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Ok, so you can set boundaries now, but they are making things worse! please come here for a chat.

(11 Posts)
AtTheFootOfTheHill Sat 09-May-20 10:17:56

I didn't used to have any boundaries and my life was the mess that you'd expect.

However, years and years later, after learning it intellectually and also catching up eventually with the emotional lag.. I'm generally happy with where I'm at and feeling like most people respect me as a relative/colleague/friend

On the rare occasion I feel I have to defend a boundary, I do it! BIG CHANGE FROM 10 years ago.
Example, recently, a woman was trying to other me (in a group) 'WE' think this and ''foot of the hill, pfft, she naively thought that''. And I set it straight. Just defending that very small boundary (ie, please don't misrepresent what I believe to a group of other people!) resulted in her anger and a retaliation that was uncomfortable for ME.

I am strong enough to deal with this crap now, but definitely feeling like there's a transition that you go through, when you didn't used to set boundaries and now you do (when you feel you have to) and other people haven't caught up. Other people aren't allowing me to have boundaries.

But i am looking back and realising that even when you're resilient with a good self-esteem, defending a boundary can be SO hard. It's no wonder it took me until about 45 to have the courage to try and enforce a small boundary. And every single time I've done it, it's brought a little shit storm down on me. It upsets me less as I go along but still, I don't want these poopers shitting their storms on me just because I said 'no' that is not what I said. Or no that is not The Truth it is your perception.

Do people look at you and decide that you do not have the inner status to deserve a boundary? They would accept it from your brother or your sister or your aunt but not you? What is going on? Do they have an invisible hierarchy in their heads? ''Pedro is above me and allowed to challenge me. Pepa is beneath me and not allowed to challenge me. If I upset Pedro, I apologise. If pepa dares to suggest that I upset her , then that is a huge insult to my ego''.

I can't believe how some people carry on. Are they not mortified to be so transparently unconscious and emotionally immature.

wine to everybody trying to transform from a form people pleaser in to a boundary setter. I guess it is not a quick process. I can set a boundary now but I cannot have that right to set a boundary be respected!

I hope that in a few years my inner status will not trigger narcissistic injuries in people who cannot respect somebody else's truth or right to say no.

OP’s posts: |
Perfectstorm12 Sat 09-May-20 12:38:38

Yep, I'm with you, it's bloody hard and every step where I put a boundary where I previously didn't makes me feel sick, like I want to back down and I want to check out with someone else that it's ok. Now I'm learning that if this is my reflex then I am just pushing against everything I previously thought so I should just plod on through...I agree with you that it isn't a quick process, and also that I am learning to respect everyone else's right to plod on and continue seeing me as a doormat. That is their business, this shit is mine.
Keep the faith in yourself OP. We can do this.

Faith50 Sat 09-May-20 12:40:00

I understand you OP.

As a child and teenager I allowed peers to overstep boundaries.

I was severely bullied throughout the majority of high school. I did not know how to confidently push back and show others I was not to be messed with. I had few friends and felt alone. I was unable to build up reilience by those who tested me.

Inside I wanted to scream but nothing came out. I too noticed the way in which my peers were treated. They demanded respect whereas I did not. I was too scared to retaliate. I allowed others to push me around even so called friends. Boyfriends always pushed me and I allowed it.

Lack of boundaries followed me into work. I would retaliate but be shaking inside wondering why once again a colleague felt the need to push and test me.

I have learnt in the past 15 years or so that I tell others how to treat me. I let them know how far they can go. There will always be people willing to take advantage whether intentional or subconsciously. It is my responsibility to put boundaries up.

I have had to forgive my child self for allowing myself to be bullied. For years I felt ashamed and pathetic that I could not give as good as I got.

Most will not like the fact that you have put boundaries in place as it no longer benefits them. Some may step back, show their annoyance but this is THEIR problem. Continue putting boundaries in place and do not back track on any of them. People will need to learn you are a changed person. You have changed for YOU not for them. You will notice your self value will improve when you are true to yourself and confident to do and say as you want.

tiptoptimmie Sat 09-May-20 13:10:51

I'm in a similar situation of being a people pleaser but trying to put better boundaries in place. I think if you have had poor boundaries in the past you tend to attract people who will take advantage of that situation. People who accept your boundaries are the ones that you want in your life, you should try and reduce contact with the others as much as possible.

I recently had two conversations with friends (lets call them Ann and Sue) about something i didn't want to do because I didn't feel comfortable with it. Ann and I negotiated an alternative that we were both happy with. Sue threw a passive aggressive strop because i wasn't doing what she wanted me to do. This was a lightbulb moment for me. From now on in my life, I will only make time for the Anns, the Sues will get phased out pretty quickly.

