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Thread: How to set boundaries

  1. #11
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Instead of being firm and direct, you are being passive aggressive in your response. For whatever reason, you perceive being firm and direct as rude. It isn't. What is rude is jerking people around with excuses.

    Like when someone asks you to hang out, you are making vague excuses that imply that you will hang out with them and are interested in that but for insert whatever excuse here, so they keep asking. That's rude and frustrating both ways - to you and to them. The person you are stringing along like this is wasting their time and energy on you when they could seek friendship elsewhere. A firm NO can be something like, "Thank you so much for the invite, but I prefer to keep things strictly professional. Appreciate your understanding."

    Can you do my hair? Nope. That's it. No explanations, no excuses, no justifications needed.

    What you need to learn to understand is that people hear NO all the time, since birth really. You are not going to shock anyone by saying no and being firm about it. It is not rude, it's normal.

    That said, it sounds like your fam has some very murky boundaries themselves if they let an employee come over to their house and then sit and listen to her whine about her personal life until 5am. That's crazy but also, not your problem. If it's something work related that you need to be present for, then do that. The moment the work stuff is done, get up and excuse yourself with "thanks for the meeting, I have something else to take care of." and walk away. It's not rude. What is rude is actually what she is doing - dumping on your family and monopolizing your time...also totally unprofessional.

    It might help you a lot to fix what your definition/perception of rude is.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    I agree DF.

    And this is a very good point:

    "It might help you a lot to fix what your definition/perception of rude is."



    BTw I have been reading your op of last May re the toxic relatives.

  3. #13
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    It seems like not enough privacy to me and you're in a funk. You'll feel better once you move out and have your own space to collect your thoughts and feel more like yourself. It might help you rebuild your confidence also.

    Saying no comes with practice. And most of the time inappropriate questions also don't require an answer. You can walk away, delete, block or choose not to associate with people you barely know. You'll be all right. Takes time.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I will just add that I went through something similar several years ago. Learning to set boundaries is a process. You don't go from being permissive to drawing firm lines over night.

    Everything you shared, to me, seems you are right on track with learning to get there.
    It's not something you are accostomed to so it's bound to feel very uncomfortable at times.

    Each scenerio you outlined, you made small adjustments to how you handled things differently that you might not have in the past.

    I get the sense you are here looking for reinforcement and I think you are doing great.
    It doesn't happen overnight and continue doing what you are doing, making adjustments here and there and at some point it starts to feels natural.

    I was told once (in therapy) to be learn to be flexible because there is a difference between creating a block wall and setting a boundary. Boundaries sometimes call for being flexible.

    It took me a long time to learn it.
    You are doing great. Be patient with yourself.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Unfortunately not much you can do but be polite to your family's employees/guests until you get your own place.
    Originally Posted by ironi

    1 - She is a work colleague who works with my family (I live with my family)get invited to dinner by my family as they are all work colleagues and also have after work drinks.

    5- They aren't my guests but try to socialise with me but I don't want to. I eat dinner at the dining table as its my routine and she'll be over for dinner invited by someone else. I am moving out in March so with the family till then.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    Quite so, Ironi.

    "I need to be more firm and confident in myself and not care what it may seem like"

    Roll on March!

  8. #17
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    1, A girl I just met for 5 minutes wants to go hang out with me. I have made continuous excuses about the pandemic but she still asks. I do not want to pursue a friendship or hangout with her. But she is a work colleague of my family so I will always bump into her in a work environment as sometimes she'll come over for training and stay for drinks. but I don't want to hang out socially. She has also started making excuses to come over more often 5 out of 7days. But I stay in my bedroom to do my work so avoid her like that. I have mentioned how she's overwhelming but because she uses work as an excuse my family members can't say no and I don't have any control over it.

    "Going to see my new girlfriend tonight, and I'm excited." Or "Have you gained weight?"

    2, When people ask for favours that I don't want to do/have time for - will you do my hair or makeup? As in go out of my way to style someones hair and use my products on them they aren't even people I would consider a friend. However, they somehow think we are. I have responded that I'm not a hairdresser and they should go to a salon. they respond ' haha its fine your great at doing your hair and makeup please' I then say 'I'm only really good on myself' but they still ask and pursue me.

    "It's $50 for hair. $50 for makeup. For both, it's $90."

    3, People who try to add you on social media and then ask why you haven't accepted them. I have said I don't use it or active but they still insist I accept them.

    "I'll check tonight. (And just don't bring it up)"

    4, When people who you don't know ask personal questions and try to give you advice. For example a girl I met asked if I was single and I said yes then went on to give me a 1 hour lecture on how I need to get out there and meet people. When I said I am happy and want it to happen organically she still wouldn't drop it. Making me feel like she was attacking me infront of other people.

    This is on you dude. Don't take it personally. She says to get out there because she's not having luck. Totally all about her. Just nod and smile.

    5, Someone I don't know that well keeps wanting to offload their life, heartbreak, dilemmas on me. I really need to focus on myself and don't have the mental capacity or energy to listen to it when I am going through a hard time myself and need to keep my mind positive and happy. one example yesterday the work colleague I mentioned came over for drinks, she has repeated the same story of her fiancÚ cheating on her and cries (I've seen her 3 times now and every time she does this - remember she is in my home 'seeing my family members') she has other friends so she isn't completely alone but changes the whole mood and it really bums me out. Because its at home I can't watch TV I can't relax and I feel we all have to sit there and have a pity party and exchange heartbreak stories which I don't want to do. I listen to it for like 40 minutes but she wants to go on for hours and hours and doesn't go home until 5am. So one the last occasion I just made an excuse and went to bed which she then said I was very insensitive to my family member. I did not make scene it was 1am, and hugged her bye. The next day my family member said how the colleague thought I was rude and it upset her more. When I said Ive heard the story, its 1 am, I don't have positive input for her situation, I don't know her very well they understood. But I felt as if the colleague was trying to start something.

    Do what you do when to stop a dog from licking you, just get up and leave. Even in mid-sentence, just say, "I gotta go," and go out.

    You don't need a life coach - you just need to learn to be blunt.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    Tattoo, you beat me to it, lol.

    ""It's $50 for hair. $50 for makeup. For both, it's $90.""

    On the rare occasions when I have been asked such a daft question, I reply: "I am very expensive. You could never afford me. Tina's Salon on High Street will cost you a lot less."

    And a big yes to this T.

    "You don't need a life coach - you just need to learn to be blunt."



    Lol. And this comeback made my evening:

    " "Have you gained weight?"
    "


    Now there's a show-stopper.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    Giving excuses/passive, is more rude than being honest. Being forward/honest with grace and tact is your solution.

    Your coworker lady, : "Sorry but it would be best to keep our relationship on professional terms. Hope you understand."

  11. #20
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Try to squash your conditioned response that you are upsetting individuals by saying no to them.

    It's helpful to remind yourself while you are practicing setting boundaries, you are more likely to gain respect from people when you learn to take care of yourself by creating healthy limits.

    Think of confident individuals that you personally know. When they manage their life with boundaries my guess is you are likely to admire and respect them.
    Those who are permissive or passive are those who get taken advantage of. They don't gain alot of respect by doing so.

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