I’ve been trying to do a better job of defending my boundaries with people, and I’m learning that it’s not easy. Not at all.
I was never taught to defend my boundaries when i was young. Being immensely insecure, I was easy to take advantage of. And people did. It became so normal that people expected me not to stand up for myself. And, of course, resentment builds…..
Feeling disrespected, unwanted, and generally unappreciated builds up. Eventually, you have to stand up. But I had been letting it become sso tense that the emotional baggage I had built up made a calm, rational discussion impossible, even if I wanted it.
So, my recent project is defending my boundaries up front, and I’m been met with a huge amount of resistance. Also, because it’s a new skill, I’m not exactly excelling at it. It’s a skill I need to practice, but I risk simply capitulating if I don’t stand firm.
I am always willing to accept my responsibility for my mistakes. In some cases, i even manage to recognize it, so that I can actually do so. What has been harder is standing up when i believe that someone else has made a mistake. Far too long was I willing to accept responsibility when it was not mine.
What’s hardest is that when other people are struggling with the same thing, and we are both being defensive and trying to defend our boundaries, then conflict arises. Somehow you end up talking past one another, cognitive biases show up, and then both of you start creating a narrative of how you are the one who is more hurt.
When you both are.
And you are both too hurt, angry, and stubborn to try and see past it. Actually, I think maybe it might be impossible to see it when really affected.
And if it’s bad enough, you lose friends, partners, and in some cases family.
And that’s life. And it sucks.
So, here’s to us all trying to defend our boundaries, while keeping in mind that it’s this very struggle which is the cause of so many conflicts. I hope we can all figure it out.