You have a friend or family member who acts a fool. They hurt your feelings, they walk on your boundaries. And, sometimes they even blame you for it!
This is so annoying. What's a human person to do? Well, now, quit asking me trick questions because you know I can't do therapy on my blog. But, I can mention some generic coping skills that help in generic situations like these...
- Know your own worth/purpose/value, my friend. You are not someone else's doormat. It's actually not helpful for you (or for them) to keep getting walked on and/or treated like a giant turd.
- Don't take it personal. Look, Sister Girl or Brother Guy (we are on a first name basis, so I call you that), if someone is a jerk- that's a clinical term for tromping on your boundaries- that is NOT about you. They try to make it about you. It's a trick. Don't fall for it.
- While you are practicing knowing your value and not taking things personally, learn how to use your voice. You don't need a very loud voice or very many words. In fact, yelling or lecturing won't help. A simple, "That's not okay with me. Can you try that again?" may suffice. You can come up with your own healthy boundary phrase and put it to good use. You might have to sound like a broken record. You might have to sound like a broken record. You might... that was funny. Laugh.
- Be okay with distancing yourself from a person if they don't get with the program. This is not to cut all ties forever and ever, amen. It's not to be a bully and threaten them with the loss of the relationship. It's to protect your heart and send a firm message that you don't tolerate that nonsense. Are you thinking "Ain't nobody got time for that?" Because I am. And now you are, too. That's the power of the pen- or keyboard. Anyway, the faster they learn this, the better- for you and them and everyone.
- And, here's the secret sauce that many other 'dealing with difficult people' blogs, books and videos fail to mention: allow for restoration. It's not all about enforcing your newly learned healthy boundaries. It's not BoundaryTV- all boundaries, all the time. Geez, relax willya? Seriously, though, there is a time to correct and a time to embrace... or something like that. If someone struggles with demonstrating unacceptable behavior, they most likely also struggle with the opposite: having consistent appropriate interpersonal interactions. You can model these warm-fuzzy human behaviors to hopefully facilitate a greater frequency of positive behaviors from them. By the way, I think you should know that when I write the word "model" I usually write it modle then spell check corrects it for me. But by then I'm already thinking of moodle and noodle. And that reminds me of rhyming preschool songs which makes me wonder why I write at all. Random thoughts.
As always, guard your hearts, my friends -M
Photo credit: pixabay
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog