Setting boundaries is telling others what you will and will not tolerate and what they can expect from you if they violate one of your boundaries. Enforcing boundaries, on the other hand, is doing what you said you’d do if someone violates one of them.
In other words, you can set boundaries all day long but if you don’t enforce them, people will pick up on it very quickly. And soon, they’ll no longer take you seriously. They’ll only see you as making empty threats. People will then step over your boundaries deliberately, just because they can!
Setting and enforcing boundaries is never easy, especially if you’re dealing with bullies. Bullies, especially narcissistic bullies, despise boundaries and will retaliate and lash out at you for daring to have them. Therefore, when you decide you will no longer be controlled by your bullies, the power dynamic automatically changes.
Don’t Just Mouth It. Mean it!
They hate anyone who is their own person and not the person they want them to be. Bullies want conformers and followers, not original individuals. Again, bullies abhor boundaries because it shows that they can’t control you. Moreover, when a bully cannot control you, that bully goes into panic mode and will do very desperate things.
Why? Because they want things back to the way they used to be. In other words, they attempt to roll back that power dynamic by doing either one or all of the following.
1. They will be super sweet to you.
2. They’ll threaten you.
3. They may verbally or physically attack you.
4. Or they’ll resort to smearing you to others.
Bullies Hate Boundaries.
It’s been said that if bullies can no longer control you, they will control how others view you. Therefore, again, enforcing your boundaries will not be easy, especially once bullies have grown comfortable with controlling you.
And if they’ve grown comfortable with wresting control over you, you will automatically take them out of their comfort zones once you take your power back. Then you will have hell to pay.
Nevertheless, you must, for your own sake and the sake of your mental health, hold firm and stick to your guns. If you refuse to give in to your bullies, there’s always a chance they just might leave you alone. But be prepared just in case they don’t. You might need to remove yourself from the bullying environment and go to a place where you can make a fresh start.
With knowledge comes empowerment!