Setting Boundaries Makes Narcissists Take Responsibility for Their Behavior

Setting Boundaries Makes Narcissists Take Responsibility for Their Behavior

One of the most commonly shared qualities among victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse is the inability to comfortably set boundaries with other people. This is a primary reason that a narcissist may have targeted you in the first place. Plus, since a large number of narcissistic abuse survivors report they also had a traumatic childhood, they were nearly raised to accept people who actively overstep their boundaries. And, to further complicate the situation, most survivors weren’t even taught they were allowed to set boundaries in the first place.

How do you set boundaries with narcissists? 

To establish healthy boundaries, you need to be clear with your partner who you are, what you want, your beliefs and values, and specifically what your limits are. Narcissists do not allow this. They are known for pushing and stepping on boundaries in order to manipulate and control you more easily. Whether you’re trying to set boundaries with narcissists or with other “healthier” people, you might find yourself struggling. Here is some help with how to set boundaries with narcissists and other difficult people. And here’s a little more advice on how to set boundaries with narcissists.

How do narcissists react when you set boundaries?

Something you’ll notice when you’re setting boundaries for yourself with a narcissist is that it can easily make them uncomfortable. In a lot of ways, due to your typical conflict-avoidant behavior when you’ve been involved with a narcissist, people in your life have become used to no real resistance when it comes to offhanded comments or using others for their advantage. Sadly, even the “non-narcissists” in your life can end up taking advantage of you unintentionally.

But when it comes to narcissists, there’s a whole other side of the coin. When you set boundaries and enforce them, it makes the narcissist take responsibility for their abusive behavior, something that most narcissists absolutely refuse to do. And since your desire to hold firm in your boundaries is very likely new and scary for them, it’ll be very off-putting for them, to put it mildly. This is one of the reasons that boundaries can come off as aggressive at first, even with the non-narcissists around you.

But while you’re only being vaguely defensive, narcissists will take your desire and ability to set boundaries as a personal threat that you’re making them have some actual responsibility for thinking about what they say and do before they do it.

As uncomfortable as it may be for them, though, the non-narcissists in their lives will most definitely get over it and start to learn how to act and treat people with respect. Taking responsibility for your behavior means that you can no longer just do things mindlessly. Narcissists, of course, will never move past it and will either abandon the relationship or do whatever is necessary to mentally push their partners into conforming to their own controlling ways.

Why is it so important to set boundaries in narcissistic abuse recovery?

When you go through narcissistic abuse, you’ll find that your boundaries are actively and aggressively pushed back. Narcissists are notoriously disrespectful of boundaries. While a narcissist seems charming in the beginning, you’ll quickly learn that while you’re expected to fully respect their own boundaries, they will never respect your own.

After all, to respect a boundary would mean that you’d acually have to take people’s feelings and desires into account. This is a pretty realistic expectation for someone to have, and it’s in no way difficult if you just decide to be kind and treat others with respect. But narcissists are known for their lack of empathy and lack of remorse, not to mention that they have famously double standards.

Is it too much to ask someone to respect your boundaries?

To put it briefly: no. Literally anyone and everyone has the basic human right to set their own boundaries, and pretty much everyone has the right to expect their boundaries to be respected.

What happens if I cross someone else’s boundaries? 

It’s very seldom that others have boundaries that you would accidentally cross just by being nice, but if you do, apologize and keep that in mind. These boundaries aren’t just for others to be responsible, though.

Some boundaries also force you to take responsibility and act in a certain way that either benefits you and helps you towards success or helps others. For example, if you set boundaries on yourself for finances, you’re holding yourself accountable for being responsible when it comes to the money you’re spending and how you’re spending it.

It can be uncomfortable for you to hold yourself responsible, but it needs to be done. In the short term, others will be uncomfortable with having to be responsible like this. However, it’s better in the long run for everyone.

By being more conscious and willing to think about what you’re actually doing, everyone will be able to communicate and interact with you in a more satisfying manner. Those who refuse to adapt will be looked down upon, but everyone else will be a lot happier with one another, since this kind of behavior transfers from person to person.

