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  1. #11
    Senior Member Simi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    The only exception is if it's someone who I know is hopelessly clueless and will continue to be a repeat offender (these are rare). Then I won't apologize.
    Well, I think after a long period of time with the cycle I eventually break out of it.

    I had a best friend, probably the closest I've ever had. We did absolutely everything together, from going on dates to even showering.
    A lot of people were shocked when on New Years she started complaining to me about how I hadn't been spending enough time with her (I hadn't seen her in about a month because all of my other friends were complaining about neglect) and I completely threw her down the stairs of realization, being a little harsh while doing so..
    To sum it up, I pretty much disowned her because of the way she was conducting herself as if I owed her my attention 24/7, she treated me as if I were her boyfriend, she expected me to spend my time and money on her and do just about everything with her.
    It exhausted me, but here I about seven months later experiencing the same problems, just with new people.
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  2. #12
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    Just doing a drive-by post here; not really addressing one particular post or poster.

    Anyway, I think there are two separate issues in play when you talk about boundaries. One is where to set your boundaries, and the other is how to say “no.”

    If you aren’t sure exactly where to set your boundaries, then you’re going to tend to get wishy-washy in a given situation while you try to process what’s happening and decide whether or not you are being taken advantage of. Presumably extraverts are going to have more facility at deciding when they’re being taken advantage of, assuming that extraverts have more experience with day-to-day back-and-forth between people. Whereas a shy person may move more slowly and cautiously in this area and only decide after the fact that another person was violating boundaries.

    Anyway here’s an old post I wrote on where to set boundaries; there are some other good posts in the thread: http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=1#post1390314

    As for the separate issue of saying “no”:

    You may know where to set appropriate boundaries and be well aware that someone’s request is illegitimate or that you simply don’t want to do something; yet you still can have trouble saying “no.” Reading over this thread, it seems that much of the discussion is about difficulty saying “no” firmly.

    There are self-help books on the subject for anyone who wants to get truly good at deflecting others and saying “no.” Here are a few tidbits I’ve picked up over time:

    --You don’t need to do a big explanation when you say “no,” especially when it comes to boundary violations. If the other person routinely violates boundaries and/or makes excessive demands on people, they probably hear “no” a lot. So the main thing is just to be firm. Make your words and your body language reflect that firmness.

    --Example: Someone asks you to participate in a fund-raiser at work. Say, “That is such a compliment to be considered for this position, but I must decline. Best of luck with your fund-raiser.” Once you’ve said no, soften it with a sincere thank-you for being asked or considered, but don’t soften your boundary. Make the no final: “Thank you, it’s an honor to be asked. But no.”

    --Don’t say “maybe” unless you truly want to do it and need time to find a way before you can say yes. In all other circumstances, just say “no.” Saying “maybe” means you’ll just have to deal with it again later.

    --Just focus on saying “no” politely, and you shouldn’t have to apologize for your response. Problems arise when you start complaining to the other person that everyone takes advantage of you or that they (the other person) make too many demands on you. If you start ranting at the other person, then you’re probably going to have to apologize later. So for now, just focus on a polite “no” and save bigger discussions about the nature of your relationship with the other person for another time when you can approach the subject coolly.

    --If you anticipate an argument from the other person, then study up on how to handle arguments. But don’t back down out of fear of arguments--they can be handled too. The main thing is not to be steamrolled by people or by fear of what they may think or how they may react. “No” is a perfectly legitimate response. Say it and make it stick.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simi View Post
    Well, I think after a long period of time with the cycle I eventually break out of it.

    I had a best friend, probably the closest I've ever had. We did absolutely everything together, from going on dates to even showering.
    A lot of people were shocked when on New Years she started complaining to me about how I hadn't been spending enough time with her (I hadn't seen her in about a month because all of my other friends were complaining about neglect) and I completely threw her down the stairs of realization, being a little harsh while doing so..
    To sum it up, I pretty much disowned her because of the way she was conducting herself as if I owed her my attention 24/7, she treated me as if I were her boyfriend, she expected me to spend my time and money on her and do just about everything with her.
    It exhausted me, but here I about seven months later experiencing the same problems, just with new people.
    So apparently you actively create these sorts of relationships with people? Over-nurturing with Fe?

    Back off a little and you won't attract so many cling-meisters.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burning Rave View Post
    It's official, I've been told by a loved one that I'm being a doormat. That I need to rise up against people who are being asses, and it includes her if I ever think that she is being one. That I need to talk back. That I need to stake my claims too, because I'm a person also.

    The problem? Setting strong and firm boundaries is hard (especially to loved ones.) It seems, when I think of something as small, I'll let it go. When I'm being asked a question, my answer may be a little hard to understand. I've been told that a Yes or No answer isn't and shouldn't be considered an attack on the other person.

    So, it seems, my boundary problems are a lot bigger than I expected. One that took years to manifest.

    I get the concept. However, it is easier said than done. So NFs (or anyone,) how do you set boundaries? One that doesn't make me look like an ass, but also says that I have my own issues too.
    Ugh. Boundaries are SUPER TOUGH but extremely necessary.

    It's far too easy to fall into a habit of "well, it's so much easier to tell myself no than the other person." I actually need to credit the INTJ I dated who really helped me be much better at setting boundaries. I like being flexible and low-maintainance and somewhere along the line I acquired the data that this equals being a doormat. Luckily the INTJ taught me that that was not the case.

    For me, I think the key has been to identify within myself what my boundaries are with people, and then if people brush up against them that I be firm and not back down. Some things are open to negotiations and some things just aren't.

    It takes practice. And it takes valuing yourself just as much as you value other people. I have had low self esteem for most of my life, and that was a big piece of it. I just didn't value myself high enough.

