The Boundary-Less Life
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The Boundary-Less Life

Why You Should Set Boundaries in Your Relationships with Emotionally Taxing People

The Boundary-Less Life;_ylt=AwrTcdPZAMpX3hUATV8PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=Boundaries&fr=yhs-iry-fullyhosted_003&hspart=iry&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_003#id=33&

Recently I wrote about the varieties of attachment patterns present within society and how people respond differently to issues of attachment - how some prefer to withdraw while others behave in a way that can only be described as “clingy.” Many times these attachment patterns can be evident in relationships of all natures, but they are most clearly seen in romantic relationships.

But romantic relationships, for the majority of people, consist of interactions between only two people. In my own life, I recognize many other attachment styles that don’t have anything to do with romance. If you’re like me, you also have many friends to keep in touch with: parents, siblings, cousins, housemates, classmates, and coworkers. You have these people in your life for various reasons (or maybe they just end up being there) and you appreciate them for the role they play in your life. However, sometimes they don’t agree with the roles they were assigned. After writing about the issue of attachment, I began pondering the problems that arise when people abuse the boundaries within their relationships.

As an extrovert, I have found that I am happiest after positively interacting with multiple different people on a daily basis. Some of my favorite memories of this past summer have involved lying on the kitchen floor with a handful of my housemates laughing about random endeavors: funerals, guys, crappy documentaries, and literally laughing just for the sake of it. I can listen to a friend ramble about the same situation/person for hours and participate in the over-analysis of any conversation.

So it doesn’t make sense to me when I leave conversations with others and feel drained, desiring nothing else but my dark room, my fuzzy blanket, and silence.

As far as is concerned, the reason behind this sort of aggravation is the abuse of boundaries within my relationships with these people. The first step to rid yourself of your frustration is to recognize that this person is taxing you and that the reason that they are can be found is in the expectations they are placing on you. They want more from you than which they can give you and they require more from you than you are comfortable with giving. Professional counselor Michael Diettrich-Chastain says, “Check in with yourself if you are feeling tired, irritable, frustrated or put off. If these feelings just started after engaging with this person, then this may be a clue that this person is emotionally draining to you.” (Follow the link above to receive more information about setting clear boundaries and also to see really cute pictures of animal friends.)

I have experienced these boundary-free individuals on numerous occasions and I have just recently allowed myself the luxury of putting my foot down. These are people who expect you to be there for them when they are crying and on the verge of breaking down. You’re there, but it’s not enough. They expect you not to do anything about their struggles, to keep their information a secret while all the while spreading your personal business to whoever will listen, claiming what you told them was “public information.” They don’t respect your plans, expecting you to be able to drop everything in order to be there for them and then they become jealous of the other people that you invest your time in. They share information that makes you uncomfortable and you don’t know how to respond. They constantly pit you against other people, forcing you to choose between them and another person.

As much as I love these people, I have begun to understand the value that I place in my own emotional ability. describes it this way: “If you don't have boundaries that protect and define you, as in a strong sense of identity, you tend to derive your sense of worth from others. To avoid this situation, set clear and decisive limits so that others will respect them, then be willing to do whatever it takes to enforce them. Interestingly, it's been shown that those who have weak boundaries themselves tend to violate the boundaries of others.” Believe me, you don’t want to be that person. You can’t continue pretending as though you don’t suffer from the weight of other people’s expectations that is placed on your shoulders.

Perhaps my largest struggle surrounding setting my own personal boundaries and sticking to them is in my closeness to the people that abuse my boundaries. There are reasons you have relationships with these people. Sometimes they’re family. Sometimes their friends. Sometimes they are the people that you have trusted the most. For a person who defines themselves in their relationships with other people like I do, it is the most excruciating pain to cause someone that you love to hurt. You don’t want to set limits because you know they would suffer if you did.

But the thing is, you kind of have to. Let yourself have some time to heal. Give yourself the luxury that you have been allowing your loved ones for so long. Decide for yourself what is too much for you to handle on your own. When you start choosing what you are going to put up with and what is too much, people will respond. Always remember that your actions should to come from a place of love. But this love has to start with you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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