The truth is if someone throws down a boundary like a slap in the face, they are lashing out of their emotions. You can present a boundary without making it be your weapon.
If you feel like you *need* to present it in advance to let the other person know you have a line they can’t cross, you still have work to do. A boundary is just a fact.
It is like your backyard fence. You are not going to run around the neighborhood telling everyone you have a fence that cannot climb over because you want your yard private.
So why would you feel the need to tell your friend, business associate, family member in advance, “If you do this, I will have to do that.” Do you feel the need because you are trying to manipulate them?
But we cannot make others be something other than what they are. You cannot stop them from how they are going to act.
What you can control is how YOU think, feel and act. So your “boundary” is going to be how you “react” to their pattern.
Some advocate that you tell them if they cross the boundary.
That is BS in my mind.
There is no need.
You only need to know what your boundary is and DO THAT. If someone repeated walks through your backyard, which is more productive:
Keep running out the back door to tell them, “If you walk through my yard, I will have to build a fence?”
Do you think they are going to care? NO.
It is more productive to just build the fence. Done.
If you are thinking, “if she keeps doing that, I’ll have to leave.” Is saying that going to make her change her ways? No. Of course not.
She’ll keep walking through your yard.
But if she does that and continues, then you just excuse yourself and leave. Period. That is your boundary.
You do it.
You don’t THREATEN to do it.
You just do it.
If it is a topic that you just cannot enter into discussion about comfortably with that person, you can say, “I’m not comfortable discussing this.” If they persist in trying to bring it up, you excuse yourself and leave.
That is how you set a boundary.
It is not to stop THEM from something.
It is to stop yourself, by removing yourself from the setting if necessary.
Don’t confuse needing a boundary with your manual that you have for that person. Manuals are a different issue!
If you are thinking, “I wish my husband would take the garbage out without my having to ask or without making a big deal of it” – that’s the manual you have in your head for how you think your husband should act. An entirely different matter.
You cannot make someone else act a certain way. “I would like my boss to give me more praise” – again, manual. You have a list of things you think your boss should be or do. Your boss is just who he or she is. You don’t get to change that – you can’t change that!
People are who they are. They are going to do what they are going to do. The only thing we can change is our manual.
A boundary is not an ultimatum. If you are trying to control what the other person does, that will not work. Delivering an ultimatum is actually violating THEIR boundary.
What about when someone else shares their truth with you. Maybe they set a boundary because you’ve been crossing over.
Typical thoughts are “Oh my gosh – I’ve done something wrong or bad!” “This person doesn’t want me in their life!”
Can you feel the drama rising?
Remember – this person has taken the time to share their truth with you.
It says a lot about how much they value the relationship with you – it is difficult to open up that intimately with someone.
Do not over-analyze it.
See it as the true gift that it is!
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