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How to Maintain Boundaries With Difficult People in Recovery

Every person has the desire to please others. However, maintaining boundaries in recovery is essential for you to live your best life. Although most people would agree, not everyone has boundaries. Everyone has experienced the over-sharer, over-stepper, or over-the-topper. Maybe they continue to rely on you for things that they can do themselves, or perhaps they manipulate your no into a yes. These types of people are boundary-crossers and can be difficult to avoid.

In treatment, you learned a lot of healthy coping skills and ways to navigate recovery. At times, boundaries can be hard to implement, especially with pushy people. Maybe, you have just now realized that boundaries have been a struggle throughout your life. Whatever the case, you are in the right place to learn to regain your power and establish boundaries in your recovery.

Why Are Boundaries Important?

You just purchased a cute puppy that you have been saving up for. This puppy flops around your home and brings you so much joy. You decide that you need to keep your new best friend safe. After all, the puppy does not know what is unsafe. For example, you buy an invisible fence so the puppy is reminded not to go outside the perimeter. This is an example of a boundary. In this example, you love your new puppy so much that you created a boundary to keep your new friend safe.

Now imagine that you are the puppy. What will it take to keep your recovery safe? Think about the areas in your life that you need to protect. No matter where you are in your recovery, there are areas in your life that are essential to defend. After all, you have been putting work into yourself and deserve to guard yourself against anything that does not bring you joy. This is where establishing boundaries is important.

Your Boundaries Are Not Being Respected

Establishing boundaries for yourself can be difficult due to several reasons. For example, you may want to please people. You may find yourself thinking that you have to say yes to be respected. People cannot respect your boundaries if you do not respect your boundaries. You need to maintain and stick with what you say.

Part of recovery is exploring your self-awareness; in doing so, you may struggle with your self-esteem. Sometimes it is difficult to stick with your boundaries when you want to be liked or for approval. The problem with that thought process is that you are not giving yourself enough credit. Your boundaries may not be respected because you are not respecting them.

For you to be respected, you have to respect yourself and the perimeters of your life. You have to stick with following through with what you want and continue saying “no” to things that do not serve you. Sometimes, you will encounter a difficult person. Due to them not having boundaries, they will not understand your boundaries. This is all a part of the process and will help you find self-awareness in recovery.

Set Limits

Emotional health can be in jeopardy when boundaries are not put in place. For you to feel good about yourself and your recovery, you have to set limits in your life. After all, you have come this far and continue to be the best version of yourself. You owe it to yourself to set limits.

  • Limit yourself to time spent with people: Putting a time frame on your time is setting a boundary. Your peace of mind is more important than anything else. Valuing your precious time is an excellent tool for practicing boundaries with difficult people.
  • Your space is limited: Personal space is essential for you to feel safe. Keeping boundaries around yourself is important in your recovery. You are allowed to walk away if something makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Be calm: You want to be taken seriously and with a calm demeanor that is more likely to happen. This means not overreacting when setting boundaries.
  • Push guilt aside: You may feel guilty when reinforcing boundaries. Set that aside; you are marking your territory for your peace.

Effectively Communicate

No one will respect what they do not know. Communication is key to establishing effective boundaries. You have to lead by example. With that difficult human that continues to cross your boundaries, you need to reflect on your actions that allow this person to continue.

Without clear communication, boundary lines will be blurry, and frustration will arise. It is important to establish your boundaries by being firm, clear, and concise. The more concise your boundaries are, the more you will be able to uphold them for others to see.

Alumni Program

At The Guest House, we value your boundaries and where you are in your journey. That is why we offer an alumni program that can support you in all things. We understand that boundaries can be hard with difficult people. In recovery, you are learning new ways of living and positive ideas to establish a life that you can be proud of.

Being a part of our alumni program will connect you with positive and supportive humans during your recovery. You will be encouraged every step of your way and learn positive communication skills, healthy relationships, and relapse prevention skills.

Boundaries are difficult to establish with difficult people. Exploring your personal boundaries can be life-changing in your recovery. It is easy to allow people to walk all over you and difficult to change your behavior. At The Guest House, we recognize the difficulties associated with implementing effective boundaries. We will be with you every step of the way and provide the support that you need in your journey. You are not alone, nor should you feel like you have to be. You are valued. Your boundaries are the foundation of how you want to be treated. Give us a call today at (855) 483-7800. We will open your door to respect.