Never Apologize for Having Boundaries in Your Life

The reason most people set boundaries is in order to have a happier and more successful life. But you may end up second-guessing your decision afterward, thinking you were being too harsh and overreacted.

You might find yourself in such a situation, feeling the need to apologize for some reason after setting a boundary, as if it’s your fault that you feel as if you’re not being respected.

That isn’t really the truth. Your feelings are simply a reaction to the situation you’re in, and you have every right to feel the way you do. You should feel good about having boundaries because it’s a very healthy thing to do for yourself.

It’ll be uncomfortable for you at first if you’re used to being passive in your engagements with others, but it’s a change that needs to happen. You’ll have to force yourself to stay firm with these boundaries and be unapologetic in doing so.

It’s important not to seem apologetic about having these boundaries, because otherwise people will keep prodding at you until you break under pressure, and your boundaries collapse.

Never apologizing means that you won’t fold on your boundaries and you won’t even be remotely upset about adhering to them. It goes a lot deeper than just presenting others with a strong demeanor.

You need to genuinely believe that there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the boundaries that you had set in order to improve your life. One thing to avoid when being unapologetic is being aggressive or abrasive.

It’s easy to get carried away in trying to be strong with your boundaries that you actually end up being overly confrontational, and in doing so, you’ll push people away a lot more than you might like – particularly your friends and other loved ones.

If you’re super aggressive about not being apologetic, it can actually undermine your efforts and leave you with less support and more people that don’t like you. Not apologizing is very important so that others won’t look at your boundaries as obstacles they need to overcome.

If you don’t firmly believe in your own boundaries, you can’t expect others to give them the respect that they deserve. Instead, they’ll find ways around it and any effort you made in putting that barrier up will be for nothing.

When it comes to boundaries, people are often surprised at first simply because they don’t expect you to set them. If you encounter someone who really demands that you apologize for having simple things in life like boundaries, chances are that it’s in your best interest to cut off that person as soon as you can.

Get Support in Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

 

Narcissistic Abuse: The Disgusting Truth About People Who Don’t Go No Contact

Narcissistic Abuse: The Disgusting Truth About People Who Don’t Go No Contact


(Prefer to watch/listen rather than read? See video here) I have to be honest. In all the years I’ve been researching, writing about, and producing videos on narcissistic abuse recovery and narcissism in toxic relationships, I’ve seen the amount of “experts” go from single digits to probably thousands. In fact, the topic has become an official “niche,” which means that people who teach others how to make money online are recommending it as an option for people who don’t know what topic they want to focus on.

And while this should be a good thing because it could raise awareness of narcissistic abuse, you would be shocked at how often I see my own content repeated and rewritten on sites that appear quite professional. Though I am certain that many of these new experts are actual survivors of narcissistic abuse who are doing what they do for good reasons, there’s one particular bunch I need to complain about for just a minute: all of these so-called coaches who think there’s only one way to go when it comes to dealing with narcissists in your life. They don’t consider any individual person’s situation, and they refuse to imagine any possibility in which it’s not possible to completely cut someone out of your life. And that’s because they just don’t get it – but they also don’t realize (or don’t care) how painfully invalidating this can be for victims and survivors of toxic relationships.

Because I’m here to tell you, it is not always possible, at least not immediately. And quite honestly, I have repeatedly found that people who have not experienced truly toxic relationships don’t really understand the depth of trauma bonding, not to mention the isolation factor and the financial abuse and control that comes along with them. And anyone who hasn’t been there really cannot understand the complicated nature of a narcissist’s manipulation and control tactics, which, in my opinion and experience, means they should not be coaching anyone on this topic and they shouldn’t be creating content that is meant for people who are dealing with it.

So, let’s talk about it. Here is what happened.