Faith50 Sat 09-May-20 14:04:37

perfectstorm It is hard but worth the reward. We owe it to ourselves not to live as people pleasers.

Tiptop I like your illustration. Previously you would have given in to 'Sue'. Not anymore. We are not on this earth to merely meet the needs of others. We too matter.

AtTheFootOfTheHill Sat 09-May-20 14:21:09

Thanks everybody,
interesting points.
@Perfectstorm12 It is true that people are entitled to their perception of you, that is their business, and sometimes, that perception is that you're a doormat! They don't have respect for you when you were a doormat and they still don't when you show that you're not a doormat! So you can't win.

@Faith50, yes I used to have friendships where I was too giving, too accommodating, and I have let those slide now. I'm a single parent and I used to have friendships with people who literally would never meet at the weekend! I've stopped bothering to keep a friendship going if I feel I'm being disrespected. I'm in a fairly good place now.
My big problem, one that crops up repeatedly (well twice) tends to be that in a group, somebody with her own wounds but who projects a very emotionally secure exterior will zone in on me and think, hmmm, this one, this is the woman I'm going to push, the one I'm going to exclude.

@tiptoptimmie yes, this passive aggressive behaviour is definitely a sign of that person's own sense of inadequacy. I was such a people pleaser in my past, I never TRIED to get my own way! Or I was very direct, I'd ask directly but already braced for a flat no! So I can honestly say that even though I was a people pleaser I wasn't passive aggressive. I have a relative who is very passive aggressive. It surprises me as well because she is not backwards coming forwards with her opinions generally (about politics, ethics, religion, education, you name it, we'd never be in any doubt of her opinion) but yet she communicates with ME in a very passive aggressive way.

OP’s posts: |
Jjjjjj1981 Sat 09-May-20 14:32:10

This resonated a lot with me OP, I’ve also just managed to finally put some boundaries in place after not really having any or understanding them for nearly 40 years. It does feel good doesn’t it, powerful. But I’ve also found that the backlash when you do defend that boundary is hard, and draining.
I guess one of the most important things I’ve managed to suss out is that people generally do tend to test other’s boundaries, everyone does it to everyone, no matter how confident or self assured that person is. The difference seems to come in that reaction to the first push, or yo something unimportant, if you roll over on the first attempt they seem to sense you’re fair game and it becomes a slippery slope.
I now try to consciously defend my boundaries at every opportunity, and keep telling myself that yes I am allowed to do this, whatever the other person’s reaction.

Butterymuffin Sat 09-May-20 14:51:55

My experience has been that if you used to have poor boundaries, did a lot for people, and then tighten things up, people are a lot more resentful than they ever have been towards the people who've done nothing for them all along.

AtTheFootOfTheHill Sun 10-May-20 07:11:20

I was reading something yesterday about there being two stages to setting boundaries, setting them and 2) not minding that other people show clearly to you that they aren't happy with you for setting the boundary.

Not there yet with number 2.

OP’s posts: |
blackcat86 Sun 10-May-20 07:30:21

I have had a similar experience. I previously had very few boundaries, allowing myself to be poorly treated and abused by others, scared to say no or really think about where my boundaries were. I had a traumatic birth experience, PND/PNA and a lot of therapy. Many close to me were utterly awful and unsupportive given that I had nearly lost my newborn. Other friends i hadnt been as close to before were fantastic. I learnt to trust my gut on what my boundaries were and assert them firmly and without much explanation. My parents have adjusted quite well and reflected on my birth trauma (and there part in my twatish and dismissive) and we've found a more respectful normal. PIL havent so I have created more and more distance. I often get comments like 'PIL wont like that' 'how will PIL feel' but I honestly dont care. People who have quite narc traits and push boundaries all the time dont care how I feel. They dont lose sleep over my feelings or hurt so why should I carry all that guilt. If people are rude and mean then the natural consequence is that people dont want to spend time with them! It probably helped that I go to a fuck it I just dont care anymore point.

Faith50 Sun 10-May-20 10:44:39

Jijjj Yes, people will see you as fair game. It is our job to show them we are not. No matter how many times we must push back.

Buttery People do not expect you to change. They liked the old you as it brought benefit to them. Accepting the new you will mean accepting you will not live up to meet their expectations.

Atthefoot A few years agoan acquaintance asked for a favour which would have been ongoing and eventually a burden. I said no and saw her withdraw from me instantly. She has never been the same with me since - this showed me who she was.

Blackcat I agree that those who choose to push boundaries do not consider your feelings. They are soley concentrated on their own needs being met.

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