Table of contents:
- The first bells
- Throw off your superman mask
- Learn to say no
- Be prepared for threats and flattery
- Don't overdo it
- Expert opinion
Video: Border Guard - Society
We consider the behavior of a pickpocket who steals a wallet or phone from a bag to be illegal and outrageous. But for some reason we allow others to invade our lives and take away time, peace of mind and good mood. If you feel like a victim of such incursions, it is time to build and strengthen personal boundaries.
What are personal boundaries? This is a respectful attitude towards yourself, an understanding of your desires, feelings, principles, values, the knowledge of what you could do, but in no case would you agree to. A kind of symbolic buoys that we place and expand in the process of growing up and becoming a person and for which we do not allow other people to swim.
Psychologists have established a link between adherence to certain frameworks in relationships, the level of anxiety and depression. In order not to become discouraged by constant forays into your territory, it is very important to let the other person understand what you expect from him and what you are ready to share with him. The sooner you install the "fences", the better for the peace of mind on both sides.
The more indefinite the ban, the more vague the ban, the easier it is to implement a temporary violation of borders
Georges Bataille Nicole got a job as a teacher at a prestigious school. Happy that she was able to pass a rigorous selection process, she did not even specify the list of her duties. The director immediately "hung" on her the preparation of curricula, preparation of events and a lot of "extracurricular" work. If she asked how best to fulfill the assignment, she ran into smiles and remarks: "You still don't know how to do this?" The girl did not sleep at night, but silently bore the grievances and “plowed” for five. She lost a lot of weight, developed gastritis. Instead of the long-awaited recognition and gratitude, she received only regular assignments.
Where does our "limitlessness" come from? The reasons can be wrong parenting, unwillingness of parents to relax control and let us go from ourselves, insecurity, fear of rejection, and a desire to please others in order to earn their love.
The internet and television are also helping to blur boundaries. Show business stars have long ceased to be shy and willingly share intimate information, setting an example for “civilians”. And we easily pick it up and post the details of our personal life on social networks.
The first bells
Observe your feelings in the process of communication - discomfort may indicate a violation of boundaries. You have something to work on if:
- you cannot defend your opinion;
- do not know how to say "no" and accept refusals;
- it is difficult for you to refrain from momentary impulses;
- you don't know how to answer very personal questions;
- someone constantly breaks into your life, imposing something unnecessary;
- take offense at others and feel like a victim;
- often become the object of rudeness and disrespectful behavior;
- someone else makes decisions for you;
- you are forced to do what you do not want.
Once a woman turned to me for help, who was agitated by her daughter's behavior: “Dasha became irritable, before she never raised her voice at me, but now we are constantly swearing. While sorting through her desk, I accidentally stumbled upon a diary. She writes that her heart is broken and she does not want to live. I am worrying a lot". The mention of reading the diary immediately made me suspicious. The meeting with Dasha put everything in its place. The mother continued to control every step of the adult daughter, which quite rightly irritated the girl. She has long experienced parting with a loved one, about whom there was an entry in her diary. All that upset and pissed off Dasha was the mother's desire to "stick her nose everywhere."
Do not forget that while guarding your borders, you must not violate strangers either. Perhaps friends or children shun you precisely because of encroachments on their personal space.
Throw off your superman mask
Only you are responsible for your own boundaries - you should not rely on the education and prudence of others. We are so arranged that if we can get something, we will certainly try to do it. Financial support, attention, tenderness or the fulfillment of other people's responsibilities - by giving others what they want, remember that their desires will grow. Helping a friend should not come at the expense of oneself.
Putting off our own affairs for later, yielding in everything, we are slowly but surely moving towards a break in relations. They become unbearable. Do you make the decision on your own "to drop everything and fix the neighbor's car"? So be responsible for it without making others feel guilty.
Learn to say no
No matter how much someone insists, you have the right not to do what you do not want. However, the word "no" gets stuck on the tip of the tongue, even for those who have no difficulty in pronunciation. We are afraid to offend, appear rude or selfish. But if you say yes to something, you automatically say no to something else. As a rule, this “something” is your desires, plans and self-respect.
Don't rush to answer the question. Even if you can't find the strength to refuse, take a break. Permissiveness and solving other people's problems not only spoils your life, but also prevents other people from developing and realizing their mistakes.
To draw the line in relationships with people who are used to your reliability, you can make a smooth transition - in response to a request to set certain conditions and warn that this is the last time. It is very important to stick firmly to the newly established framework, otherwise they will disappear again.
Be prepared for threats and flattery
Learn to stop blackmail and manipulation attempts. If you are threatened, assess the magnitude of the real danger. What can this person really do? How can you prevent this? Do not hesitate to seek help from relatives and for advice from specialists, including lawyers. Sometimes it’s better to get over the thing that scares you and move on than to remain in fear and subjection for years.
