Mary and Michelle finally worked up the courage to set boundaries with their abusers.

Telling relentless bullies does not set boundaries.
Mary told her toxic, bullying parents to stop calling her and yelling at her about how bad a child she was when she didn’t do exactly what they wanted, whenever they wanted.  She told them to stop driving six hours to her house unannounced, expecting to be taken in and treated to a fancy weekend whenever they wanted.  She told them to stop criticizing her relentlessly compared to her sister.  She told them to stop trying to make her feel guilty when she wasn’t their slave.

But they didn’t stop.  They told her she was a selfish, narcissistic child.

Michelle told her adult daughters to stop telling her and the rest of the extended family what a rotten mother she’d always been, what she hadn’t given them and how much she’d thwarted them.  She told them to stop posting their harangues and sarcastic abuse on social media.  She told them to stop demanding money in order for her to see her grandchildren.  She told them to stop showing up unannounced to drop their children off whenever they had dates or wanted to go away for a weekend with their latest boyfriends.

But they didn’t stop.  They told her she was a terrible mother who didn’t deserve to see her grandchildren.  It was her fault they had trouble and she should feel guilty.

Relentless bullies want to be your master.
Mary’s parents and Michelle’s adult children wanted them to be their slaves, robots or toys.  They wanted Mary and Michelle to serve their whims of the moment and to be available for beatings whenever they wanted.  Or they wanted to keep IVs in Mary and Michelle so they could drink their blood whenever they wanted.

To masters, slaves and robots don’t have feelings that matter.
That’s how Mary’s parents and Michelle’s adult children thought of Mary and Michelle.  And when they were finished with Mary and Michelle for the moment, they discarded them like uninteresting toys.  Mary and Michelle didn’t have opinions or desires worth considering.  

Masters don’t accept boundaries from slaves, robots or toys.  It was clear and simple to Mary and Michelle, although hard to swallow.

To bullies, only actions and power set boundaries.
Mary and Michelle changed their situations when they took power over their own actions, especially when Mary’s parents and Michelle’s children didn’t like it.  Mary and Michelle stopped reasoning, arguing and pleading for permission and acceptance.

Mary and Michelle didn’t wait to be empowered.
They simply used the power they always had, but thought they weren’t supposed to use.

Mary stopped being bullied by guilt; she closed the door in her parents’ faces and laughed when they got upset.  Her parents didn’t like it and they protested loudly.  But when Mary didn’t debate, argue or budge, they began to do what she wanted.

Michelle’s children thought they had control because of the grandchildren.  They threatened more when Michele laughed at their threats, refused to take the children when they showed up unannounced, and even told the whole family what narcissistic jerks her children were.  When she started enjoying her life publically, her children started respecting her boundaries.

Find people who respect your words as boundaries
Mary and Michelle decided they’d let people close to them if they respected them and their words enough to treat them as boundaries.  People who wouldn’t listen unless they fought with them weren’t worth having in their lives.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

Post #478 – Kindle Book – “How to Stop Bullies in Their Tracks,” 2nd edition

AuthorBen Leichtling