It’s not mean to stand up for yourself. I promise! It’s necessary, and ultimately, it will lead to better relationships all around. While setting boundaries might be uncomfortable at first, in the long run, it can only improve your relationships. Also, even if it winds up tanking the relationship completely, it’s better for you to feel good about yourself than to be stuck in a really crappy relationship. (Seriously.)
Also remember sometimes it’s not personal. Oh, I know it can feel VERY personal when someone is tromping all over you, but usually it’s about them and their issues more than anything else. Sometimes when someone can’t deal with their own dirty porch, they want to come and sweep yours so they don’t have to face their own. You don’t have to accept that, obviously, but you also shouldn’t let yourself dwell in the pain of it.
So what can you do? One approach I take is to make an “I feel” statement followed by a consequence. For example, “I feel attacked and upset when you talk about my weight. If you continue to talk about my weight, I will end the conversation immediately.” So the formula is “I feel _____ when you ______. If you continue to ______, I will _____.” Make absolutely SURE you can follow through with that consequence, though, or they’ll never take it seriously.
The next time you find yourself struggling to stand up for yourself, feel free to watch this Periscope and remind yourself you’re awesome, and it’s a-okay to set some healthy boundaries, even if no one is going to thank you for doing it.
Wife to Bill.
Mother of Matt, Lenna, and Tricia.
Managing Editor of Audaciously Fat.
Mammalian servant to an avian despot, Courtney Lovebird.
Deliriously happy about all of it.