"Show me this mind of yours"
A lot of people have boundary issues in their relationships.
Parents with boundary issues usually don’t know how to deal with their children when they ignore or break house rules. Friends with boundary issues usually don’t know how to get away from investing more of their time and energy than they had wanted into their friendships. Lovers with boundary issues usually end up over-functioning and turning their partners into co-dependent under-functioners, an imbalance that they end up regretting and then, often, complaining about but cannot seem to change.
The problem is one of an inability to defend our boundaries, an inability that often gets projected outward onto someone (our child, friend or partner) whom we accuse of having violated us when it is we who have set ourselves up for the violation. In essence, we have violated ourselves.
I hear a lot of people say “Yeah, well, I TOLD him the rules”, or, “I TOLD her what I wanted”, or “I TOLD him to leave me alone”. We TELL people our boundaries but the problem is it doesn’t DO a damn thing! That is because we haven’t SHOWN them what they are.
Showing our boundaries is the only effective way of defending them. We do this by shaping a situation to suit our own needs and by refusing to be a part a situation that is not what we had in mind.
How? Well, definitely not by talking about it. You have to translate speech into action, or non-action, as the situation requires.
The mother who tells her son to get his homework done before supper has to stop feeding him supper before the homework is done. The man who finds himself waiting for a friend who (for the umpteenth time) is over thirty minutes late, has to leave. The lover who has asked her boyfriend not to flirt with other women has to disengage from the relationship until he changes his ways. The goal is not to withhold privileges, but to create the kind of situation and relationship you want to be a part of.
Stop defining your boundary. Claim it.