Don't allow someone to treat you badly, just because you love them.
We all do this because we think we need to "suffer" in the name of love. And this makes it a sacrificial love, a love that is "worth it". Disney did a fine job of screwing us up. It really doesn't matter what kind of love it is, never allow yourself to be abused.
Oftentimes, it is also easier to blame the "abuser", and when we position ourselves as a victim of the love or relationship, we inevitably set ourselves up. We must also take responsibility and be the adult and do what is right or set things right, and not be postured as a victim in a poor me mentality.
So what is the definition of being treated badly, besides the more obvious physical abuse? (I consider hitting your children physical abuse. To me, calling it "disciplining" doesn't take away the harm caused by physical abuse. There are other ways to teach your children. Hitting someone smaller and less powerful than you is called bullying. I call a spade a spade, and perhaps this is a subject for my next article on the long-term harm)
The area of physical abuse gets a little grey for many people, as their own self-respect, self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-love may have taken a blow (nad chances are they were also hit by their parents or caregivers as young children), so they are not sure where the line is.
So here are three basic baselines in any sort of relationship:
If any of these three baselines cannot be met, we can't even begin to look further into establishing a mutually beneficial relationship or connection.
Of the three basics, boundaries have got to be the most challenging for most people, especially in some cultures where boundaries are such a foreign concept. This could be due to generations of cultural misappropriates, economic hardships, or just misplacement of identities. And this will take a whole lot of re-education in order for the next generation to understand the idea of boundaries.
Some people get offended by your boundaries, know that it is ok, and you must stick by your boundaries. It just means that they are not your people (even if it is someone you love), they only want to take from you, but get offended when you say no.
I was in a relationship with someone who was so deeply offended by my boundaries that he took it as my lack of love. I just knew from then on that this relationship was going downhill but I just let it play out until it crashed.
When boundaries are not clear, how does one establish a baseline of one's needs? It was a hard lesson because I burned out before I laid down the boundaries again. At the beginning of relationships, it is so easy to let these things slip. But I have learned that it has to be established at the beginning, it is the basic baseline. And if we can't meet mutually at these baselines then the connection has no future.
Some may say that it is important to compromise, yes I agree. Then the question that begs to be answered is: is the relationship or the person worth you giving up on your own needs? Some may say yes, but for me, it was obviously a no.
Even your relationship with your children, parents, etc needs to have boundaries. I make my boundaries clear with my parents, and we have mutual respect for each other's space. As for my daughter who is turning 17 soon, she learned some hard lessons with me last year when she breached the trust. I re-established and re-drawn my boundaries with her and made it known where she stands, and that it will take work for us to get back into mutual respect/love/trust again.
We all have these lessons to learn in life, and we must learn to say no, and wait for the response from life, and then re-establish boundaries, relationships, connections, and all these form the basis of all kinds of relationships and whether they will weather the good and bad times.
I am sure you have been surprised by some of the longer-lasting relationships, and friendships you have had, perhaps connections you never knew would exist or last. These are your people, who know and understand the baselines. These people are for keeps.
©2022 Shamala Tan
Don't know how to establish boundaries? Book your free 15-minute consult to see how we can disrupt the patterns of your trauma and/or lower self; for you to thrive emotionally, mentally, spiritually or financially (shadow & light work) CLICK Here
Let me know how I can assist you if you have any questions [email protected]
Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly levels.
Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.