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Assertiveness and Boundaries,


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Old 21st August 2017, 9:20 AM   #1
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Assertiveness and Boundaries,

I learned to be assertive and set boundaries last year. Im 32, so when I was 31 I started doing it. Has anyone on here learned late? Or know anyone who has? I don't know sometimes, I feel bad in a way because of that. As a child and teenager, I had a lot of bad experiences. Even in my twenties. And I think a lot of that was my fault for not behaving mature. I mean I know as a minor your not really mature, but being born pre-mature and all, apparently has something to do with it. I don't want councelling right now because I just got out of it shortly before summer. Any thoughts, comments?
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Old 21st August 2017, 9:32 AM   #2
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you never stop learning, for each jerk has thier own turn of phrase, and are individual, some give up early and some are so daft that they pester, some do this for fun

just say no

or say this is where my space ends and yours begins

I was a late developer too, 63 years old, started learning in my 30s
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Old 21st August 2017, 10:17 AM   #3
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Hey, it's never too late to learn.

I don't think I've ever been non-assertive about my boundaries - but I did only learn later in life that sometimes it's worth compromising. Previously, if anyone asked me to do something that I didn't want to do, I'd just say "no, **** that". I think both of those are two polar ends of a spectrum, and barring a few cases, there's no black or white answer where exactly you should fall on it. Nowadays, on a case-by-case basis, I will weigh my perceived boundary against the reasons why someone might want me to do something or other, and arrive at a decision based on that. In many cases I decide that it's worth keeping the boundary, but in a few cases I decide otherwise. And looking back at those, sometimes compromising was the right thing to do.
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Old 21st August 2017, 2:08 PM   #4
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i am trying to learn it now. when i grew up i was taught that i should be patient if others stepped on boundaries or if they were abusive. it has taken me so many years to realise how bad this is. and now i am on it. i don't think i have improved tremendously, but like 40%. i still have problems asserting boundaries to people i care about. then i get fed up and want to be alone and push them away. im really trying because solving this may solve some of my attachment issues.
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Old 21st August 2017, 4:28 PM   #5
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Im working on that also. I have a hard time saying no to people I like or a b/f even or someone I might like in that way. But I notice it now and so I know it's something I want to work on, Im also wondering if it's a never ending learning process. As I remember having this problem more in my teens and twenties,
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Old 26th August 2017, 6:14 PM   #6
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i am trying to learn it now. when i grew up i was taught that i should be patient if others stepped on boundaries or if they were abusive. it has taken me so many years to realise how bad this is. and now i am on it. i don't think i have improved tremendously, but like 40%. i still have problems asserting boundaries to people i care about. then i get fed up and want to be alone and push them away. im really trying because solving this may solve some of my attachment issues.
Sometimes i think you have to be burned so many times to see a pattern, and then learn to say "no"! Maybe boundaries will stop you "pushing people away", and allow you to withdraw enough to recharge your batteries? Other times in life, it's either them or you, and you have to choose "you".

I'm older and am finally asserting some boundaries. I've been aware of it for years, but doing it was a different story (eg, the scenarios you set up in your head to say "no" to are never quite the same as what happens in real life. Hence, me taking time out on some decisions before I say yes or no).

It is okay to take some time out for yourself to think about things if you don't know where you stand on something. Eg, tell them "i'll think about it, and get back to you", or simply don't respond until you are sure.

Having boundaries requires that you know yourself fairly well, so that you can determine the lines. It is also okay to take some time out and see where certain things "sit" with you in order to know yourself.

And yes, it's about knowing where you end and another's behaviour or whatever, begins (as a member here mentioned, very good point)!
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Old 26th August 2017, 8:43 PM   #7
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I grew up in the last of the generation that taught women to defer to men. I was always somewhat assertive in my own awkward way, but my boundaries certainly could have used some serious work. I put up with way too much and expected too little, but I'm not complaining because overall I had lots of adventures, enough to last a lifetime.

