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Thoughts on Healing: Boundary testing



By  Rianne Collignon     12:54    Labels:,, 

Dear People,

I think all of us would love it when people would just easily respect our boundaries. A clear no is a clear no and not a start of a negotiation. An explanation of our reasons is a way to foster understanding and not a discussion on the validity of those reasons. Sadly, boundary stomping exists and while some of it is done unintentionally, not all of it is. So here is an article to deal better with people who won't respect our boundaries or who try to test if we are willing to keep to them.

Boundary testing: not respecting a No
Your boss has asked you to work on a day that you can't. You said no. He put you on the schedule anyway. What do you do?  In other relationships we might encounter this by people saying: "I already told X that you would do that" or somebody sending out an e-mail out to everybody stating you offered your help.

People who won't respect a no count on the fact that we are too afraid to make a fuss, too scared to stand our ground and that we will fold if they pretend not to hear our no. They count on the fact that we don't want to make them look foolish or ourselves bad. However it's not bad to do what is right for us. And if somebody in authority misuses that authority it's time to find another job or to complain to a higher up.

Boundary testing: not respecting valid reasons
Suppose that you are being asked to come to a family BBQ, but that day simply won't work for you. You have to work late, you are near the end of an important deadline and you are exhausted. So you are sad that you will miss it and you think that if you just explain why, your mother is going to understand.

Only instead of saying: "Too bad, hope to see you another time", she starts to test how firm your boundary is. She might tell you that you need to keep your family close, that your work life balance is rotten, that your little niece is so looking forward to seeing you etc. etc. Every argument or guilt trip makes you feel upset, but.. will it make you waver on your boundary, that your choice is to skip this event?

If we do let ourselves be guilt tripped or manipulated into choices that aren't right for us, we are teaching people that if they just test our boundaries, just push and push and push, we give in. So, stand your ground. Hang up, walk away or start repeating the same answer over and over (I'm not coming this time). If your no stays a no, the boundary testing will become less in time as people notice that you won't be persuaded into a yes.

Boundary testing: getting you to argue
Another hurtful way of testing your boundaries is to try to get you into a discussion or argument. Suppose you said you wouldn't do something and instead of accepting that the other person makes disparaging remarks about your character or the way you behaved.

You might feel obligated to defend yourself, your reasons and your decisions. They are hoping that they can make you relent, that they can find a chink in your armor and often also feel happy that they get you upset or worked up.

The best way to keep these boundary testers at bay is to let go of the need to have the last word. Just let them argue into thin air while you do what's right for you. You don't need their support, understanding or cooperation, so don't seek it.

Trouble keeping your boundaries strong or want to share a story? Post a comment on the blog or on the Facebook Fan Page. Send me an e-mail or talk to me in the practice.

About Rianne Collignon

Psychic Healer Rianne Collignon helps people in her practice Hart en Ziel (Heart and Soul) in Delft, The Netherlands with solutions, advice and support. In addition to private sessions (also available through Skype, phone and by e-mail) she runs workshops, training and detox programs and courses. These are also available online in Dutch through Hart en Ziel Educatie (Heart and Soul Education).
At Hart en Ziel Zakelijk (Heart and Soul Business) companies can request business reports, training sessions and staff parties to grow and profit in a spiritual way.

Call +31 610521351 for more information on business days between 7pm-8pm, send an e-mail, follow on social media (Facebook Fan Page, here on the blog, YouTube and LinkedIn) or check out the website: http://www.hartenziel-online.nl

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