“Why did the narcissist cross the road? Because they thought it was a boundary.”
Creating boundaries to start is extremely difficult. You might think you’re turning into a narcissist. The narcissist has no respect for your boundaries, so they will keep upping their games to try and step over yours. Often leaving you full of self-doubt as they say things like. “You’re awkward.” Or “you’re unreasonable.” Then the. “You’re just bitter and jealous.” Or one of their favourites. “You’re crazy..” Making you question your own choices and sanity. When it’s not you, that’s the problem. It’s them that cannot handle people sticking up for themselves. It’s their insecurities that cannot handle others being happy and moving on. They are saying these things to break down your boundaries and gain control over you because they feel entitled and hate people saying no.
If something doesn’t feel right or makes you unhappy when you say yes, if something’s doesn’t give you the inner peace, then you need to say no and stick to your no. Remember why you said no, and don’t let their words affect your answer. The problem is with them having no respect for another person’s boundaries. The problem is not you.
Most narcissistic people believe they are above the law. They want power and control over others, and they hate people setting boundaries on them.
As soon as they step over one boundary, they’ll go for another. The only way to stop this is to stop playing stick to your boundaries. Often they’ll not even listen to court orders. Every time they break these, call the authorities, every time.
How to create and stick to your boundaries. If you’re still in the relationship, or if it’s a work colleague, friend or family member, or you’re out of the relationship, and the narcissist is still coming out of you. You have most likely found it extremely difficult to set boundaries.
If your parents aren’t narcissistic, think back to what your standards, beliefs and values were before you got into a toxic relationship and how they changed.
If you’ve stayed in a narcissistic relationship longer than you should, or your parents were narcissistic, do you know what your boundaries are?
Narcissists have many manipulative ways to break down other peoples boundaries, from gaslighting to the silent treatments, blame-shifting to triangulation. Sometimes they do it simply to amuse themselves. Like jabbing you in the side or groping you hard. And when you say, “that hurts, please don’t.” They’ll tell you things like. “You’re too sensitive.” Or “My ex never minded.” They’ll sulk or go on the silent treatment. Or “If you loved me, you wouldn’t mind.” “I’m only joking.” They break down the smaller boundaries that you know others might not have. Then they cruelly and calculated go after the bigger ones, during and after the relationship.
When you have to stand up to them, you might have physical and mental symptoms of anxiety, fear, dizziness, feeling sick, scared, and confused about what’s right and wrong. This is what the narcissist wants to remain in control over you.
They will push and push and push to ware you down, hurt you, upset you and confuse you, and they do this, so you give up your fight, give into them and accept defeat for an easier life, though it’ll not get easier as once they’ve got one they’ll go after them all.
Whenever you speak up for your beliefs, values, boundaries or instincts, the narcissist will most often tell you. “You’re insecure.” To fill you with self-doubt, and you give in to them.
Or say yes, fawning to their behaviour out of fear if you say no.
Any weaknesses or fears you have, the narcissist will learn and continue to use them against you to break you down even more.
They will not soothe your fears; instead, they’ll do their best to make you fear more. They’ll up their manipulation to leave you feeling worthless and full of self-doubt. They train you not to stand up for yourself, through fear of their rage, their silent treatments and often then blaming their behaviour on something you did by blame-shifting, leaving you with more self-doubt and fear.
- A narcissist will overstep your boundaries.
- You stand firm with your boundaries.
- A narcissist will triangulate, blame shift, rage, gaslight, pled, push, provoke, prod, belittle you.
- You give up the fight as you are left hurt and confused and try to keep the peace.
- Then they start with another boundary of yours, and the same pattern repeats until you lose the fight to stand up for yourself or set any in the first place.
Basic boundaries to set up if you’ve not already got any. It’s hard to set boundaries if you’re a people pleaser. You need to understand. Genuine people will respect and understand you for your boundaries. Setting healthy boundaries is an amazing deal-breaker to remove toxic people from your life without the need for red flags. Boundaries are for how much you give and how much you receive. There are things you wouldn’t tell your children that you’d tell your partner. Things you’d tell your partner that you wouldn’t tell your mother etc. Things you’d do for those that you wouldn’t do for the other. Boundaries do vary depending on whom they are with.
Building up your self-esteem will help build up your boundaries, knowing who you are, working on your inners self, what you do and do not feel comfortable with doing. Listening and tuning into your instincts will help you build boundaries.
- No contact or grey rock with those who’ve previously continued to hurt you and step over your boundaries.
- Giving them no reactions when they provoke you, do not defend yourself or respond. They will use it to try and further manipulate you.
- Observe what they do. Do not absorb.
- What are your core values? What do you feel comfortable and uncomfortable in doing? If something makes you feel uncomfortable, it needs to be a no. You do not need a reason other than you don’t feel comfortable.
- Does something annoy you or irritate you, then it needs to be a no?
- Are you fed up with loaning money or your car to certain people? Then it needs to be a no. If you’re happy doing so with those who do in return, then yes.
Values vary between each individual person and what theirs are. Also, the person you are dealing with. So you might loan someone money. Who you know will pay you back, help you out etc. Say no to those who, when you ask for it back, say. “What money?” don’t argue with them. Remind yourself next time it’s a no. If they can’t handle you, no, that’s your cue to go.
- If someone crosses a boundary, remind them what they are, genuine people will apologise.
- If they continue to cross them, you need to take action.
- If they show up for the children unannounced, don’t answer the door.
- If they’re not supposed to come near you, and they do, call the police.
- If they are late (allowing traffic.) to collect children without letting you know to set a time limit and go out. Next time they need to show when they said they would.
- If they borrowed money and never paid you back, don’t loan them anymore.
- Be consistent. Make sure your actions match your words.
- If they keep trying to cross the same boundaries, let the person go, they don’t respect your no.
- If someone will not respect your boundaries, do you need them in your life? Are they taking more than they are willing to give? Do they constantly hurt you or let you down?
Some narcissists will up their games when you start putting boundaries into place. Please do not give in. They will eventually give up.
People test boundaries once or twice when they’re not narcissistic, especially children.
Things you can control.
- Your words.
- Your ideas.
- Your actions.
- Your mistakes.
- Your behaviour.
- Your effort.
Things outside of your control.
- Other peoples feelings towards you.
- Others intentions.
- Others actions.
- Others behaviour.
- Others mistakes.
- Others words.
So long as whatever you do has good intentions behind them, genuine people will respect and understand these toxic or narcissistic people will try to bring you down.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.
Click here for Elizabeth Shaw’s Recommended reading list for more information on recovery from narcissistic abuse.
How narcissists steal your trust.