Boundaries, not just for witches

6 Jul

I have always had problems setting boundaries, no matter whether with family, friends or random people I meet on the streets. Partly it stems from back in my childhood, when we children were not allowed to set boundaries with adult relatives, such as, “No, I don’t want a hug from grandma today” – instant punishment would follow. As a consequence I struggled with what I really wanted or did not want for many years.

As I grow older, fortunately, I have less time for bullshit. And more intimate knowledge of the things I want. I am still rather quiet and, as long as things are not important to me, quite likely to just go along with whatever plans and ideas people around me mention (which movies to watch, which pubs to frequent, where to eat, … ).

When it comes to the important stuff, however, I have become a fierceful guardian of my personal boundaries. And this has led, in the past year, to repeated trouble with family and friends.

You don’t get to complain to us about the dirt on our car. If it annoys you so much, you can borrow the keys and take it to the car wash. The same goes for our flat. You don’t have to visit.

I will not be bullied into giving up me-time to hang out with you because you are bored.

Being friends with me does not give you permission to take out your anger or frustration on me. Also you don’t have right to a certain number of interactions per week.

I am not a teddy bear, to be touched whenever you want. It doesn’t matter how long we have been friends. Ignore this statement at your own risk.

Trying to manipulate me, if you get caught, is a sure way to get into trouble.

It is kind of sad that some people are not ready to accept these simple rules – it all boils down to “Don’t be an asshole, play nice.” Usually I give one warning – as I did with crazy e-mail guy (who hasn’t contacted me in a while, thank the gods!) – and then make them face the consequences. Don’t get me wrong, it is not impossible to rebuild trust … but it takes plenty of time and effort.

One of the worst things about these confrontations is when the other party won’t accept my boundaries and demands explanations. Like, what do you mean, you can’t accept that I find some interactions inacceptable? Why do you need a reason for not treating me like property, or an employee? And even better (or worse, as it is) is when they refuse to accept the explanation – for yes, of course I *do* give explanations, where necessary (can’t expect everyone to go around reading minds).

After plenty of work, I can say I barely hold a grudge against people. They can’t be anyone but themselves. But I refuse to let anyone drag me down to a relationship I am not comfortable with. Getting up and leaving gets less scary the more often you do it.

(Witchy note: If you have trouble enforcing boundaries, make sure to have a cerulean item on you – a scarf or a necklace is perfect, but a string of cord in your pocket or your favorite worn-out light blue socks will work as well.)

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7 Responses to “Boundaries, not just for witches”

  1. Magaly Guerrero July 6, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

    Setting boundaries are a great tool in the battle to remain sane enough to stay out of jail.

    • Magaly Guerrero July 6, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

      …just pretend that what I type makes complete grammatical sense, all right?

  2. TouchoftheGoddess3 July 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    A lesson I have to keep relearning. Thanks for the reminder!

    • diandralinnemann July 10, 2015 at 11:41 am #

      Yeah, this world tends to fuck the nice people – at least that way we are sure to get some action. [/sarcasm]

      I hate that it’s not possible to simply be nice and considerate and trust that the other people will act similarly.

  3. peppylady (Dora) July 9, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

    Boundaries in general is healthy part of life. The lady I let stay in my drive way real never set boundaries and people walks all over.
    Confession time…Some time I feel like a meanie for set boundaries. Actual the lady who was parked in our drive way would look a lot nicer. Coffee is on

    • diandralinnemann July 10, 2015 at 11:42 am #

      Coffee sounds good. ^^

      Yeah, some people don’t understand that nice people are nice and not weak. (It scares them when the gloves come off, it’s hilarious!)

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