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6 Signs You’re A Pushover With Weak Boundaries
Boundaries are those unwritten rules that everyone has to protect themselves from other people’s behavior and get their wants and needs met. Having a “fence” around the behaviors that you do and the ones that you find acceptable from others is very important.
When you’re allowing others to cross your boundaries by not reinforcing them and speaking up, anxiety and unhappiness is the result.
A lack of strong boundaries and standards becomes really problematic when you’re dating, since the whole point is to find someone who you mesh well with, not who is constantly crossing the line of what you feel is acceptable behavior.
When we aren’t sure where our boundaries are, or we consistently let people get away with behavior that we shouldn’t allow, it has big emotional side effects. Unfortunately we aren’t always good at recognizing these side effects until we’ve trained people to treat us poorly or chosen the wrong people for us.
Here are 6 warning signs that your boundaries need repair:
1. You Feel Put Out
Have you ever felt like you’re doing everything in a relationship and not getting any appreciation back? Whether this happens with your Mom, your friend or your significant other, it feels like crap, right?
Feeling taken advantage of or put out is a direct result of giving more than you should be reasonably giving, and then expecting something in return. This issue is boundary related because if you had pulled back on the giving when you saw a lack of appreciation or reciprocation, you wouldn’t feel resentful that you aren’t gaining what you had hoped to receive in return.
2. You’re Allergic to “No”
Do you have a hard time saying no? This is a common problem for folks who have issues with appropriate boundaries. Either people are regularly requesting things that they have no business asking for, you have a tendency to people-please, or both either one is problematic and shows that you haven’t gotten clear on what you need, feel and want before making the shift between giving and pulling back.
We teach people how to treat us. When you don’t speak up and say no (thus reinforcing your boundaries), you’re perpetuating the problem by training them that whatever it is they want you to do is acceptable.
3. You Consistently Find Yourself In Bad Situations
Do you consistently feel like people are taking advantage of you or they cross the line regularly? Yep, this is another sign that your boundaries aren’t strong or reinforced. If you’re allowing people to cross the line, you have boundaries that are being violated. You might not even realize that boundaries are the problem, just that you’re feeling like crap since people in your life keep pushing the limit.
4. You Blame Others
Do you feel like other people are largely responsible for your hurts?
Blame and recrimination of others is a sign that either you are allowing people to bust your boundaries or they were not firm in the first place. Once you start taking more responsibility for your part in each situation, it becomes easier to see where you didn’t honor your boundaries.
5. You Have Trouble Expressing Your Feelings, Needs and Wants
It’s common for people with boundary problems to not even know exactly what they need or want and heaven forbid that they ever actually express their needs and wants in a clear way. If you find yourself having trouble getting your needs met in a reasonable way, using clear communication, this could be you.
For example, if someone consistently disrespects you and you don’t speak up about your feelings being hurt, what you’ve taught them is that it’s acceptable for them to continue disrespecting you. You may stew internally, but by having trouble expressing yourself, you’re compounding the problem.
6. You Assume
The fantasy relationship is a result of poor boundaries on your part. If you’ve found yourself wishing and hoping that someone will come through for you, except they consistently let you down, either you’re expecting too much from someone who isn’t invested enough to give to you, it’s a sign that your desires might not line up with reality or you aren’t making hard decisions about the relationship. All of these are issues with, you guessed it, boundaries.
If you’re experiencing these six things, it’s time to examine what kind of behavior you’ve been continuing to allow in your life and develop more healthy boundaries.
You can either continue to be the victim of people busting your boundaries, or you can begin instituting consequences when you start to feel like you’re not getting your wants and needs met.