Starting this new 11 year, 2018. I was definitely tested on my boundaries. One of my biggest life lessons to date. Setting healthy and firm boundaries for myself. Especially with men in my life.
Beginning of the year I was tested with my ex, twin flame and failed. I also had a business partner/friend cross boundaries with work, showing complete lack of respect on his part that forced me to cut ties because it came to the point where the trust was lost. Most recently a man that tried to swoon me crossed my boundaries multiple times, but an annoying one was with texting me literally 50 times in a row. I was forced to block his number because it was getting in the way of my work. After not responding or caring to respond to him at this point he proceeded to go on Instagram stories and blab on and on, basically talking shit about me and Chasin’ Unicorns indirectly, about how those who aren’t “real” or don’t post pictures with no make up Blah blah blah… a lot of nonsense. He then continued to say how people who seem to run such great companies or businesses only show you what they want you to see (obviously?) and that their lives aren’t as good as social media makes it (no shit?) and to be “wary” of those who never post the bad and negative things going on in my/ their life—- basically stated that he is all about blissfulness and peace and so thankful he is out of the social media “bubble” (although he post more than anyone I know) and not like me etc. After watching his videos, I was a little offended and weirded out that someone would go to this length to either get my attention, or at the least literally try to make themselves feel better about a situation by bad mouthing me or other people for things they may not do or like (is this a Cancer thing? lol).
I messaged him in response to his videos and called him out. I said that I think he should focus on his own healing with out talking shit on people or trying to compare his journey to others. I also told him that I would be blocking him because at this stage of my growth and life and work, I have no time for this nonsense. At this point I already had no feelings for him or motivation to try to maintain a friendship. Which I am sure hurt his feelings, so he decided to project and paint me as this “bad” person. Of course he denied the videos were about me and then immediately deleted them after. He then tried to manipulate me by saying a bunch of sad faces and things like how “I must not really know him to think he would ever say anything negatively about me!” (I mean, really?) etc. etc. I had been completely honest with this man about my feelings towards him from the very beginning and after when I stated very clearly that I just wanted to be friends. But what I had noticed was that instead of giving him a bunch of reasons and explanations I just blocked him. Why waste any more of my time trying to let someone manipulate me when I already knew the truth? Clearly not someone I want in my circle anyways. When someone suddenly begins to shun you or snub you out of the blue, you may start to wonder what you did wrong. You might automatically assume that you were to blame, even if you could think of no reason to believe such a thing. If this happens do not blame yourself. Most likely you are dealing with someone who has issues you don’t even need to worry about. If someone doesn’t appreciate you, they do not deserve you. And be very very careful of the ones who wanna talk talk talk but not walk the walk. The ones that wanna run around, blaming you or other people for every thing to try to save their own face or shame. You don’t have to post pictures with no make up on or write a long post about how you got your heart broken in order to be “real.” I think the realest thing anybody can do is to just OWN their own shit. And set firm boundaries that don’t involve anyone else’s permission or advice in doing so.
In this case, this man who I thought was my friend crossed my boundaries and lost my trust. There was nothing more to say or discuss or negotiate. This was my practicing standing firm in my boundaries and what I will and will not tolerate.
7 Keys to Set Good Boundaries
1. Know this sad truth: NO boundaries = little self esteem.
This used to describe me. We all know someone who would rather flake or commit to something they don’t really want to attend, because of FOMO or scared to say no. The first step to change is admitting this. (After all, what’s the point of saying we want to grow if we’re not going to be honest with ourselves about where we are now?) I say this because many of you reading this probably do not know what your boundaries are. They should roll off your tongue like the alphabet. Your boundaries are your values. Boundaries are representative of how much or little you respect yourself. Boundaries are your friend. The past two years of my journey my boundaries have given me so much power. I don’t say this lightly either. Also, men, and people like and are attracted to people who know what they want. Who are firm in their wants, needs and desires. Having no boundaries = pushover. For example, raise your hand if you have a friend, who was cheated on. Took the man back. They cheated again. Oh la la, big whoop de surprise there.
No boundaries. No consequences. No change.
2. Decide what you are comfortable with and what you are not.
Figure out who are you? What do you value? Are you a liar? Are you okay with other people lying? Do you stick up for things you believe in? In the right setting? Etc. Figure out what, exactly, you’re comfortable with and what you aren’t. For example, I don’t like to talk on the phone during work hours, or on dates with my man.
When I used to work for other people in corporate settings, I always made it a point to set my boundaries, for example, I would never respond to work emails after 5pm. Many of my coworkers did and it was expected for them to respond. I never did. I was never expected to respond. After I left the office it was MY time. I always made that clear. Once you get clear on what matters most to you, then you can take bigger step of communicating this to others. Instead of creating your boundaries around a difficult relationship in your life, you MUST make your boundaries about you.
3. You can’t change others
We get into arguments with our spouses hoping, wishing, demanding even…that they STOP being difficult. We get mad when our moms call us five times in a day. We cannot change others. We are not responsible for what comes out of their mouth, the daily choices they make or their reactions. You can’t change other people, change how you deal with them. As Dr. Cloud says in Boundaries, “They may be motivated to change if their old ways no longer work.” – Kelly O’Brien Mindbodygreen.com
4. Decide the consequences ahead of time.
So what do we do if anyone pushes our boundaries (because they will)? Decide what the consequences are. For example, if my boyfriend cheats on me after knowing monogamy is a boundary of mine, I leave the relationship. If a friend of mine calls me repeatedly during a time-frame I had shared I would not to be able to talk, I simply do not answer the phone. (Remember: boundaries are about honoring your needs, not about judging other people’s choices.)
5. Let your behavior, not your words, speak for you.
You present your boundaries clearly to people and then let your behavior do the talking. So, if anyone calls me continuously during the day, and they know my boundary, I simply do not pick up the phone until after 5pm. People WILL test, push and disrespect your limits. This happened to me time and time again beginning of this year. Now I know and am confident that I will never fail another boundary test again. Been there done that, not about to let any one else try to push my limits, or cross me again. You’ll know you’re getting healthier when this doesn’t get an emotional reaction out of you too. When your boundaries are your core beliefs, you will not get riled up if you are tested.
6. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
The biggest part of boundaries is HOW clearly you communicate them. You can have the most healthy set of boundaries on the planet but if you do not communicate them clearly, you are going to create some really confusing relationships.
One way to quickly get someone to question your character or authenticity? Say one thing and do another. All my ex boyfriends would be a great example of this one (hahaha I crack myself up sometimes). People get afraid to confront others with truth in love or relationships. We’re afraid to tell people what we really want, to admit that we hate going to certain restaurants, or have trouble spending time with a friend’s toxic cousin, or hate when a boss dumps deadlines on us at 6pm on a Friday. We conceal our true feelings because we’re scared of people’s reactions. The more you ground yourself with your boundaries and values, the more you’ll be able to be very clear in your communication!
7. DON’T APLOGIZE.
Yup. It’s that simple. Do not feel the need to ever apologize for setting a healthy boundary. Do not feel the need to give in and let someone manipulate you for having boundaries. Your gut and intuition will not lie to you. Honor yourself and your boundaries. Your power will come from being firm in them.