Will family members get used to boundaries?
November 20, 2012 6:52 AM Subscribe
When you set boundaries and upset the other party-- does it ever get better? How do you tactfully set boundaries?
posted by anonymous to human relations (18 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
In the past with family members, I have mostly been passive and accepted what they asked me. Recently, I have tried to be more assertive (ex: rejecting their invitations). However, they sometimes get upset, and although being assertive should make me feel better and clearer, I feel guilty. Sometimes, it seems like I should've just went along with it. I wonder, Do we ever get more used to the boundary between us?
I don't like how when I say no, family members will insist that I have reasons for it. "I just don't want to" isn't enough. However, these issues are not big enough to call for a big harsh "NO" to the other persons.
In fact, the fact that they have good intentions make it more difficult. From their point of view, it could be that they're being nice and trying to help, but I'm rejecting it. I have observed this dynamic from both sides, and sometimes, I feel for the Offerers more, and it seems that the Rejecters are being unnecessarily cold/harsh.
How do you set boundaries and change the relationship from passive & active, to active & active? I'm concerned b/c with family members, there will be more serious issues down the line. How do you keep it from blowing up in your face when you reject someone close? Do they ever get less upset, and HOW??