When someone pushes your boundaries (many times it is someone you love) your stress goes up and your happiness level goes down. How do you confront the boundary buster in your life? We are in the middle of a series of post on happiness. You can find the first two post HERE and HERE. Today we will look at element number three; enjoy.
Element 3: Follow Through With Your Boundaries
When we structure our life with healthy boundaries the stress in our life goes down and the happiness of our life increases. In today’s post, I want to share an article by Dr Henry Cloud about dealing with family when they push our boundaries.
“If you are being saddled with another person’s responsibilities and feel resentful, you need to take responsibility for your feelings, and realize your unhappiness does not belong to anyone else. It’s yours to take charge of. In this as in any other boundary conflict, you first must take responsibility for yourself.
Say your mother-in-law came by your house and started giving you unsolicited advice. She is literally on your property telling you what to do — how to cook dinners, how to raise your kids, how to serve your husband. So, what do you do? You must act responsibly to your mother-in-law. Talk to her and explain the situation. When she asks you to do something that is out of the realm for how you provide for your family, say no and refuse to whatever it is that she wants you to do. If she gets angry at you for saying no, be firm about your boundaries and empathize with her anger. To fight anger with anger is to get hooked into her game. Keep your emotional distance and say, “I’m sorry if this upsets you. But that (situation) is not how I do things in my house. I hope you find a way to work out your issues around the need to control.”
If she continues to argue, tell her that you’re finished discussing it; she can come over again when she’s ready to respect your boundary. Do not fall into the trap of justifying why you can’t do things her way. You will be slipping into her thinking that you’re supposed to appease her preferences. You do not owe her an explanation about why you will not do something that satisfies her need to control your household.”
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Cloud, Dr Henry. Stop someone from violating your boundaries. Boundaries.me. August 20, 2019.