Learning to Draw a Line in the Sand

Photo by Angela Kirk

Isn’t it always easier to complain about how others treat you instead of looking at why you allow it? From this dog’s observation I do believe that we need to own our lack of boundaries in certain situations and how it contributes to the problem. We really do teach other what we will tolerate by how we respond.

I have to admit that even I don’t confront things directly at times. For example, there is a dog in the back alley where I work that tries to act like a tough guy by barking and growling at me from behind a six-foot chain link fence. Now I don’t really have anything against this poor beagle mix, but for years he’s raised a big stink every time Doc and I walk by.  Well lets just say he’s annoying. And how do I respond? I pick up my hind leg and pee on the corner of the fence as high as I can. Marking my territory is equivalent to a human’s nasty hand gesture if you know what I mean. Doc tells me in her psychobabble language that I am acting passive aggressive and that I should just tell the poor dog how I feel and be done with it, but I have yet to evolve to that emotional level.

In spite of my lack of maturity I am lucky to have Doc to consult with to help you. So here are some helpful hints she passed along: First you need to start being aware of the people in your life that are vampires ( those that suck the life out of you) and figure out what boundaries you are allowing them to cross. If someone in your life is very toxic it may be time to move on from that relationship. Second, whenever someone asks you to do something, before responding really examine if this is something you want to do. If you don’t say no. The world won’t end if you decline and you will be honoring how you really feel. 3. Communicate in a calm and respectful manner how you are feeling when a person crosses one of your boundaries. The other person may not even realize that you don’t like their behavior because you never said anything. Doc also wanted me to add that it is important to stay safe by trusting your judgement. If you think someone could become abusive toward you, ask for help from a professional.

As an adult you get to decide how you allow others to treat you. Have enough respect for yourself that you learn to protect your time and emotions.

2 Comments
  • Rebecca Harris
    June 12, 2019

    Thanks Grover just had a major loss in my life and I am also a recovering addict. I have never been healthy with my boundaries and it seems it has gotten worse now,but I am working on them your advice has helped alot. Thanks!!

    • Grover
      Grover
      June 12, 2019

      Rebecca,
      Glad I could help.