Setting Boundaries With Friends
Have you ever had a friend that no matter what you told her, she always came up with a better way to do the thing that you want to do? Or she has a different option about what you should buy to what you have said you’re about to buy? Or she has another choice about where to take your life which is opposite to the direction that you want for your life? Nothing that you ever say seems to be right for you according to her….nothing ever satisfies her – she always knows better than you do. Abuse doesn’t only occur in relationships, it occurs in friendships too.
For a friend to constantly keep telling you about other options to what you’ve shared with her, it means that she is knowingly or unknowingly trying to undermine you. If, whenever you set a boundary with her you say “Please do not tell me what to do all the time,” she then keeps doing the thing that you’ve asked her not to do, she is showing you a lack of respect because she’s going ahead and doing what she wants to do, not what you’ve asked her to do or not do. This is very disrespectful and you don’t have to put up with it.
Some friends think that they are helping by constantly pushing their opinion on you, but really, they aren’t. They are infringing on you, and they are disrespecting you. They are saying, in a subtle way, that they know better than you, that you don’t know the right choices, that their choice for you is better than the one you’ve decided upon, and that you’re not capable of making your own decisions. Now, this might be a misguided way of trying to help you, or it could be a way for your friend to be heard or taken notice of because she doesn’t get heard in other areas of her life. However, if she isn’t getting heard in other areas of her life it’s probably because life is reflecting back to her the way she treats the people in her own life – she doesn’t listen to them. She doesn’t respect them. Therefore Life is reflecting her behaviour right back at her.
You have every right to set boundaries with a person like this, and you have every right to say “Enough is enough”. The way that oppressors operate is to question you every time you speak, and by doing this you lose confidence in yourself and your oppressor begins to become someone that you lean on when you make your decisions. They take more and more liberties with you, eventually becoming dominating and controlling. There comes a time when you need to recognise this and not allow the situation to get to that point.
If you are anything like me, if your friend won’t listen then one day you’re going to tell her (in no uncertain terms) where to get off. If you’ve repeated yourself again and again and she’s still not listening, then it’s time to walk away and get on with your life. We can’t be expected to tolerate other people’s lack of respect. If we don’t respect ourselves by saying “No More!” then who else is going to respect us? No-one.
Don’t let the turkeys get you down.