Today, after hearing from yet another survivor that a particular coach (with whom she paid for a session) berated and belittled her for not being able to just go no contact with her narcissistic partner, I felt like I was going to lose it.  That coach and anyone else who are die-hard no contact pushers are doing survivors a disservice, and to be perfectly honest, I think these people just need to stop it, to put it politely.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The fact is that going no contact works remarkably well for healing after a toxic relationship. And of COURSE, I recommend it – we all know that no contact is the ideal solution to dealing with and healing from a toxic relationship with a narcissist. But the truth is that it isn’t always an option for everyone who has to deal with narcissists for a bunch of different reasons.

For example, maybe you have to live with a narcissistic parent for financial reasons, or you’re unwilling to go no contact with your entire extended family, and you know they won’t or can’t choose you over the toxic family member you’re dealing with. Or you’re working on leaving your narcissistic partner, but haven’t figured out all the logistics yet. There’s also a possibility that you’re dealing with a narcissist at work, and you are not in a position where you can change jobs so easily which means you will have to keep dealing with the narcissistic co-worker or worse, manager. Maybe the narcissist lives next door and you aren’t able to just sell your home and move right away – if at all. Or, and this is probably what I hear more than anything else, you might have to co-parent with a narcissistic ex.

Those are really tough situations as it is, and it frustrates me how often coaches and therapists will tell people in these situations they’re wrong for not going no contact because I get it from a personal perspective. The truth is that it took me a while to figure out how to leave my own ex for with a baby for both financial and logistical reasons. It makes me so angry because quite honestly, anyone who has to deal with a toxic narcissist is already dealing with enough self-doubt and invalidation on a daily basis. They just don’t need any added stress and they don’t need anyone else telling them they’re wrong for something they really can’t control.

So, please hear me on this one, my friend. The truth is, whether we like to admit it or not, there are some situations where it just plain is not an option – at least not immediately.

And while I’ll admit that it is very difficult, if not completely impossible, to fully heal while you’re still dealing with a narcissist on a daily basis, there are certain things you can do to make life a little less difficult while you’re there, and there are things you can do to begin to work toward healing in the process. Let me fill you in.

How to Deal with a Narcissist When No Contact is Not an Option

When you find yourself enmeshed in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, even though you realize your best option would be to leave or go no-contact, it isn’t always a real possibility in every situation. Sometimes, you just want things to go smoothly – you’re not in the mood for a narcissist’s usual games, gaslighting, and emotional manipulation. And there are plenty of times when you’re certainly not feeling like fending off any narcissistic rage, or narcissistic injury.

Let’s talk about five ways to manage the narcissist even if you are unable to go no contact. And if you stick with me through the end, I’ll share one more – a little bonus for you. It’s my own personal secret technique that will help you manage any narcissist you can’t go no contact with. In fact, this technique will work on literally almost any difficult person you come across.

Respond To The Narcissist Without Reacting

You already know how much the narcissist enjoys controlling and manipulating you by triggering your emotions. And, I’m sure you’re well aware that they deliberately say hurtful or dishonest things to evoke emotional outbursts from you. And you might even know that they do this intentionally to make you feel crazy – and to make you look crazy to others – because they want to keep you isolated and under their control. But as frustrating and overwhelming as this can be, if you want to manage a narcissist’s abusive behavior, what you need to do is to be as cool as a cucumber – no matter how hurtful the narcissist is to you. This will be challenging because they will always do what they can to provoke you into blowing up. But if you give them logical, calm, and relatively cordial answers that lack emotion, they will get bored and eventually move on to a different tactic. You can also use the grey rock method, which is both proven and highly recommended. This is where you give really boring one-word answers without reacting and without emotion to push them away.

Keep Your Boundaries Firm

If you are unsure of how to create firm boundaries, then you must learn to do that first. To do that, take a few minutes and decide what is and what is not acceptable to you. Then, you’ll want to make it clear which behaviors you will tolerate and which ones you will not. For instance, if you are co-parenting and you don’t want the narcissistic ex to keep calling you every time your kid farts during their visit, then you make it firm that you will only want to communicate through email or a court-approved app, unless it’s an absolute emergency. And, take steps toward being independent of the narcissist’s help as much as possible – or at least do what you can to limit your dependency on any narcissist. The more independent you are, the less you will have to deal with them.

