I saw the movie Black Panther over the weekend. During the final battle scene, the warriors had magic shields protecting them. My mind went to what a great visual this is for boundaries. It is a fabulous movie, by the way.
Boundaries can be an invisible magic shield protecting us and our true selves if used properly.
Most likely your parents do not have swords to take over your kingdom. They might even realize they are intruding upon your marriage when their “comments” about your husband’s career path or when your child needs to give up their pacifier.
I am going to give Negative Nelly at work the benefit of the doubt that her incessant complaining is not meant to drag you down, however, it makes you only see what is not working.
Jealous Jenny from college could truly not be coming from a place of comparison and jealousy when she asked how large your engagement right but it made you feel uncomfortable so shields up just the same.
Why can’t others just respect us naturally? Why don’t our parents realize they are meddling? Why isn’t Negative Nelly aware of how defeated your body language is after she stops by your office? Doesn’t Jealous Jenny remember her stinking manners that you don’t ask about how much things cost? I do not know what motivates these people, as I am not writing this for them, and quite frankly they aren’t the type who would even read a post on boundaries.
Maybe you aren’t very good at boundaries and aren’t so sure where to start. No worries, I have got you covered.
1) Walk away, hang up the phone or cut off the conversation. When Nellie starts complaining about the bosses secretary’s lunch break, look at the watch and tell her you to have to prepare for a meeting. As soon as she goes there. Do not give her a chance to slime you with the negativity.
2)Change the subject. When Jenny starts asking you how much your house cost, ask her how work is going. If this happens enough times, she should get the message that intrusive questions will not be answered.
3)Be Direct. If steps 1 and 2 do not work after repeated applications with your parents, then have a sit-down. Start by telling them how much you love them. Then, something along the lines of how much appreciate their concern, but your marriage is off limits. This could feel uncomfortable the first couple of times you have to do it, but hopefully, you will not have to repeat yourself. If you do, be consistent with your position, you love them, but this is not a topic of discussion.
When we get better at loving ourselves, we do not allow ourselves to get taken advantage of, put in uncomfortable situations and be negatively influenced by others.
Isn’t it amazing how Self Love fixes so many of life’s hiccups??
“if you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like you. It may not be easy, but it’s essential if you want your life to reflect your deepest desires, values, and needs.”
― Cheryl Richardson, The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time