Relationships are complex enough and sometimes we complicate matters further by not asserting what we want from them. Yes, it can be hard to articulate what you might want if you don't know what you need to successfully sail through the equation. But in the process of pleasing people we make ourselves vulnerable to being taken for granted.
The problem here is that, you’re only human, so in time but not asserting your boundaries you allow stress to build up in the relationship by suppressing your true feelings. This can have an adverse effect on your mental and physical health in time, all you need are simple tools and a little bit of gumption to set sail on the right course. Scroll on for our suggestions.
Here are 6 ways you can assert your boundaries to stop feeling used in relationships:
1) Seeing is believing
People have the knack of weaving together stories that can draw you in and have you believing anything they say. If you spot a red flag, you have to believe it is a red flag because people will show you over and over again who they are. You have to open your eyes and see them for who they are because when you love someone, sometimes you may have blind spots in that equation and you might even talk yourself out of the things you see. Trust the patterns and not just their words. But if you notice it and it repeats after you mention your boundaries, it’s not going anywhere.
2) Treat yourself better
You’ve got to love and respect yourself before you can begin to expect that from someone else. Because if you respect yourself enough you won’t tolerate anyone crossing a line with you and you will address how it makes you feel. Acknowledge what you know you deserve and your accomplishments. Think about how you’ve come and how much you’ve grown. And if all else fails and you aren’t able to be the cheerleader you need for yourself then seek out the support of friends and loved one’s. They might be able to share valuable input that is objective in nature.
3) Work on how you respond to things
You cannot control how other people perceive and react to situations but you can control how you respond to them and how they should treat you. You’ll need to consistently, openly and politely mention if something doesn’t work for you or if something they are doing upsets you. Over time, people will adapt and learn to treat you the way you want. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic interaction; all you have to do is, ‘Do unto others what you want others to do unto you’.
Set limits for the things you will do and the things you won’t and in the event you aren’t comfortable giving an immediate response ask for time to think about it. Another vital piece of the puzzle is learning to say No, this is a confrontational word and opens the door for conversation most of us would happily avoid sometimes. You’re simply articulating how valuable you and your time are.
4) Don't fall for the romantic notion of the relationship in your mind
We’ve all grown up with the notion of an ideal relationship in our minds and we’ve learned to put the people we love high up on pedestals. This sometimes leaves room for us to hold on to equations longer because of how much importance has been assigned to them. So if you are uncomfortable tackling the bigger issues start by asserting your feelings over the smaller things you feel comfortable discussing, it might give you the confidence to discuss bigger issues eventually. And remember you are only as stuck as you choose to be.
5) Know when to let go
Most of us will try to salvage our relationships and hold on longer than required. While this may be fine for a little while because everyone deserves the benefit of doubt and the chance to prove themselves, you just can’t put yourself in harm’s way over and over again because you don’t want to leave the equation. If you’ve given it your best and all you’ve got and nothing’s changed? It is 1000% time to make your exit.
6) Trust your gut instincts
More often than not when something isn’t right you will feel it in your gut. There’ll be this lil nagging sensation in everything you do that something isn’t adding up. If it doesn't feel right don't do it. All you need to do is trust your instinct in this case and start paying closer attention to your equation.