Make Sure You Have A Solid Support System

When you are unable to go no contact with a narcissist, you will be stressed enough as it is. Make sure you build yourself a solid support system of friends who will understand what you are going through. Now, I’m well-aware that many of us have very few people in real life who really get it, and that’s why I recommend that you get involved with a narcissistic abuse recovery support group. In addition to various local groups you can find at meetup.com, there are also many online support groups, including our top-rated and absolutely free QueenBeeing SPANily groups. In any case, you need access to people who really get it – and you want to make sure you are not all alone in this so that when something upsetting happens caused by the narcissist, you have someone to vent to who will listen and support you.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

This is difficult, but you’ve got to remember who you are dealing with here. You must remind yourself as difficult as it is having to deal with a narcissist that you cannot kick out of your life that they will not change. They are ridiculously limited, so recognize those limitations. See them for who they are, and use this awareness to help you see that you really aren’t the problem. The fact is that narcissists have so many shocking similarities among them, regardless of age, financial status, culture, religion, sex, or location, that it almost feels like there’s a narcissist playbook.  Just remember, you don’t have to like it, but you do need to remember that they will not change and despite what they might pretend, they will always keep doing what they do. In other words, and I’m sorry to have to tell you this, never have hope that the narcissist will all of a sudden treat you with love and respect, because sadly they won’t.

Nurture Yourself

You must take good care of yourself such as getting the sleep you need, get some exercise, eat healthily, and engage in your hobbies, your spiritual beliefs, and anything else that makes you happy. Never allow the narcissist to take that away from you. Never allow them to have that kind of power over you. Self-care is critical when you are dealing with a narcissist.

Are you still with me? Okay, this is where I’m going to share my own secret narcissist management technique with you. It is only two steps, and it is both ethical and repeatable.

Use This Technique to Manage Any Narcissist in Any Situation

You want to know how to make a narcissist be nice to you, right? Isn’t that what we all want? Well, I’m going to tell you how to do that right now, because sometimes, you just want first aid – a quick and simple way to make life easier for a while – to make the narcissist just BE NICE TO YOU.

PLEASE NOTE: This ONLY works if you ARE NOT IN ANY DANGER OF A PHYSICALLY ABUSIVE REACTION!

Step One: Do not reward “bad” behavior with the narcissist’s desired reaction. So: Your only response to negative behavior is “GRAY ROCK.” Now, you’re going to want to be super careful here and stay calm, even when the inevitable happens – because this can and may induce narcissistic rage, narcissistic injury, and extreme gaslighting. You may feel angry or upset -but DO NOT show it, no matter what. Stay positive and polite.

Step Two: Reward “good” behavior with what the narcissist needs from you: love, admiration, and his or her proper place on the pedestal. When the narc behaves him or herself, even if you recognize it as love bombing or idealization, bestow all the love and admiration you can on him/her — tell him/her how amazing and wonderful and perfect they are – and do it as sincerely if you can. AND: This can even work if you’re dealing with an ex in a co-parenting situation or a boss or co-worker – just adjust to make it appropriate for the situation.

Using this technique will cause the narcissist to indirectly realize that you’re not going to give them your emotional energy unless they are kind to you. Your emotional energy and focus on the narcissist is pure narcissistic supply – and they need that. So what will happen is that most of the time, if you stick it out, they’ll try to be at least polite if not go into the love-bombing mode. That means that you’ll essentially be training them to be nice to you by only giving them narcissistic supply when they treat you nicely.

Bottom line? Don’t expect miracles – narcissists don’t change, even if it is theoretically possible. So make sure you understand that this will be your new way of life if you do stick around forever.

Worth noting: You’ll have to be consistent if you want this to work. You can NEVER stop these practices if you hope to keep this thing going. The narc will absolutely and repeatedly try the various “bad” behaviors – aka manipulation and abuse tactics – and you will need to be very in control of your emotions to make this happen. BUT you CAN do it, if you choose to.

