When someone crosses our boundaries, we don’t have to be polite.
We don’t owe them an explanation. It’s not our job to preserve their feelings and manage their emotions. And we’re not responsible for their reactions to the boundary we’re setting.
What we do have to do is stand up, speak out and stop it. Even if it’s as simple as saying something like this.
Whoa, hold on, let’s talk about what’s happening here, because this is not okay.
That’s enough. It’s simple, direct, powerful and honest. It communicates our needs and expectations. We’re not telling people how to run their lives, we’re telling them how we live ours.
I once had a massage therapist whose arms looked like legs. Which appeared to be a good sign when I first laid down on the table. But her touch was so intense and aggressive that it actually stopped being relaxing and starting being painful.
I even requested lighter pressure multiple times, but she just kept smiling and told me to relax.
Pain is beauty. In my country, this good massage.
It was a highly vulnerable moment. Because there were power dynamics between us. She was the professional trained expert, and I was the civilian. She was the service provider, and I was the paying customer. She was two hundred pounds of ferocious communist muscle, and I was not.
What would you have done?
Eventually, though, enough anger and discomfort amassed that I rolled over, looked her right in the face and said.
You’re hurting me. This massage is over. Please leave.
She nodded and slowly backed out of the room, while my pulse raced out of control and my body began sweating profusely.
Holy shit. That was intense. Where did that come from?
Wow. Something very deep inside of me must have been triggered, because in that moment, I managed to overcome my usual codependent personality and stand up for my boundaries in a very difficult situation.
Not to mention, speak to the manager and get a refund for the massage.
In my country, pain isn’t beauty, integrity is.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Will you defend your boundary now that you have set it?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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