Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boundaries and Standing Up for Ourselves

Do you set boundaries in your relationships? In your friendships, in your marriage, with neighbors and acquaintances, with your parents and other family members?

I never used to, but I’m sure learning. First, I got some pink duct tape and started taping myself into squares that nobody else could come into. “Do not come into my square; that is my boundary and my own personal space.”

Just kidding!

Really, though, I generally let people treat me however they want until I get fed up and blow up and take off. Not very healthy, right?

Some of my problem is that I often have trouble determining if someone is joking or if they are truly so rude or stupid that they would say something so hurtful. When I think back on a situation or know someone longer and realize they really ARE so mean, I start to stew. Then every interaction after that is: me looking for a chance to let them have it.

Sometimes someone will deny they are trying to be hurtful. Maybe they don’t even know they’re doing it. But your instincts tell you the deal. Trust those instincts in your relationships. You are not crazy, and you deserve to be treated well.

Melody Beattie says in her book “Codependent No More” that “We may become so familiar with verbal abuse and disrespectful treatment that we don’t even recognize when these things are happening. But deep inside, an important part of us knows. Our SELVES know and will tell us if we will listen … We sense something is wrong. We start feeling crazy, but we can’t understand why because we can’t identify the problem.”

Why is it we would die for our children, yet we let people walk all over us? If my kids don’t see me stand up for myself if someone is repeatedly rude or lies about me, how will they know that it’s okay to stand up for themselves?

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