How to Deal with Negativity-Part 4: Boundaries
Toxic people are not logical.
They live with unnecessary complexity, stress, and strife. It’s important to limit stress in your life as much as possible. Setting up boundaries is very helpful in managing stressful situations with negativity in your life. Be proactive and stick to your guns. Don’t let anyone steal your joy. Successful people who set boundaries against negativity have learned to forgive, but not forget. This means that they can forgive enough to have contact with that person, but are still aware that the negative individual is toxic and therefore limit contact when possible.
If someone is has unrealistic expectations of you or is constantly draining your energy, it’s okay to say, “No.” The key to setting boundaries is to set them without any emotional reaction. For example, if someone has been talking negatively to others about you, calmly say, “please don’t talk about me to others. It’s inappropriate and disrespectful.” Leave it that and refuse to discuss it any further, even if they push your buttons.
If a family member or coworker is constantly criticizing you, let them know that you value their advice but you’d prefer to deal with this your own way. It will be necessary to repeat yourself here, but do it kindly and in the same tone. After some time, if you reach an impasse and they don’t drop it, it may be better to agree to disagree and make the subject off limits.
Setting boundaries is a way to protect yourself. It’s okay to step back and let them know what you can and what you cannot do for them. Remain neutral and don’t become defensive. That will help remove the negativity from the situation.
One of the best resources I’ve found in learning how to set boundaries for your life is the book by Drs. Cloud and Townsend, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. It’s faith-based, and is a basic plan for helping anyone recognize when boundaries are needed.
“We can’t manipulate people into swallowing our boundaries by sugarcoating them. Boundaries are a “litmus test” for the quality of our relationships. Those people in our lives who can respect our boundaries will love our wills, our opinions, our separateness. Those who can’t respect our boundaries are telling us that they don’t love our nos. They only love our yeses, our compliance. “I only like it when you do what I want.”
― Henry Cloud
Thanks for reading! Check out my hilarious Live video from today with my little party crasher! If you find some value in this, please share!