It is never a simple task to set limits with toxic individuals, but it can be instructive when we learn to do it and take that action. Setting boundaries takes care of us. By putting them in place, we become less irritable and bitter because our own needs are met. Our expectations are clearly defined on how we expect treatment when we set limits. They create healthy content and relationships. By communicating clearly with people, most will respect our borders, but some people will do everything in their power to take more control over us.
There are three parts to setting boundaries.
- Identify your limits. Be clear about what you need before trying to communicate or enforce the border.
- Communicate your limits or expectations clearly, calmly and consistently. Stay true to the facts without over-explaining, blaming, or becoming defensive.
- If your limits are not met, assess your options and take action.
Who are toxic people?
Toxic people are people who give off negative energy and make us feel worse when we are around them. I firmly believe that your gut will tell you if someone is toxic and not healthy, but if you want a little more advice, here are some of the characteristics of toxic people.
- Lying regularly
- Enjoy your kindness
- Do not respect your limits
- You manipulate to get what they want
- Knock you down
- Don’t encourage yourself to pursue your goals
- Ignore the feelings or needs of others
- Feel right
- Are often angry or aggressive
- Rarely apologize
- Drain your energy
- You have a lot of “dramas” or problems, but you don’t want to change
- Think the rules don’t apply to them
- Speak, but don’t listen
What if someone won’t respect your boundaries?
Defining boundary is an ongoing process and there is no quick fix for dealing with boundary violators. The bottom line is that we cannot force people to respect our limits, but we can control how we react. The following ideas can help you choose the best approach to deal with chronic boundary violations.
1. Recognize our limits
If we do not know where we are, we cannot set firm limits. We need to identify our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual limits. We need to consider what we can tolerate and accept and what makes us uncomfortable or distressed. These feelings help us to identify our limits.
2. Be in tune with our feelings
The red flags that we are starting to leave our borders are resentment and discomfort. Thinking of these feelings on a scale of one to ten, six to ten are at the top level. At the higher level, during an interaction, we must ask ourselves the cause. Frequently, this indicates that we are going over the limit because of shame. We may want to be the perfect wife or daughter, or someone can express their expectations of us.
3. Being to the point
We have to be more direct with some people than with others. If people are similar in their communication techniques, their points of view, their behaviors and the usual approach to life, they will confront themselves in the same way. On the other hand, we have to be more direct with those who have different cultural backgrounds or personalities. This other person may think that we do not respect their way of life. For example, time can be an issue in an intimate relationship. The couple may need to communicate how much to keep time and time alone together.
4. Give yourself permission
The huge pitfalls are fear, self-doubt and shame. We tend to fear the reaction of the other person if we impose limits. Shame can set in to speak to a family member or a spouse. Although this exhausts us, many of us think that we should be able to face the situation and accept it because we are good sons or daughters. We can also consider whether we even deserve to set limits in the first place. It is crucial to know that boundaries are a sign of self-care. We must allow ourselves to fix them and keep them in place.
5. Working on self-awareness
Our boundaries should define centering in on our feelings and honoring them. When we begin to notice we are slipping, we must ask ourselves what changed.
6. Reviewing the past and present
Our childhood can create barriers to setting and maintaining boundaries later in life. By being gatekeepers early in life, we learn to focus on others, allowing us to empty ourselves emotionally and physically. Ignoring our own needs becomes a habit for us. Unhealthy environments also play a role. We must ask ourselves if there are healthy mutual concessions. Listening to and respecting our needs and feelings is essential to our health.
7. Making essential personal care
We must allow ourselves to make personal care our most important goal. In doing so, our determination to set limits is strengthened. Caring for yourself helps us realize how essential our feelings are and we are starting to honor them. Caring for us shows us what makes us happy and miserable. By giving us a priority, we receive peace of mind, encouragement, rest and motivation to be more present with others, and we also become better people. Limited contact is not intended to punish or manipulate others, it is a form of personal care.
If someone hurts you physically or emotionally, you need to put some distance between yourself and that person. Despite what others may say, you don’t have to have a relationship with family members or anyone who makes you feel bad. Family and friends should lift and support you, not leave you depressed, anxious, angry or confused.