With all of that being said, I hope you’ll take comfort in knowing that as difficult as things are right now, it won’t last forever. One day you will be able to go no contact, one way or another, should you choose that. Eventually, you will have a well-enough paying job that will allow you to leave home if you are dealing with a narcissistic parent or partner. Eventually, you will be able to find another opportunity for the right job if you are dealing with a narcissistic coworker or boss. And eventually, your kids will reach 18 which means you will no longer have to deal with the narcissistic ex.

Question of the Day: Can you relate? Are we on the same page or do you think I’m wrong? Share your thoughts, share your ideas and share your experiences in the comments section below this video, and let’s discuss it. 

You might also like these videos:

4 Ways to Get a Narcissist to Leave You Alone

4 Ways to Get a Narcissist to Leave You Alone


(Prefer to read/listen? See video on YouTube)

If you’ve tried to end a relationship with a narcissist, or a narcissist has ended a relationship with you, there are several things you could expect to happen. They might just ghost you and appear to have fallen off the planet for a while. They might be moving forward with a new source of narcissistic supply, and that might mean they don’t bother you for a while. They might even try to hoover you back into the relationship with some made-up or exaggerated drama, or even a somewhat expected declaration of undying love.

But what are you supposed to do if the narcissist just won’t leave you alone? How do you deal with a narcissist who refuses to allow you to use no contact or low contact to heal yourself?

After all, all you want is peace. And in order to get that, you need that narcissist to leave you alone – whether it is an ex, a parent, a sibling, or a co-worker. They won’t leave you alone because you are either be a great source of supply for them or because something in them feels the need to perpetually torment you.

I think we can all agree that dealing with a narcissist is always emotionally and even physically exhausting, especially since you have to deal with their little fits of narcissistic rage if something doesn’t go their way. They can be verbally, emotionally, and psychologically controlling and abusive, and once you’ve seen them for what they are, you cannot unsee them.

Even if a part of you wishes they’d become the person they promised you in the first place, or if a part of you feels guilty, the biggest part of you knows that this person is toxic in your life and that if you’re ever going to heal and begin to create the life you truly want and deserve, you have to extricate them in no uncertain terms.

How to Get a Narcissist to Leave You Alone

Now, obviously, learning to set strong boundaries and going no contact with a narcissist is the ideal thing to do. As uncommon as it feels and difficult as this can be, no contact can and will work with a parent or a sibling, or an ex if you don’t have to co-parent with them. It’ll work if you are dealing with a narcissistic coworker, friend, or acquaintance. In case you’re unfamiliar with no contact, it is when you literally block the narcissist from contacting you at all, you stop seeing, speaking to, and otherwise communicating with them. This, done successfully, will prevent them from harassing you.

Of course, in many cases, this leads to the inevitable hoovering stage, meaning they try to suck you back into the relationship (and that, if we’re being honest, means they’re trying to hook you back in for their own gain, usually for the narcissistic supply of some kind). Hoovers might come in the form of drama or pretending to need help with something only you can do, or even that declaration of undying love I mentioned a moment ago. When they use the hoover maneuver, the narcissist might say things such as ‘Oh I missed you’, or give fake apologies. You need to stay strong and keep your boundaries firm to not give in to them if they do that. However, if you cannot go no contact, there are other ways to get them to stop bothering you.

The first one I’m going to share with you might shock you a little. But when you’re struggling with getting a narcissist out of your life because you personally don’t want to let go, then you’ve got a big problem on your hands. While you logically know they are toxic for you, trauma bonding, abuse amnesia, and feeling lonely can be big deterrents to actually letting go of the narcissist. That brings me to number one.

1. Get Justifiably Angry

I don’t know about you, but for me, the effects of anger become very physical and if I allow myself to stay angry for long, it’s not good for me or anyone else. If I stay upset for long, I find that I get sick to my stomach, I clench my jaw and give myself headaches and I tense up every muscle in my body. It’s a miserable way to live. Have you experienced the physical effects of really strong emotions before?

