Does anyone else feel like they have trouble with boundaries

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sohil142003
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03 Jul 2022, 2:38 pm

I feel like I have trouble setting boundaries and being assertive. For example if someone wants to hang out, I feel like I have trouble being assertive and telling them”not today” or I’m not feeling like hanging out, because I’m worried I could lose a friend or something like that. Does anyone else feel like they have this sort of issue with setting boundaries, or is it just me?



klanka
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03 Jul 2022, 4:36 pm

I found it helps to start small, like set little boundaries to practice



sohil142003
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03 Jul 2022, 6:53 pm

klanka wrote:
I found it helps to start small, like set little boundaries to practice

Can you give an example



Lady Strange
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03 Jul 2022, 9:04 pm

Yeah I have trouble with this too. It takes a lot of practice, and learning how to say things. For instance, I learned that you don't have to give a detailed reason why, just say something like "I am busy" if someone wants you to do something and you don't want to. It is hard though because if it is a friend sometimes they press for "why not? What are you doing that you can't hang out". I don't have many friends so this hasn't been a huge issue for me, but still I've heard just repeating yourself too is a method to use. When they say "why not" just repeat "I am busy, I can't today but maybe x day". I think this kind of thing gets easier as you get older too. If a person gets too into wanting to know why or gets manipulative "pleeease hang out, I'm bored" and they get pouty like a child, usually this is just an immature person who doesn't respect you. I fully admit even at my age I am still learning how to do this all correctly.



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03 Jul 2022, 9:09 pm

Yeah. The ironic thing being I respect the boundaries of others amazingly so. Likely a personality quirk over autism, though. I eventually made them, albeit it tends to just be avoidance, so it was a poor coping mechanism I made there. Oh well.



shortfatbalduglyman
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03 Jul 2022, 10:24 pm

Yes I have trouble setting boundaries

Nobody wants to hang out with me

When I had a "friend", it was like *monopolistic competition*

However my "friend" has no problem setting boundaries



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04 Jul 2022, 12:53 pm

I tend to have problems with people respecting my boundaries. I often get reprimanded, punished, abused, gaslighted, invalidated, and disrespected when I set boundaries.


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skibum
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04 Jul 2022, 12:54 pm

It's interesting because I really respect other people's boundaries. I take that very seriously but they refuse to respect mine.


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SimpleTruth
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17 Aug 2022, 1:59 pm

I think most of us have this problem because we're not really taught anything about boundaries for the most part. All that kinda goes in the bucket of "you're not being nice" kinda thing. Um, well, that's not true. You have to be nice to yourself first, right? Sometimes it's the people that are in our circle which is key. If we are always so nice, giving and there for them then they may be the kind of person that just sucks up our energy and anyone's energy that is available. So saying no to them seems hard because we are used to saying yes.

Habits can be broken however. It requires work. There is a book out there called "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud I believe. It's a good one. We have the right to guard our storehouse of energy. I remember when I first started having boundaries and I felt very guilty but that's what my psychic vampires had taught me to do. I just started saying No and that was it. I didn't feel like I needed to give a computer printout about "why". And oh wow, did my parasitic friends not like that one. LOL! What do you mean NO??? I stuck by it. No.

Once I started seeing "their reaction" to me having boundaries, I realized I needed new friends. Because people who have boundaries, respect boundaries. I don't need to do cartwheels and let people suck me dry of my energy in order to get them to like me. Uhh, no. I give out what I can afford and then I sit back and watch them now. If they abuse it then I'm out of their circle and they are out of mine and that's that. I don't feel guilty about it at all. I'm picky now.
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18 Aug 2022, 5:17 am

Yes. I know a bit about the right vocabulary to diplomatically set boundaries, but I'm often uncomfortable about using it. I'm probably more likely to just quietly render what they're doing impossible - so for example if somebody visits and starts messing with my possessions without asking, next time they visit they'll probably find I've moved the stuff I care about out of their reach. For some reason, if they challenge me about such behaviour then I'm usually able to tell them about my boundary. That's easier than it is if I have to raise the issue out of nowhere. For example, the neighbours used to make a lot of noise. Rather than approaching them and asking them to stop, I would just turn my music up loud when they were being noisy. Some time later they complained to me about my noise, and then it was easy for me to just say "well, I wouldn't do it if you were reasonably quiet yourself." It worked, and we still have a truce.