Try to free yourself from the networks of those who use your guilt and appeal to your conscience. Take your time to respond to their requests. Sometimes, to fight back the manipulator, it is enough to say that you revealed his tactics. Outright sycophancy is often used to feed an insecure person seeking praise and approval.
Social psychology research echoes Krylov's fable that flattery continues to confuse us. Those who admire our voice, appearance and subtle mind seem to us to be noble people and not devoid of taste. How can you refuse such a “good person”? If you are once again standing in line for approval, decide which is more important to you: to like yourself or others?
People of your circle
Personal space is an individual set of principles and rules, thanks to which a person feels balanced.
And yet there are generally accepted norms of permissible boundaries in communication: an intimate zone up to 0.5 m, personal - 1.2 m, social - 3 m.
Don't overdo it
If our boundaries are completely open, we are vulnerable to external pressure and emotional dependence; if they are overly closed, our ability to intimate relationships is compromised.
In some situations, flexibility is necessary, in others it is contraindicated. Assault, rudeness and insults cannot be "well-intentioned." And in such cases, you need to remain firm. And when it comes to healthy relationships, reinforced concrete walls between partners can hurt.
Changes in circumstances also call for a revision of boundaries. Most likely, you will not share personal experiences with the first person you meet. But after a few dates, you may well feel close and tell more about yourself. And if you get married, it will be very strange to behave with your spouse like a new acquaintance.
We offer you effective psychological exercises that will help you build personal boundaries
You will need: a sheet of paper, pencils
1. Draw a small circle in the center of the sheet, and inside it symbolically depict yourself - this is your border, beyond which you would not want to let anyone in. Think: what is included in it? Making important decisions, your outlook on life, values?
2. Draw another larger circle that reflects your relationship with loved ones. Who are these people? And what do you allow them? Share your thoughts and experiences? Do you support in difficult times? Do you share responsibility for a common cause, children, home?
3. Draw the third circle - a line for acquaintances and colleagues whom you do not allow "to get into the soul." Each of them can encroach on your border, but still you keep them at a distance.
Review your drawing. Think about how strong your boundaries are? How do you feel when someone crosses them? What do you lose (time, money, nerves)? Are there repeat offenders who should be deported? How can you do this in a polite manner? Write down your findings. Try to be more attentive in dealing with violators and finally find the strength to put them in their place.
You will need: notebook or notebook, pen
If your idea of your own boundaries is rather vague, stock up on a notebook, pen and patience. Answer a few questions in detail:
- What's on my list of values?
- What is especially important to me?
- What doesn't matter?
- How do I feel about communicating with others?
- What am I willing to invest in relationships with loved ones?
- What am I willing to invest in relationships with everyone else?
- What am I letting these people do?
- What am I responsible for?
- What am I unable to influence?
It is the ignorance of ourselves and our aspirations that prevents us from building personal boundaries. By answering these questions thoughtfully, you know what you stand for.
Exercise # 3
You will need: a sheet of paper, a pen
Learn to respond appropriately to inappropriate questions and behavior. If you have people around you who constantly embarrass you, practice responding to them at home.
Write down a few times when your boundaries were violated. Think about how you could have avoided an unexpected invasion. Learn to recognize situations like this quickly and act more firmly.
Stock up in advance with useful remarks like: “I would not like to discuss this, tell me better how you went to Italy”, “I think I need to make a decision myself”, “I cannot answer now, we will talk about it later, I will call "," I'm very busy, so some other time. " Phrases like these, when ready, help you to survive. Rehearse in front of a mirror. Speak firmly, but without aggression, confidently "looking into the eyes" of the interlocutor.
If we do not know what we want or put our own interests in last place, we have to constantly give in to please others. There is a good proverb: "To a ship without a course, no wind will be favorable." In order to live your own life, not someone else's, you need to have a clear idea of where you are going, and remember not only your responsibilities, but also your rights.
After several consultations, Nicole decided to have a frank conversation with her boss. She said that, apparently, her capabilities did not meet his expectations, and it would be better if she quit. It seemed that the director was very surprised: “Maybe I went too far, but you yourself always agreed with me. Let's not rush to dismiss.” After this short conversation, work at the new school stopped looking like hard labor …
Your own border guard
The reason for the absence of its territory is usually childhood trauma, if the parents did not take into account the wishes of the child, did not respect his interests. What is to be done for an adult who has become a resident of terra nullius (no man's land)?
When asserting your psychological territory, it is important not to dive into tacit resentments. An "intruder" will never know that he has crossed your borders if he is not informed about it.
You need to express your needs in a friendly way, find out the desires of the other and discuss how you could combine them.
At the same time, it is necessary to talk about your feelings, without blaming or reproaching the other person, expressing understanding. Use the pronoun "I", not "you." It is not “you” who load me up a lot, but “I” cannot deal with new projects, because the quality of others will suffer. "No" is generally the main word that sets the boundaries of your personal space.
Tatiana Gulyaeva, psychologist