Often, we don’t learn to set boundaries in our lives. Although it is never a good idea to be “boundary-less,” we are often in healthy situations where they are not as necessary as they are when you’re around a toxic person.
Some people don’t feel entitled to maintain boundaries, either.
They are prime prey for Hijackals™, the chronically difficult people who are determined to get–and keep–power over you, in every way.
Healthy boundaries are important everywhere in your life but, when you’re dealing with a Hijackal™, take special care.
This video will help! (transcript below)
Hi, I’m Doctor Rhoberta Shaler, The Relationship Help Doctor, and today we’re going to talk about what does it take to set a boundary? Now, when we’ve been with a Hijackal™ for awhile, our boundaries are a little wishy-washy, if they do exist, because that Hijackal™ has been working very hard to tear down any boundaries we may have had. And maybe in our earlier life we didn’t set many. Many we didn’t have to because we weren’t with toxic people, or maybe we were so used to toxic people that we never had boundaries. But, now is the time to have a look at what it takes to set a boundary.
The first thing that you have to know is, what are your values? What are the things that are so important to you? That might be love, or compassion, or fairness, or truth, or honesty, or family, or peace. You know, there are- just Google values and you’ll get tons of lists of values. So, the first thing you have to know is, “What do I value? What’s okay with me? What do I really want in my life?” And the job begins within you because if you know what you really want to express, that you value in life, then, first of all, you make sure that in your life you’re demonstrating that.
Once we get hooked up with a Hijackal™, that becomes pretty tricky and so I’m here to encourage you to do your own work first. When clients come to me and they want the help with their Hijackal™, I always promise them, “Yes, we will,” but it starts within you because you have to strengthen yourself, and sift and sort all of the things that have given to you, or said to you or done to you and find out where do you really want to be in life? How do you want to feel? What are the relationships you want?
So, to set a boundary begins with you knowing what you really value and then working on demonstrating that everyday. So, let’s take the value of love and think, “Okay, if I have a value of love, then that might mean to me that I think I should pour out love, no matter what’s happening to me.”
And from a spiritual perspective, that would be supported, and I would support it, too, with one exception. And that is, that it is unloving to allow someone to be unloving to you. It’s unloving to allow someone to be unloving to you. Could you get behind that? Because you’re probably experiencing unloving behaviors coming at you right now.
And if you value love, then you have to get rid of things that are unlike love, within you, and coming at you. Now, I’m not saying you have to leave your Hijackal™ when I say that you get rid of it. I mean, you have to do the work within yourself to see what’s possible. To express and demonstrate that love. Now, when we’re with a Hijackal™, that love and compassion can be there, within us. I hope it is. However, we can’t allow unloving behavior to come at us and that unloving behavior can look like enabling: us enabling a Hijackal™ by allowing them to be in unloving ways and also condoning their behavior because we don’t stand up and express our boundaries.
So, yes, have compassion, love, compassion, for the Hijackal™ because they’re in a mess. They wouldn’t be as miserable to us as they are if they weren’t in a mess internally, but don’t condone or enable their behaviors. So, in order to not do that, we have to set boundaries. So, we start with what our values are. “Okay, this is what I want in my life. This is what I don’t want in my life. Let’s focus on what I want in my life. I want to express and experience these boundaries. Am I getting it in my relationship with a Hijackal™?” No, probably not, and yes, I mean your immediate mind might go to, “Oh, well yes. Sometimes it’s wonderful.”
Yeah, what percentage of times is that? If it’s a low percentage of time, then it is unloving behavior most of the time. So, to set a boundary, you have to say, “All right I need to be treated as though I am loved.” And the work starts with you. So, you have to treat yourself as though you love yourself. That’s big right? That’s difficult, that’s, whoa! A job that’s going to take awhile for some people, but it’s in there.
You don’t deserve to be treated badly. You don’t deserve to be dismissed or diminished or belittled or demeaned, no one does. And slowly the Hijackal™ will push you into places where you give up and that behavior, that demeaning, belittling, diminishing and dismissing behavior becomes daily. It becomes so frequent and you start to change and I’m here to ask you to stand up and say. “Hmm, no. I need to set a boundary. I need to be treated in a way that feels like love.”
So, you have to know what you value, then you have to believe that you deserve to be treated with love. And that’s again, part of your internal work. When I’m working with my clients, as I say that’s where we start. And then you have to learn to set boundaries, which means, “This is okay, with me and that’s not okay with me.” And we begin there.
What if it’s not okay with you to be spoken to as though you’re a servant. Ah, good. A place to set a boundary. I remember my mother, who was a classic Hijackal™. She would like to give me orders and by the time I was 40, and I’ve told this story before. But, by the time I was 40, and I went to visit her and she was her usual witchy self and she said to me, “Go downstairs and get that bucket.” And I looked at her and I said, “Pardon me?” And she said, “Go downstairs and get that bucket.” And I said, “Pardon me?” So, she yelled, “Go downstairs and get the bucket.” I said, “You know mom, in my life, nobody gives me orders, or else I’m not around them.”
So, there was this big silence. She tried to stare me down and then she said, “Go downstairs and get the bucket, please.” So, I went because I needed to shape the behavior that said, “No you’ll honor my boundaries. I’m not going to be around you if you’re giving me orders.”
So, I didn’t say to her, “Don’t you talk to me like that,” or “You’re such a witch.” I didn’t say any of those things, and I highly recommend you don’t either, but I set a boundary. People that I stay around and have in my life don’t give me orders. She’s a pretty smart woman. She realized pretty quickly that that meant that I was out the door if she was going to give me orders and I meant it.
Now, you have to mean those boundaries. They can’t just be bluffs. Or, they can’t just be trial balloons, you have to believe them. But, I deserve to be treated as an equal adult who isn’t given orders because I’m not part of a military unit. I didn’t sign on to be given orders.
Now, how about you? Are you being given orders in your life? Are you being told what to do, when to do it, what you should think, what you shouldn’t think? Who you should care about, who you shouldn’t care about? I hope not. But, if that’s happening, which it often does with Hijackals™, then you do need to set strong boundaries.
So, you’re going to figure out your values. You’re going to think about how you want to be treated and then you’re going to simply say something when that behavior is not the one that is coming at you, like I did. You know, you simply say, “I feel very disrespected right now” or “I like to be spoken to in a loving way.” And you begin to set a boundary. That’s a boundary.
“I like this. I want this. This is what works for me,” and by the same token, if after you’ve said that once or twice or ten times and the other person isn’t picking that up, you add a little consequence. “I like to feel respected and I feel that places where I’m not respected are places I don’t want to spend much time.” So there’s a consequence.
Now, with a Hijackal™, you’re going to have to repeat that many, many times because they are not listening. They don’t want anything except what they want. They don’t even want to take in information that doesn’t fit with their paradigm of control and status and power over you. But, you start setting boundaries by saying, “I value this. I value myself. I have a right to take up space and draw breath. Therefore, I have a right to say what I want, or how I feel, or what I need, or what I’m thinking.”
Now, you’ve heard me say that before and I’m going to do a whole video on the personal weather report so that you can really grasp what it’s all about. But you have the right to say what you think, need, feel and want. As long as you never say the word “you.” You’re never talking about the other person.
So, have a look for that video on the personal weather report. There are two of them. One on how to send one and one on how to receive one. And, that will really change your relationship with yourself and with anyone else in your life.
So, begin now by finding out what you value and then begin to say some things that let people know that there is a boundary there that you really value. And believe it yourself, begin to say it and people will begin to believe it. It won’t be easy with the Hijackal™, so practice on other people. But, definitely, definitely do it. You’ll feel so much better.