Have you ever felt like you are someone’s punching bag? An emotional one, not a physical one. You know the feeling you get when someone takes their shit out on you. They are angry, mad, hurting, frustrated, or upset and they start to throw that shit on you. You were not the one that caused the anger, hurt, frustration, etc. – but it’s the way they are treating you.
Whether you are the one feeling like the punching bag or if you are the one that is throwing the (emotional) punches – it doesn’t feel good.
I know that we all have bad days and can feel crappy, but it is not fair or okay to take your sh!t out on others.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of the punching bag and want to stop feeling like you are being beaten up – it is time to set some boundaries. We teach people how we want to be treated. Boundaries help you get clear on how you want to be treated and how you do not want to be treated – and it is a great way to show yourself some love. Here are a few examples of boundaries:
- Deciding if and when you will interact with this person. You decide if you accept their phone calls/messages or if you want to be around them.
- Not reacting or engaging when this person starts to throw emotional punches. You can choose to walk away, to not react when they are not being rational.
- Calmly share with them how they are making you feel.
However, you will need to be prepared that this person may not be ready or willing to have a calm, rational conversation with you. They may not be in a healthy space to realize that they are not treating you well. If this happens, continue to set and maintain your healthy boundaries. Remember you cannot change or fix anyone else. It is their job to take care of themselves and your job to take care of YOU.
I realize this can be difficult and it is going to depend on what your relationship is with this person, how long you have known them, how close you are to them, how often you see them, interact with them, etc.
Although, if this person is going to remain in your life – it is important to take care of yourself, which means being clear on your boundaries – before interacting with them. Taking care of yourself also means remembering to accept this person exactly where they are at – without trying to change or fix them.
“The only people who get upset about you setting boundaries are the ones who are benefiting from you having none.” Unknown.