Setting Boundaries with Difficult People
Life is not as complicated as we make it when we follow or establish some reasonable boundaries in our lifestyle, behaviors or choices. Boundaries are not about making threats or ultimatums. This is a process that determines choices, and consequences for good or bad decisions made. One cannot function in a wellness state of mind without boundaries.
Boundaries are space setters. It is an imaginable or intangible limit imposed between you and another person either in personal or professional relationships. What makes boundaries difficult to adhere to or follow is the fact that they are guided on your morality or values and not identified clearly by a razor wire fence or stakes in the ground telling you where you should go and how you should proceed. This places all the responsibilities on you, the gatekeeper of your mind and heart. Whether or not you cross that line and open that forbidden gate is entirely up to you.
Setting boundaries are invisible arrangements of rules which ensure your trustworthiness as well as those of others. Boundaries serve as tools for protection as well as comfort. It is a simple way of taking care of yourself in life. Good boundaries don’t always come easy and have to be learned the hard way sometimes. It can be easier if you could watch others cross boundaries and see what happens to them when they do but it just doesn’t work that way.
Therefore, the way you grow up sets up these boundaries and hopefully you learn from your mistakes and not repeat them as you define their consequences in your life. If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, then chances are you have not learned how to set a boundary or even really know what it is.
Learning to set our own healthy boundaries is an exercise in personal freedom. It means getting to know ourselves and increasing our awareness of where we stand and what we stand for. It means letting go of the unhealthy things or people in our lives so that we can grow into the healthy person that we were meant to be.
How to set boundaries requires the ability to communicate and communicate without blaming or lying about the circumstances, emotions or the impacts. Avoidance is not conducive to setting these parameters in your life and the better you detail your feelings, expectations and perspectives, the more effective these boundaries serve your purpose in life.
It is impossible to set boundaries without setting consequences. If you are setting boundaries in a relationship, it is important that your reactions and interactions are consistent with your values and expectations and if the other person(s) disregard your attitudes, then you need to confront them and tell them you cannot or will not tolerate such abuse of your values and not put up with it without taking the appropriate action to either redirect the relationship or terminate it.