But despite what some toxic gurus might tell you, anger isn’t a wasted emotion, if you use it to your advantage. And, as it turns out, it doesn’t negatively affect you physically when it is actively propelling you toward a goal that will make your life better in some way. In fact, it can definitely serve a purpose in your recovery from narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. How? Well, JUSTIFIED anger is sort of like fear with a little courage thrown in, in a way.

And if I’m being honest, ending my relationship with my narcissist was sparked by anger – I had to get angry before I could get away. Another time anger served me well was before I lost all that weight a few years ago. In order to make the long-term, difficult commitment necessary to take off 100 pounds, I had to get really mad at both myself and the world to get going.

There is such a thing as constructive anger, and it is this kind of anger that causes you to stand up and to create positive change in both yourself and your life circumstances. Sometimes, anger can help neutralize your fear and power up your gumption to get you through the hard transitions – the things you might just be afraid to conquer without that little push of emotion.

The psychology of justified anger is powerful. According to Harry Mills, Ph.D., “Anger can also be a substitute emotion. By this, we mean that sometimes people make themselves angry so that they don’t have to feel pain. People change their feelings of pain into anger because it feels better to be angry than it does to be in pain.”

You have to find a way to get angry at the narcissist for all of the horrible things they’ve done to you when you’re trying to get away from them. This will not only propel you forward and keep your eye on the goal – getting the toxic poison out of your life, but it may also shock the narcissist into realizing that you’re truly done with them. With this being said, your anger should be directed toward moving forward, not any sort of direct revenge on the narcissist. This is for two reasons: first, narcissists are dangerous and if you do anything to directly take revenge on them, you can rest assured they’ll come back at you twice as hard. And second, not only do you not need any more negative energy in your life, but the very best revenge against any narcissist is to live your life well without them, taking away the thing they need the very most: narcissistic supply – and giving yourself the peace, space and time you need to heal and live your best life.

2. Get Your Emotions in Check

Sometimes, you have to deal with the narcissist for some reason. For example, you cannot go no contact with a narcissist if you are co-parenting with one, or dealing with one at work. But what you can do is grey rock them which means you become so uninteresting that the narcissist has no other choice but to leave you alone. You literally almost “become” the gray rock itself: boring, uninteresting. The narcissist might look to pick a fight due to differences in opinion or they might just want to get a rise out of you for some reason. But if you don’t make eye contact, keep your body language under control, reply with ‘uh-huh’ or ‘hmm’ and vague one-word answers, then they will give up. Basically, you refuse to show them any emotion whatsoever. This is difficult when you first try it, but when you see it working, you’ll notice the narcissist will either be sort of shocked, or they’ll actually up their manipulation game a little at first. At this point, you should feel powerful, because you’ll know it’s working. Just hold out, and eventually, they’ll realize you’re no longer going to give them the reaction they want from you, and they’ll go bother someone else.

3. Get the Narcissist Out of Your System

This is the most difficult one of all. You can do what you can to grey rock and show no emotions but eventually, you might cave if the narcissist keeps triggering you. Part of the reason they are so good at pushing your buttons is that they installed some of them – as in, their abuse has created certain triggers in you and they are quite familiar with how to dig at you in order to get those trigger-moments flowing.

So, if you’re going to get the narcissist out of your life, you have to get them out of your head. In a way, you have to do a ‘detox’ of them so you can remove them from your thoughts, emotions, and state of being. This way, you will be unaffected by their behavior. This could require coaching or therapy as well in addition to meditation and journaling, but you can do it yourself if you’re willing to give it a shot.

It does not matter whether you have to deal with them or have gone no contact with them. You just want to get them out of your energy field. Because if you come across one even if you do so after going no contact, and they see they are no longer getting to you like they once did, then that will be powerful to you. They will see that you aren’t bothered by them genuinely. They will also leave you alone if they really do see you are not vulnerable to them.

To do your own narcissist detox, start with your personal space. Remove anything that reminds you of the narcissist. If you’re living in the same space you shared with the narcissist, consider replacing or rearranging the furniture and decor in a new way. Wash the curtains (or replace them, if you can) and change the comforter on your bed. Switch things up.

