In my blog on Boundaries, I spoke of some brief experiences I had with my NX and how he cannot respect them. This blog, I'll be revisiting the topic of boundaries and go more in depth in how you can establish healthy ones with the Narcissist in your life.
What is a boundary?
According to Merriam-Webster, a boundary is defined as " something (such as a river, a fence, or an imaginary line) that shows where an area ends and another area begins" and "a point or limit that indicates where two things become different."
But the definition that pertains most to dealing with toxic individuals, such as Narcissists, is that boundaries are "unofficial rules about what should not be done : limits that define acceptable behavior."
Narcissists have no respect whatsoever towards others. They feel we are only there to serve them. So they will ignore our requests and do what they want in order to get what they want.
They like to be the center of attention, so they will dominate conversations. They will talk over you and interrupt you. They will ignore your personal space and get right up into your face.
And because Narcissists have a complete lack of respect for others, they will go to great lengths to get you to engage with them and break your boundaries.
What are healthy boundaries?
Healthy boundaries simply refer to ways we take care of ourselves. The boundaries can be physical or emotional, or both. It is a line we create that others cannot cross. It's what you will and won't allow.
"Those with healthy boundaries are firm but flexible.They give support and accept it. They respect their feelings, needs, opinions, and rights, and those of others, but are clear about their separateness. They are responsible for their own happiness and allow others to be responsible for their happiness. They are assertive and respectful of the rights of others to be assertive. They are able to negotiate and compromise, have empathy for others, are able to make mistakes without damaging their self-esteem, and have an internal sense of personal identity. They respect diversity. Those with healthy boundaries are comfortable with themselves, and make others comfortable around them."
Only you can decide when you are ready to set those boundaries. It is your personal space, your emotions, and your life. No one can tell you how to go about setting boundaries. You can, however, seek guidance from a therapist in setting proper boundaries that coincide with your healing process.
Tips on setting boundaries
There are several things to keep in mind when setting boundaries. You can set one at a time, or even several at once. It just depends on your situation.
1. Stay calm.
When you create your boundaries, keep a calm tone to your voice. Be firm, but be respectful. I know the Narcissist is never respectful of you, so you might be under the impression that you don't need to be respectful back. On the contrary. The more calm you remain, the better it'll be in the long run.
My mom always taught me to use the "I feel" statements. Tailor the "I feel" statements to your situation.
2. Don't worry about what others will think about your boundaries.
I was always concerned with how people would react to the boundaries that I set. You are only responsible for your own emotions and actions. Those who react negatively to your boundaries are people who don't need to be in your life. You are on a path to healing and recovery, so those who don't respect boundaries need to take a backseat.
3. Take care of yourself.
Your first priority is to take care of yourself. Regaining your sense of self is of utmost importance while you recover. You can't do that while the Narcissist is constantly harping on you.
I take care of myself by creating a clear boundary of telling my NX that I will not accept phone calls past a certain hour. If it's an emergency, he can leave a voicemail. By setting this particular boundary, I know that I can turn in for the night at a decent hour and get the proper amount of sleep.
You also need to keep in mind that the toxic individuals will not respect the boundaries you set. They will test the waters little by little.
If I answer the phone once after that set hour, then my NX will know he can do it again. If I don't answer that next time, he'll get angry and say something like, "Well you did it before."
Be firm in your boundaries and don't give in. The old adage of "If you give them an inch, they'll take a mile" absolutely rings true here.
What kinda of boundaries have you set? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.