Adventures in Boundary Setting

Why doesn't anyone teach us this stuff?

Adulting is hard, even on a good day, and there are so many things that we're not even talked to about as kids, let alone given the chance to practice, that end up biting us every now and then. These range from life skills to social skills, and recently I had a doozy with some friends that I still don't really know how to handle. They say they didn't mean to hurt me, and while I believe them, it's also hard to believe they didn't know I'd be hurt by their actions. While I tried to take some time to pause and reflect, one kept pushing to talk, which of course led to the Ugly Email Chain (TM) that we've all been a part of at some point. Now things are messy, my friends keep posting passive aggressive memes (because that's also what you do in 2019) and I'm honesty at a loss here. Some role playing for this kind of thing would have been quite helpful.

While I've been trying to help my kid learn boundary setting skills, it's kind of hard when I don't have them myself, and as my kid enforces boundaries, friends get offended or make fun of them, which is also frustrating. Even with a certificate in social work I'm struggling as a human here, and I know everyone else involved is, too. As women in particular, we're raised to be people pleasers, so when we actually do try to explore our feelings and express hurt, or apologize, or even understand what we're feeling, it even feels selfish, and it's almost always confusing. My mother assures me that it gets easier as we age, but it would be a whole lot easier if we were taught how to mangle through our humanness while we learn a bunch of theorems, which many of us will never use

How do you establish boundaries, express yourself when you're hurt, apologize, forgive? What kinds of lessons have you learned along the way, particularly those that might be helpful for young people? 

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