But you learn every step of the way, or at least you should. Some people become mired in one way of thinking and just can't read outside the box.
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Old 28th August 2017, 3:26 PM   #8
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Yes I am a late learner and still learning. I was raised in an abusive family where personal boundaries were non-existent. As a result, all my life people have stepped on me and walked right through me. Now I'm totally emotionally battered to the point where I'm physically crippled with illness(I believe the mind affects the body). When I began to protect myself, the people in my life reacted adversely to this. They didn't like me standing up for myself, so I had to cut them off. In my case I have to also be aware of transference(attracting abuse from others) as I am so accustomed to abusive interaction.
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Old 29th August 2017, 5:22 PM   #9
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When I began to protect myself, the people in my life reacted adversely to this.
Yes, this happens. Best thing is to be happy within yourself and partner with yourself.

How is it all going since your started putting boundaries in place?

I think it's good to learn these skills. It's all about knowing yourself, what you will put up with and what you won't.
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Old 31st August 2017, 3:30 PM   #10
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How is it all going since you started putting boundaries in place?
I certainly feel more my own person. It's interesting how many people don't appreciate the change in me. They expect me to accept their abuse. It's difficult to avoid all of them as there are so many that have infiltrated my life, but I'm working on it.
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Old 2nd September 2017, 2:16 PM   #11
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Assertiveness and boundaries are something many don't have a knack with.

They can take it out of you too sometimes to put them in place.

But if anyone is treating you with a lack of respect and consideration the setting of boundaries is crucial.

I just had to go through this today - for another time, there will be many more times and it's not easy but if I hadn't done it I would be in a sink hole weeks or months down the line.

I feel upset over it today and sore but I know I have done the right thing for me and for the person I set the boundary with.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 12:38 AM   #12
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About 10-15 yrs ago, i became aware of many "nice guy" issues i was struggling with - assertiveness and boundaries are at the core. I'm pushing 50 and with some things, I'm making baby-steps progress on. On other things, I've been spinning my wheels for about 30 yrs.
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Old 4th September 2017, 12:31 AM   #13
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Good thread. I thought I was alone on this. I'm 59 and a lack of assertiveness and boundary setting has been many a downfall for me.

Assessing it now....it's occurred to me that... over my lifetime... the bigger the risk of setting a boundary or being assertive....the more difficult is has been for me for me to do so. The risk of doing so varies situationally.

I think what has happened is that the older I've gotten....the less it seems...I've learned that I have to truly lose....and then the pattern is seen that there's (usually) more to gain by doing so than not.

Don't feel badly about yourself. (always easier said than done on hindsight...which is when we learned we did not do what was in our own best interest it seems)....because....without mistakes...there's no learning.

The only place any of us can begin any journey is from where we are. Not from where we wished were or think we are..
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Old 4th September 2017, 2:13 AM   #14
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Some flowers bloom in the spring. Some bloom in the fall. Some in winter.

And ... all plants continue to grow until they die. Every day, stretching and reaching toward the light until their lives are over.

Think about it.

There's no shame in learning late. For some of us, it's necessary. Part of what makes life beautiful.

I learned assertiveness early, but learned the importance of boundaries and standards late. Things might have been different if I had learned about boundaries earlier, but I think the lesson came when I was able to use it properly. When I was ready for it.

Such is life.
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Old 16th September 2017, 9:22 AM   #15
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I am 29 and JUST learning about assertiveness and boundaries. As a kid I was always very ... angry and resorted to anger as a protective factor. I used anger to make my boundaries known, but only after they had been violated. Frequent rages and lashing out. When I was a kid, I think that must have worked for me, because I didn't really feel responsible for the maintenance of any of my relationships. The schools had to deal with me, parents had to deal with me, friends could deal with me or not - though I tended to defer to friends because I didn't want to lose them, and then, boundaries were crossed or failed to be established. And I was never able to express that to anyone.


Now ... the rage isn't serving me and I'm trying not to be such a psycho. I'm trying to slow down, to evaluate situations, to take time before I respond, to not be bullied or intimidated into action that I don't decide for myself .... it's a lot. It's not easy. you really have to slow down and look at yourself. I have to check in with myself often to see if my anger is escalating, to try to bring it down. I've been diagnosed bi-polar in the past and never accepted it but often I do question whether it might be true and am trying to go back to therapy with someone who doesn't yet know me, to find out ....


I think often only those who have been through their own personal hell really learn to establish boundaries assertively ... otherwise, how and why would you?
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