Boundaries are important in any relationship but they can be really hard to maintain. People who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t respect your feelings will often question the validity of those places that you have drawn the line until you wonder if you really are being ridiculous. Soon, you find yourself allowing them to pick at the edges of what you allow until all of a sudden your personal space has been penetrated and another personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s flag has been firmly planted.
Being controlled becomes normal for some people and it is hard to break out of. Once you try to replace those boundaries, people question you on every level, accuse you of changing, or being unreasonable. The truth is you are just reclaiming your own territory.
Learn to recognize control in its infancy and shore up your boundary lines with a little reinforcement with these tips.
- Expect that people will criticize you, disagree with you, and even make you feel guilty about your boundary. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s o.k. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s their issue to deal with.
- Practice saying no. It can be hard to say no to people but when you agree to something that you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to do on a regular basis, you are tearing down your own boundary lines.
- Allow them to have emotions. I hate when someone is upset or mad at me. It makes me feel nauseous. Sometimes I will do anything to keep people happy. One day I realized that there was no difference in them being unhappy and me being unhappy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ both of us owned our own emotions. I stopped being responsible for how other people felt (within reason).
Make boundaries and then enforce them. You will be happier, more efficient and much healthier.
photo image: Steve Snodgrass