  5. #15
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Yeah, it does take practice. It's a general problem for me, but I think I am getting better - partly I've had a lot of practice in the last year with someone who has very little concept of boundaries (though I think she is getting better.)

    Saying no more often gets less scary the more you practice it... When dealing with people who have a poor concept of boundaries and a hard time respecting them, I'm finding that just saying no firmly can work well, but to also let them know that you're not mad at them or punishing them or whatever - this is just how it has to be. And also, resisting their attempts at guilt-tripping or manipulating, which is likely to be part of it.

    I'm also finding that I have to push it far enough that *I* start feeling like I'm being a bit self-centered. For me, that's probably actually a good sign. If I feel like I'm not being self-centered, the chances are that I'm actually being over-accommodating and letting someone violating my boundaries. I'm a bit off kilter that way.
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  6. #16
    Glycerine
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    To be blunt, I tend to be very stubborn until the other person gives up and stops messing with me or doorslam them.

  7. #17
    Lungs & Lips Locked Unkindloving's Avatar
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    Boundaries depend on how close a person is/isn't to me. The closer the person, the harder it may be to set boundaries if I care about hurting their feelings or the interaction. In relationships, I walk on eggshells and make allowances in certain aspects, but am blunt without hesitation about things that I absolutely know will cause issue.
    I try to be aware of self-preservation. What can I give without sacrificing too much. What is being taken from me without hesitation, or with expectation. What feels like a healthy interaction, and what doesn't. The hard part is when I can rationalize it out, but then become clouded with the emotions of handling a situation. I avoid confrontation if I don't see understanding or a good outcome. I especially avoid it if I feel I'm unable to communicate with the other party, so it can make boundaries harder to set. I'll end up setting them through distancing myself from the other party, rather than discussing it.

    However, when I do discuss, I take into account everything that I am thinking/feeling. I even take into account if it feels stupid or may offend, and I then state that. There is something to be said about being relatable, honest, and openly covering the bases if you're trying to convey something verbally. When it comes to setting boundaries, I do think it should be accomplished verbally in a number of cases. It's at least far more efficient, even if it's not the only way. If a friend of mine told me flat out "I don't want to devalue the friendship, and I've not known how to go about bringing this up, but this this and that need to happen in our friendship so I don't put too much forward" then it would speak volumes more than any other way of going about it. There's that sense of vulnerability, while showing value.
    As per people taking advantage, I do try to hold my tongue. My tongue is a bit snakey when it wants to retaliate, so I may remain in the people's company, but I won't cater to them. I set people straight over time, when I want to allow for potential split-tongue nastiness, but that is reserved for solving relationship issues and for when I am past the point of dealing. Not quite helpful to you

    Truth is- I aim for compromise most of all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Simi View Post
    I have two best friends who expect me to pay for them to eat, admission to places, and arrange rides for them every time we hang out. They're deeply disappointed and treat me like trash if something occurs in my life that messes up one of our plans together, however on the flip side I am not allowed to be upset if their personal obligations interfere.

    So, I think I could honestly work on establishing boundaries as well.
    According to the bolded, you definitely should work on the boundaries. How old are you and said friends? Can they pay for themselves and simply choose not to/ did you unintentionally get them in the habit of you paying their way?
    As an ENFJ, you do have claws. Sometimes you must tap into a sense of self preservation and extend the claws at someone a little, even if they are close to you. You need to assess your own giving nature, but also in relation to the "Right" and "Wrong" of a situation. I completely understand wanting to give to the people who you are close with, but know that these things can snowball and come back around to bite you over time.
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  8. #18
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Besides my stint with pity-dating, I am pretty good with boundaries.

    I definitely agree with not over-explaining, not apologizing, & most of the time, not even offering an "excuse" at all. Just acknowledge them politely & give the no answer.

    Also:
    - Be aware of what is important to you & what is negotiable. People will catch you off-guard less & find it harder to guilt you. You won't find yourself letting more important things slide by getting caught up in little favors or whatever either. The FP mindset tends to predetermine these things (ie. "values"), which is likely why many of us are reporting we actually assert our boundaries pretty well.

    - Assert to yourself that your reasons are valid, not selfish. It's valid to not help someone because you want some time to yourself to relax. You don't need to explain that to someone either. An unapologetic answer communicates you know your reasons are valid. When you over-explain, it communicates you feel they are not valid & need an excuse. This leaves you more open to guilt.

    - Don't linger after your answer. Until you're strong with this boundary setting, find a way to make an exit after, to prevent them probing & you nervously babbling. Sometimes just breaking eye contact and then changing the subject works.

    - Don't overvalue your own contributions. Everything does not have to fall on you to get done; the world will not fall apart if you don't hold it togeher. There's something slightly egocentric when people feel guilt about not being able to help. Be confident that others are capable to help & you can sit this one out without any guilt. Obviously, don't go to the other extreme & always adopt a "someone else will do it" attitude, but hey, sometimes, someone else will do it!

    - Maybe is okay IF & only if you mean it. It should never substitute for no. On jobs, I've had bosses ask me to do things I could not guarantee would or could be done. I'd often answer, "I'll see what I can do, but I can't promise anything." I'd make a genuine attempt to accomplish the request & if it didn't work out, they were always okay with it, because I was honest.

    - If you genuinely would like to help but find the terms to constricting, then offer an alternative. Let them know what you can & cannot do. If they turn down your offer, then just graciously wish them the best on finding someone who can do all they want.

    - If you're honest & polite with people & they get all pissy still, then they don't deserve your help/friendship anyway. You've got to weed out the hanger-ons sometimes....
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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