I suppose it could be called passive aggression, but I'm not sure that's such a bad thing the way I do it. I'm happy to be open, honest and conciliatory as soon as they raise the matter with me. Just that I have a bit of a mental block about challenging people's behaviour. I'm not strongly proactive but I can be strongly reactive. It's as if I need to be invited to discuss a potentially thorny issue before I'll say what I think.

I don't like bluntly saying "no" to anybody, but I'm usually OK with explaining the difficulties I'd have in complying with their request, thus making the "no" less explicit and therefore less confrontational and negative. I used to just say "no" but I noticed it wasn't popular. Of course the fact that they've shown enough respect to ask my permission is helpful in keeping it friendly.



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18 Aug 2022, 5:23 am

I've had trouble with boundaries because I've only recently learned to work out if a person is actually being nice to me and if a person is just mocking me.

I assume it's because I was brought up by a mother who didn't know about boundaries and who didn't let me have them. She was allowed to do whatever she liked but I must never step out of line, and I didn't even know what the line was because it kept changing. One day I could do something, the next day I couldn't :shrug:


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18 Aug 2022, 8:48 pm

I feel that I have that problem. I have a hard time saying no to people. Yesterday afternoon is a perfect example of what I mean. Barb asked me to come to the office with me where the landlords work and the workers for the programme that she's in also work. She wanted to talk to a worker about trouble that a member of her programme was causing by gossiping about her and myself. I really wasn't interested and I was missing both a tv show and my nap. I felt as though I wasted an hour and a half that I will never get back.


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19 Aug 2022, 8:52 am

What I find really difficult about boundaries is that you have to be on the ball ALL THE TIME to stop people violating or pushing your boundaries. Sometimes I just want a quiet life and just say 'okay then' because it's easier, I'm tired or unwell or something.

Human predators never stop pushing, do they.


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kraftiekortie
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19 Aug 2022, 9:02 am

I feel the same way.

I would like to have a quiet life, too.

Fortunately, people sense that I sort of want to be left alone, so they don't bother me too much. I'm friendly to them, they are friendly to me----but the relationship is rather superficial.



KitLily
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20 Aug 2022, 5:48 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I feel the same way.

I would like to have a quiet life, too.

Fortunately, people sense that I sort of want to be left alone, so they don't bother me too much. I'm friendly to them, they are friendly to me----but the relationship is rather superficial.


I think you have a good point about people sensing you want to be left alone and keeping things superficial.

Boundaries worried me most when I was at work, or in any environment where I was forced to be there e.g. on a course, at the bank etc.

Work colleagues were always, always pushing at my boundaries. I had to be 100% 'on' all the time to prevent them walking all over me. And then there was the journey home on public transport with people pushing at my boundaries. So very, very tiring.


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20 Aug 2022, 4:26 pm

I had been trained thoroughly to never say no, to always comply with others and try to please them that when I reached adulthood I was not really functional . I got therapy which helped me become self assertive in a healthy way. I learned using a book "when I say NO I feel guilty" by Manuel J smith. It explains how to say NO, how to set boundaries, how to recognize when others are trying to manipulate you or use you or take advantage of you, and how you can use a few effective ways to respond and maintain your boundaries without being guilted, manipulated, shamed, or blamed into doing what they want if you choose not to. the book is online as a pdf, in youtube form, and also available on used book sites such as amazon or thriftbooks for very little cost. Therapy and that book saved my life and my sanity and gave me communication tools that helped so much. I recommend it to others who have trouble saying no or setting and keeping boundaries. the book is out of print now, but the help it can give is worth looking for it.


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