Difficult People Will Teach You How To Build Your Boundaries
If you’re an approval addict or people-pleaser like me, I’m writing this especially to you.
You see, I’m a person who didn’t like saying “No”.
For the longest time, that word wasn’t even in my vocabulary.
For years, I never showed my anger to anyone. After years of smiling even if I was offended, there came a point when I didn’t even feel anger anymore. I simply shut it out of my life. (Believe me, I thought I was very holy because of this. Not realizing I was emotionally a mess deep within.)
I had an approval addiction so powerful, it ruled every decision I made.
Why? Because I was desperate for people to like me.
When someone didn’t like me, I died within.
I didn’t love myself.
I had an abysmal low-self worth.
So I tried to please everyone in everyway.
I abhorred any kind of conflict.
Oh yes, I was a mess.
And one of the ways of making them love me was to always say “Yes.”
I never knew that saying “Yes” all the time was actually saying “No” to an abundant life.
So I tolerated all the difficult people and emotional vampires on the planet: Control-Freaks. Drama-Queens. Nut-Cases. Rage-aholics. Irresponsible Jerks. Hyper-sensitive people. Possessive Parasites. You name the difficult person, I pleased each one of them—just to keep the peace. But the false peace came with a price: I was throwing away myinner peace. My self-respect. My self-worth.
Let me tell you one story…
Build Your Boundaries—
So You Could Welcome People As Guests Through The Gate,
Not Thieves That Run Amok Through Your Life
Billy (not his real name) was a friend who invited me to become a business partner in one of his ventures.
But he had a weakness: He was a controller. He wanted to control me. He wanted to control everyone. The sun and moon and stars included.
For a while, I lived with it. I chalked it up as one of those inconveniences of life, lumped up with Manila traffic, the humidity of the Philippines, and my allergies to shrimp.
But it was incredibly stressful working with Billy.
I didn’t want to admit it. “But he’s my friend,” I told myself every time I felt stressed out. I was in denial. My approval addiction was blinding me to the fact that working with him was driving me nuts.
But one day, I had to say “No” and build my personal boundaries. I allowed him to stomp over my fences many times. I had to repair my boundaries and protect myself.
It was painful, but I knew there was only one way out. So one day, I told Billy that though I wanted to remain friends, I wanted to get out of our business partnership.
That wasn’t acceptable to him. So ever since that day, he never spoke to me again. It was painful because our friendship ended.
But I immediately knew I did the right thing because of the inner peace I felt that day. My approval addiction was defanged. For the first time in a long while, I created a conflict. By respecting myself and my boundary lines, I was growing in self-power.
That day, I finally loved myself.
Today, my relationships are richer.
Because my boundaries are whole, people who come into my life are welcomed guests who pass through the gate (I deliberately opened it for them), not thieves that run amok through my life.
When you say “No” at the right situations, you’re saying a bigger “Yes” to life.
Truth: People Will Do What You Tolerate
So let me ask you this question: Are there people in your life who you should be saying “No” to? Are there difficult people in your life who have been gate-crashing and running amok in your life?
Remember: You teach people how to treat you.
If that person is abusing you, or breaking your boundaries, that means you taught that person that it was okay to do so. You tolerated it. And people will do what you tolerate.
The solution may not be to end the relationship (though sometimes, it is the solution), but to simply say “No” at the specific situations where the person is crossing your boundary lines.
Reclaim your self.
Don’t allow people to trash you.
God loves you. God created you as His child. God wants you to be happy.
So be happy.
May your dreams come true,
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