There’s a powerful quote that says:
Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing. — Unknown
Especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships, no truer thing has ever been said… and it doesn’t matter how you try to rationalize the ‘bad’ behavior.
You might say to yourself:
“But, they’re family…”
“That’s just how she is…”
“I’m never going to change that person so why bother?”
“I owe them so I have to put up with them.”
“It would be too hard to change things now.”
“I’ve tried to set boundaries and it just doesn’t work.”
I could keep going but you get my drift.
And here’s the problem with all of those sentiments:
You teach people how to treat you.
With every bit of disrespect you allow, with every boundary violation you tolerate, with every manipulation you give in to, you are telling those individuals that they have every right to treat you this way… because you aren’t showing them any differently.
And here’s the truth:
Until you stop tolerating other people’s bad behavior, you’ll forever be at the mercy of what ‘they’ think you deserve…
And, yes, it’s not that easy to stop tolerating bad behavior you’ve spent years putting up with, especially if any of the following exist:
- You have financial ties to those people and your ability to have financial security is based on you doing exactly what ‘they’ want you to do
- You share children with those people and your setting boundaries will increase the likelihood of toxicity, dysfunction, or trauma to your children
- You have unresolved original family trauma and, deep down, you want to have ‘their’ love and approval… and feel an unyielding desire to do whatever it takes to get it… even if, logically, you know you never will
- You’re afraid to stand up for yourself and you’re afraid of being alone as a result of holding to your boundaries