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If I Set Boundaries They will be Angry…

no dramaAs I work with clients on trusting themselves and speaking up for themselves occasionally I will get asked the question, “What if ‘they’ don’t understand?” or “I don’t want to make ‘them’ angry”.

If you have worked with me you have most definitely heard me say, “As you grow those around you will either rise to meet you or they will fall off”.  I remember the first time my therapist shared that principle and I looked at her with great awe and thought no way, people are totally going to be angry. And people do get angry and those are the one’s that fall out of your life.  I have experienced this principle time and time again in my life and in the lives of those around me.

As we learn to trust ourselves and start listening to our guts inevitably we start speaking our needs and setting boundaries.  As this starts to happen there is an initial fear of “oh my I am changing what if everyone hates me.” And yes, as you start changing your behavior and changing the rules and dynamics of your relationships…there will be push back, because everyone hates change.  But inevitably as you trust yourself more and more you will have less and less patience for drama.  So those around you will embrace your new empowered self or fall off because the new you no longer supports their dysfunctional behavior.

For example, if you have always done all the chores and suddenly you start asking for help, initially those that got away with not doing chores will be upset (no matter how supportive they are).   Initially they might whine and complain because it is something different but they will rise to meet the new expectations.  OR they will slowly phase out of your life, unwilling to grow and change and meet the new expectations.  I have found if they do phase out, you are probably all the better for it because most likely they weren’t all that supportive to begin with.

The people in our lives who truly love us–want us to be happy.  They want us to be our best selves. So they are excited to see us grow and change. Pushback is normal and expected.  When we change the rules we can’t expect everyone to jump on board immediately but over time as we stay on path and trust ourselves we will surround ourselves with quality people who want what’s best for us and vice versa.

I would love to hear from you in the comments:  Have you experienced this to be true?  How has it played out in your life?  What stories can you share around this topic?

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