Ellie was so frustrated, she was ready to give up.  She could never set boundaries with her bullying, narcissistic parents, her controlling, manipulative husband or her demanding, entitled adult children.

They ignored what she wanted.  Actually, whenever she said she wanted something, they got busy demanding she do the opposite.

They always used her as their servant.
Her parents acted as if her time was their time.  She should drop whatever she was doing and do what they wanted when it was convenient for them.  Her husband ignored her opinions and demanded she wait on him.  Or he criticized her and showed her she was too stupid or too selfish to vote.  He never wanted to be with her or interact with her unless she said she was very busy.  Then he’d need her to do things for him or he’d demand she talk or watch television with him.  Her children said her job was to make them happy.  If she didn’t, she was a bad mother; they wouldn’t love her and they’d estrange from her.

Ellie was riddled with self-doubt.  She had low self-esteem and no confidence.
She was always either angry or she was sad and depressed.  They said they were happy except when she’d failed them so why couldn’t she be happy.

She thought, if only she were a better person, she could serve them better and not carry around a huge weight of guilt.  And if she deserved better, she’d be able to set effective boundaries.  Since the people closest to her were so unhappy with her, something must be terribly wrong with her.

Ellie thought they were so unpredictable, she’d never be able to satisfy them.
Ellie finally saw that, actually, they were very predictable.  They wanted her to serve them, instantly; to do whatever they wanted at the moment.  Her voice never mattered.  Actually, whenever she had an opinion or wanted something, they’d instantly change in order to thwart her.  Thwarting her and making her serve them was most important to them.  Servants or slaves are not allowed to have personal wants or preferences.

They never listened to her boundaries because she only talked but would never act on her “No.”
The only consequence to them was putting up with her threats.  They seemed to enjoy her frustration and anger.  They knew her anger would blow over and she’d get so frustrated, eventually she’d give in and do what they demanded.  Then they could enjoy beating her up for being angry at them.

Ellie set effective boundaries only when she acted on her opinions and wants, without their agreement and approval.
Her assertion of her boundaries mattered only when she couldn’t be talked out of doing what she’d said; when her opinion was the only one that mattered and she actually did what they didn’t like.  They protested and argued, they guilt-tripped her and they ganged up on her.  But when her “”No” actually became “No,” whatever they wanted or thought, she able to take charge of her life.

Ellie finally honored her Spirit.

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.

AuthorBen Leichtling