – ask they to stop immediately. If they don’t, then you can….
c. ….strongly Demand that they stop, & ask for help from others if necessary, especially if you feel endangered. Walk away with as much dignity as possible, without sarcasm or nasty get-even comments
• Find a support system to help you with follow-through. No one can to go from having weak to strong Bs instantly or easily, just because we heard a lecture or read a book. We need to find people who will remind us of our value, encouraging us to maintain & enforce our limits
• Thank anyone who honors your boundaries
• Keep in mind that you can’t set boundaries AND take care of someone else’s needs! They’re mutually exclusive
• It’s best to talk to a Violator from our ADULT, but sometimes we:
— may need to get angry to get past our own resistance because it’s so difficult for ACoAs to stand up for ourselves. Anger makes us feel less vulnerable when we’re afraid
— will inevitably get frustrated & annoyed with someone we love & don’t want to leave, but who is being a pain in the neck
— there are people who will only pay attention when we get ‘heavy’, but getting angry is not the same as being nasty – if it comes from the Adult
✶ Avoid justifying yourself, rationalizing your needs or apologizing. It makes it sound like you don’t believe what you’re saying – so Violators won’t take you seriously either. Offer a brief explanation if it’s appropriate & you feel ok doing it. It’s hard to be genuinely intimate with someone if we don’t tell them what’s bothering or hurting us
• At first you may feel afraid, ashamed or guilty when you need to set a Bs with someone, which may prevent you from speaking up
— Do it anyway, even if it’s the next time you see them – because it’s our job to let others know, & some people don’t realize they’re trespassing
— Also, people don’t respect someone they can use, manipulate or control, even tho they try to get away with it
• When we feel angry, rageful, whiny, complaining, feeling threatened, suffocated, victimized ….. we are feeling the pain of not having our Bs respected. These emotions are like flashing red lights telling us something’s wrong – the things we don’t like, can’t stand or hate. They’re indicators that we have to say something or change something
• Be prepared for opposition, resistance, anger, attacks. Violators don’t like being reined in. Don’t let their reactions make you doubt your rights! Remember 2-yr olds’ tantrums when they don’t get their way. You have to be ready to enforce your needs, otherwise people will simply ignore you
• The main prerequisite for good boundary setting is believing you have a right to them! When you’re sure, it will be clear to others even when you don’t say anything, AND fewer B invaders will show up in your life
• ALSO: make a list of 5-10 ways you violate other people’s Bs. If you can’t think of any ask anyone who knows you well. Work on no violating the Bs on that list. You’ll feel better about yourself!
NEXT: “What other think of me….”