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Boundary Setting in Your Relationships

Hi everyone! There’s this spectrum in the world that exists about boundaries. Some people are a fortress – nothing’s going to infringe on their space or preferences. Some people are completely vulnerable, allowing anyone and anything to take advantage of them.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a love relationship or a family one or a friendship – even strangers you encounter – we all have boundaries that can be defined as somewhere on this spectrum.

I am personally a fortress. I used to not be, but I became one. I’m not saying it’s right, either. I am a hermit and don’t like anyone infringing on my space. If you pop in at my house, I’ll have zero problem telling you I don’t appreciate it and slamming the door shut. Same goes with calling me when you’re not supposed to.

It’s actually quite rude. I’m not friendly – unless I want to be. If I don’t want to do something, I won’t. Period. No guilt gets to me in helping people who annoy me.

The weird thing is, when I want to be friendly and helpful, I can be the Mother Theresa of giving. It just all depends on my mood.

At the other end of the spectrum is the jellyfish with no spine. I have so much spine I’m hardened. That’s not good either. I know this. The jellyfish, though can’t say no. Can’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

I know some people like this and they always get frustrated that they’re taken advantage of, yet they do nothing to correct the problem. For example, someone I know goes to bed pretty early – around 8 PM. Well at 9:30 at night the other night, there’s a knock on the door. A neighbor in her apartment complex wanted to borrow an egg. At 9:30 at night.

Now you might stay up until 11 PM or whatever, but some people don’t – so it’s totally freaking RUDE to knock on someone’s door who you don’t even know and ask to borrow an egg. This lady? She was annoyed, but said, “okay” and gave the lady the egg without a scolding. Me? I would have cussed her out, slammed my door and been pissed. Neither option is a good one.

The perfect option would have been to say, “I don’t mind giving you an egg this time, but I go to bed early so please don’t come over at this time of night anymore.” It’s firm, but not too harsh.

If you’re a service provider, you might not have boundaries with your clients. I didn’t for quite awhile. Some wanted me to come up with ideas for their business. That wasn’t my job! I wasn’t paid to brainstorm your business for you. After I got my overgrown spine, I started saying hell to the no on that.

I have softened up in some areas. My sister made me feel guilt about slamming the door on the poor religious people who solicit at my door, so now I just politely say “no thanks.” I took the time to explain to a Democrat caller the other night that I vote conservative, instead of giving her an earful for calling my house.

I have to control my rudeness. I think it developed so strongly because I was sick of being the jellyfish, so I went from one extreme to the other. Someday maybe I’ll find that middle road.

Tiff 😉

4 Responses to “Boundary Setting in Your Relationships”

  • I go one way or the other in different situations. I’m no good when it comes to middle ground. There are certain people I just can’t say no to and that causes me to be extra harsh with people who don’t deserve it.

    I agree about the phone calls and random visits though. That makes me mad. I’m a very private person when it comes to my home life.

    When it comes to clients, I started out just letting them walk all over me. That ended once I started realizing I could make money writing for myself. Now I don’t take any nonsense. I only take maybe one or two clients a month because they are regulars from when I first started writing and we work well together. I tried taking on some new clients last month and as soon as they started stacking on extra demands that weren’t agreed upon to start, I suggested some other writers who might be interested in the worked and washed my hands of it.

  • Rasby says:

    I HATE it when people come to my house unannounced or when they call past 9:30 as all of my children live far away and late phone calls, to me, mean bad news.

    Most of the time I simply don’t answer the door since I can see them, but they can’t see me. I monitor phone calls and pick up and set the phone down on 855, 866, 877, out of area, etc.

    My husband often ask callers for their home number so he can call them back later when he isn’t busy. 🙂 Strangely enough, he hasn’t collected one home number yet.

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