THIS IS SO MUCH WORK!
But I feel better when I enforce my Boundaries
PREVIOUS: Repairing your Boundaries (Part 1)
2. IN RELATION TO OTHERS
DEVELOPING Healthy Boundaries
a. Form a clear sense of your personal values.
For ACoAs, the source of unhealthy Bs is from our upbringing. As a result, in the present it comes from not believing we have any rights. It’s a self-worth issue.
“Sieves” (anyone with damaged or non-functional Bs) let others invade our space IF “everyone else’s needs are more important than our own” – looking for value by trying to please others
b. Find a support system to help with follow-through. No one can to go from weak to strong Bs instantly or easily, just because we heard a lecture or read a book. We need people who will remind us of our value, encouraging us to maintain & enforce our limits
c. Identify all Bs that are important to you (5 to 15 items). See previous posts “List of Healthy Bs”. These may shift over time, so stay in the present. List Bs:
— you absolutely will not compromise on
— you’ll can afford some wiggle room on, IF they’re not as important to your comfort & safety
d. Identify people who you will:
— not tolerate any violations from (they’ve already proven dangerous, narcissistic, disrespectful…)
— give some leeway to, because usually they’re loving, kind, respectful, AND it’s not realistic to expect anyone to be perfect
e. Educate others on ways you want your Bs to be respected, by clearly stating them. Never assume that people know them, so need to be spelled out, even write down if necessary. Do not expect others to read your mind, even if they already know you
f. Sit down with each person you have a problem with & let them know what you need & don’t want from them. Try to get their agreement to honor your Bs.
Insist that everyone talk to you with respectful – no more digs, making fun of, criticisms, controlling comments…. – no matter what
• With other adults: even if you get a verbal agreement, stay alert for how they actually treat you. If they repeatedly can’t or won’t honor your request – limit your time with them, or end the relationship, after trying one more time. You decide when to let go of them, based on the cost to you!
• With kids or teens, work out a plan to help them comply, using methods suggested by a Child Psychologist, or from books & online articles
g. Clearly state the consequences for violating your Bs, BUT NOT until you’re sure you can follow thru! Addicts & codependents have a tendency to violate Bs (deliberately or unconsciously is not the point) & Invaders will always test us, like 2-yr olds, trying to wear others down to get their way
You have to be ready to stand your ground, to prove you’re serious. How well you can manage that will depend on how strong your Inner Adult (in the UNIT) has become
h. Be consistent & persistent about confronting & enforcing violations, & do is as coolly as possible – even though it can be very tiring at first
It’s most effective when you don’t over-react emotionally, but come from the Healthy Adult Ego State. Otherwise people can just write you off as bitchy or crazy, especially if they want an excuse for their bad behavior
• If a particular wound in you is still unhealed you’ll have a strong reaction to feeling abandoned or disrespected, making you anxious & angry
• If you have healthy Bs, you can can speak up for yourself & then move on to someone or something else.
It’s not up to you to convince people how wrong they are. Your self-respecting actions will make the statement.
EXP: If someone is chronically late to meet you, tell them that if it continues, you won’t wait more than 15 minutes. Be sure you always have a plan B for yourself . WHEN they’re late again. Don’t wait. They’ll see you mean business – whether they change or not, & then they can decide how to respond
NEXT: Setting Bs with others (Part 2)