Like narcissists and borderlines, for example. To these individuals, boundaries are both a challenge and a call to arms. To say they don’t like them is an understatement. Rather than respect your boundaries, like a rational, reasonable adult would, they’re more likely to attack or ridicule you for having them. Then, they ignore and bulldoze.
Why? Boundaries hinder the narcissist’s or borderline’s ability to control you and make them accountable for their behavior. In other words, if they don’t respect your boundaries they lose access. Sometimes, this kind of person prefers to end a relationship rather than observing and respecting a boundary.
In extreme case, clients whose exes are only allowed supervised visitation with their shared children opt out. They’d rather have no relationship with their kids than follow a court order. Court orders are boundaries that are enforced by the court. Sometimes. They’re more likely to be enforced if you have a penis. It’s a coin toss whether a judge will enforce his or her own orders if the offender has a uterus.
Sometimes, these adult toddlers will back down. At least for a short while. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security! In all likelihood, they’ve just gone back to the drawing board to find a way over, around, under or through your boundaries. With any luck, your narcissist will bumble f-ck themselves right over the proverbial cliff on one of those ACME rockets.
If you maintain your boundaries, the likelihood of a Wile E. Coyote greatly increases. Even so, it may be time to make like the Roadrunner and “Meep! Meep!”
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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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