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  • Michaela Patel


Think of an incident where someone has verbally attacked you, disrespected you, or has been plain RUDE to you. How have you dealt with such situation?

‘I have been rude back coz I needed to set my boundaries with them!’

How many of us can identify with this? And how many of us think that giving others the taste of their own medicine 'will teach them'?

If there is one thing you will remember from this article I hope it is this: Destroying someone else's boundaries WON'T fix your own, broken ones. Please read it again.

We can quite happily agree on this very logical statement. However. Our mind has other ideas in the heat of a moment...

I like you to get that there is a difference between 'setting boundaries', and setting them in a healthy, PRODUCTIVE way. Barking at others because they barked at us maybe the EASIEST way to offload our immediate frustrations, but just how much are we going against ourselves long term?

A destructive way of setting our boundaries, acting with the intention to hurt another because we are hurt, is how we learned to cope with our frustrations as children.

Acting on an impulse, coming back with slashing comments, we like to appear 'bigger' than others. We think that putting others down will help us stay up and in power. Because they made us feel small, our hurt Inner Child likes to show them who is the boss, who is 'better, smarter, faster'.

‘Do you think I am an idiot!?’ we scream often aloud.

But can we really prove to others that we are powerful, mature adults meaning business, by acting on our childish impulses? Being disrespectful, aggressive, offensive, what are we showing them?

I mean think about it. Think about a person in your life you truly respect. Is s/he offensive and aggressive towards you? Does s/he shouts at you in disrespectful ways? No? So why do you think you can gain respect by acting that way towards others, no matter how wrong they are being ? Does your child or your partner scream at you? Do you tend to scream back at them?

You may say ‘They are disrespectful towards me and I need to put a stop to this.’ Yes, you need to.

The question is HOW so that you come out a confrontation as the one who deserves respect. If that is what you want from them, of course.

The reason we set our boundaries is for others to respect them. We like others being mindful of the lines we have drawn. To achieve that, first of all others need to HEAR us. And for that to happen they need to be OPEN TO hearing us.

Typically, in the heat of an argument there is little chance of others hearing us because they are wrestling with themselves. In fact addressing things later will put us in a better space and gives us the opportunity to think about what we want to express, and HOW. Our mind tricks us into thinking that if we don’t address the issue on the spot we will somehow lose. We think that if we let them walk away as ‘the winners’ in that moment we are automatically the losers...

Think about how you use your energy and WHERE. Is setting boundaries really necessary?

Why do we get so wound up by strangers who board the bus before we do when we won't ever see them again? Why would you want to use you energy on your boundary restoration with whom you have NON-EXISTING relationship?? So keep your reactive Ego, your triggers, in check. Taking things personally is teaching us about our own insecurities...

Moving on, focusing on relationship which matter in your life, remember this: The battle isn’t over just because your opponent broke through your battlements.

When we are upset, our actions are heavily driven from our Inner Child who feels powerless in situations where we are, in fact, fully in control.

As children we had no awareness of our choices. We didn’t know we could assert ourselves in much more effective ways, instead of tirelessly fighting our corner. As adults, we can choose to walk away without saying a word, letting others reflect on their inappropriate behaviour themselves, or say ‘I am sorry that you feel that way’ without accepting any responsibility for what happened whilst acknowledging their feelings. We can also say ‘I am really sorry but I don’t like to talk about it right now' to buy some time to calm down.

Aggression, or threats with the intention to scare others, will only activate their childish response - their Ego. In the same way your childish response was activated whenever you felt powerless. Do you still think that by making others MORE powerless will open them up to hearing what you’ve got to say?

Use the power of your intelligence. Be like the Ninja. THINK before you act! Because the moment your primitive brain is ready for a fight, your common sense is no longer accessible, and neither is theirs...

Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.

Copyright © 2017 Michaela Patel

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