Don’t be surprised when people get upset at you when you’re going about the business of setting boundaries in your life. Often the first response you are met with is some form of rage. When you begin to take a stand for yourself and protect your own sacred space, they get angry when you set boundaries.
Bullies are used to having the upper hand and getting what they want. When somebody starts drawing lines in the sand, insisting that they not be crossed, this rocks the bully’s world. They are bound to respond negatively, out loud or more silently/passive aggressively. Either way, you know your decision to stand up for yourself has upset them.
If you’re dealing with someone who is angry because you’ve asserted your right to set and enforce a boundary, then chances are the responsibility lies with you for allowing this person to take advantage of your generosities or overpower you prior to having to set this boundary.
At first, the inconvenience may have been mild enough that you were able to overlook it, but after a while, it was clear that you were being taken advantage of, and now it’s time to take care of business.
If your bully is masterful, don’t be surprised when he or she responds with vile accusations of your being at fault, or insisting that you are the bully who is inconsiderate and trying control or manipulate the bully. This intimidation tactic will work sometimes to get the bully what he or she wants. Be prepared for it and don’t fall for it.
It’s not that these people are bad, wrong, or broken. They simply have not learned how to respect the rights of other people up ‘til now. By your setting of boundaries and sticking to them, you are helping the bullies learn that rights of others exist and should be respected. They may learn this valuable lesson from you and others who start to exercise their rights to their own sacred space over time.
So, how do you respond when someone expresses anger at your enforcement of a boundary?
Taking the high road would be not responding at all. Think of this as his or her protesting too much or acting out as his or her inner child tantrum runs wild. Maintain a compassionate state of mind and do not respond. Let the bully fully express his or her rage as much as possible but don’t take it personally.
Remember, the problem, here, is not with you, no matter what they say. Zip your lip, understand that he or she is doing the best he or she can do with the tools that he or she has at the time, and walk away with your boundary firmly in place.
There is nothing to feel bad about. Things are as they are, and people will respond in whatever way seems to fit their state of mind at the time. That’s the way it is. And if someone doesn’t respect your right to set and adhere to a boundary you’ve set, that’s on them, not on you.
The setting of boundaries is one of the methods you can use to keep from losing your energy. Take it back and keep people from draining your energy by limiting the control that bullies, toxic friends, or energy vampires might have had over you.