I am the type of person who is always willing to be open minded giving people a chance to be a part of my life. Unfortunately for most of my life I never knew how to set limits and boundaries with those who took advantage of my generosity, kindness, and created a lot of drama. It wasn’t until College I started to change this part of myself. And in Graduate School I learned how to stand up for myself not allowing people to put me down or treat me badly. For me this was not an easy task because I am a people pleaser always wanting to make sure everybody’s needs are met before my own. I did learn how to become more assertive communicating what I need, want, and desire from loved ones. And I was able to set clear boundaries and limits with the ones that were creating a lot of toxic unhealthy drama in my life.
Unfortunately this can be very challenging when it comes to family dynamics because it is taboo to kick someone to the curb who may be apart of your immediate or extended family. When my husband and I met 14 years ago there was a lot of competition between his siblings. It unfortunately went on for years and his sister was creating a lot of problems for us. We tried working things out for the first 5 years of our marriage, but my husband’s family did not want to make any changes and deal with their problems. My husband did make the difficult decision to set healthy boundaries and limits with them and to this day we do not see his sister at all.
So many people struggle with creating healthy boundaries with loved ones, family, friends, coworkers, business partners, etc. What happens is they end up resenting these people so much it effects their health often times becoming miserably depressed and anxious. When you are mistreated by someone and I don’t care if it’s your mother, sister, brother, father, cousin, friend, coworker, or spouse you have the right to set limits and boundaries accordingly. It is never good when someone repeats the damaging, unhealthy, toxic pattern of abuse in your life. You may choose to not see that person anymore until they get themselves help and prove they are stable enough to be around. However, those wounds maybe too deep and you may never want that difficult destructive person to be apart of your life. So you absolutely have the right to KICK THEM TO THE CURB. Yes, this can be a difficult thing to do, but if you have tried to resolve the problem with this person, and they continue to mistreat you, and you feel bad about yourself for being around them, you have the right to set healthy limits and boundaries and put an end to the destructive behavior pattern in your life.
Melissa Samartano, PhD., LMHC, RYT