Remember: One of the most surprising side effects for narcissistic abuse survivors can be struggling with clutter and motivation.

4. What if the narcissist won’t leave your house?

In a lot of cases, the narcissist will refuse to leave your home, even when the relationship has been officially declared to be over. This is often an issue of control – because the narcissist knows that leaving the home will mean a more permanent disconnection of narcissistic supply, and they want to remain in control as long and as much as possible. If this is the case for you, there are things you can do.

First, if you own the home and the narcissist has a job outside the home, or any other reason they leave at scheduled times, you could pack up everything they own, put it in a storage locker and pay one months’ rent on it. Then change the locks on your place and tape a note explaining where their stuff is, along with the storage locker key. Alternatively, you could go through the legal eviction process in your area.

If the narcissist owns the home, or you own the home together, you may need to either prepare to move, or to get your attorney involved in getting them out of the house. If physical abuse becomes an issue, you should contact the police after the incident and be sure to press charges. This could buy you a bit of time to get a restraining order and move their things out of the house into that storage locker we talked about. In any case, be aware of the eviction laws where you live in case the narcissist tries to get litigious with you.

In any case, getting a narcissist to leave you alone takes work and emotional discipline, but it can be done and you can be free of them, even if you are unable to go no contact. What do you think? Can you relate?

Question of the day: Have you struggled to get a narcissist to leave you alone, and if so, how did you manage to make it happen? Are you struggling with it now? Share your thoughts, share your ideas, share your experiences in the comments section below this video, and let’s talk about it.

5 Red Flags That Mean You Need to Enforce Your Boundaries

5 Red Flags That Mean You Need to Enforce Your Boundaries

“Givers need to set limits because takers rarely do.” ~Rachel Wolchin

As an empath, you’re a giver. Often, you give more than you should, and often beyond what you can. Trust me, I get it. 

As we both know, that leads to becoming a people-pleaser – and before you know it, you’re overwhelmed with toxic “emotional vampires” – also known as narcissists. The worst part is that even when you clear all the toxic people out of your life, chances are that at least every now and again, you’ll meet someone who tests your patience. You know the type I mean – those people you just need to enforce your boundaries with, or they’ll overwhelm you.

Often your body will start sending you signals that this person isn’t respecting your boundaries, but sometimes you can be so preoccupied with wondering if they’ll like you or not, that you can miss the cues. If you start feeling uncomfortable, here are seven signs that you need to up your boundary work and protect yourself from other people’s egos.

1. You feel exhausted. Egocentric people (toxic narcissists) don’t respect other people’s boundaries. They are exhausting to be with as all they do is take, take, take. If you have to have contact with someone who makes you feel like this, manage the time and place, so your exposure is limited, or you can share the energy suck with someone else, a friend, family member or colleague.

2. You feel angry and resentful. When your boundaries aren’t respected, you end up feeling angry and resentful because someone is taking advantage of you. Does this person always cancel at the last minute or ask you to pick up their child or do the monthly project report? Do they take all the credit and do little or none of the work? Time to stand up for yourself and draw some lines in the sand.

3. You feel defensive. Is your boundary predator always finding fault or criticizing you? Do you constantly feel on the defensive? People who don’t respect boundaries make themselves feel better by criticizing others. Don’t fall for this, it’s abusive, and you don’t have to put up with it.

4. You feel you can’t refuse. It’s easy to end up in a position where you feel you can’t say no. And once you establish that pattern, it’s hard to refuse. But it’s always ok to say no, it’s always a choice available to you. Unless it’s an emergency, you are perfectly entitled to refuse to do anything you don’t want to do. End of story.

5. Is your body trying to tell you something? Notice how your body reacts when you’re around a manipulative or gaslighting person.

  • Does your stomach tighten?
  • Are your palms sweaty?
  • Is your mouth dry and your heart racing?

Your body is signaling that this person isn’t safe to be around. Put yourself first and get out of there! Pay attention to the cues you’re being given and keep those boundaries strong.

Need help keeping your boundaries in check? Check out my free ebook and mini-course and start changing your life now. 

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