Why Setting Boundaries w Narcissists/Difficult People Feels Impossible? Cptsd Recovery

Why Setting Boundaries w Narcissists/Difficult People Feels Impossible? Cptsd Recovery

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00:00
hey guys today i'm talking about boundaries and i want to know if this resonates with you okay so when you get a chance let me know in the description box below but you you probably learned about boundaries and the importance of having boundaries in healthy relationships and on a logical level you get it like you completely agree that boundaries are healthy that you have every right to have boundaries and that you want to put them in into place in your life
00:31
right logically but when you go to put down the boundary one of two things happens okay either one you get so uncomfortable that you start feeling a tremendous amount of fear as to what's going to happen if you put down this boundary and these emotions of dread just start flooding your body to the point that it's almost like you can't like something within you kicks on
01:01
and prevents you from putting down that boundary or or you have to really reach into your trauma responses and you wind up having to activate your fight response so intensely that you fling into fight and putting down the boundary makes you or brings out in you your worst okay so in other words you either can't put the boundary down because it's just bringing up too much fear
01:32
or you feel like you become a jerk okay if that resonates with you first of all let me know but more importantly you're going to want to watch this video for those that don't know me my name is michelle i'm super passionate about helping people through narcissistic abuse recovery as well as cptsd recovery i'm also the founder of the thriver school of transformation which is a monthly membership where we meet live on zoom and we work through the side effects of both of those things together here's the link for anyone that wants to check it out
02:03
okay so let's get into that because eventually if we want to have healthy relationships we have to be able to put down boundaries okay boundaries are what help us to teach people how to treat us and they're also what protects us from behaviors that we don't want to tolerate now the additional challenge is if you're trying to put them down with controlling parents or controlling people in your life possibly narcissistic right i can't diagnose anybody so
02:35
let's just say that they're controlling people how do you put down boundaries when you're feeling either of those two scenarios that take place when you want to put down a boundary so i i first want to kind of explain and normalize what's happening inside of you and i feel like it's important to understand because i know in my case when i didn't understand why i couldn't do it why it was so challenging why i felt like a child when i knew
03:05
logically i am an adult and i'm allowed to have boundaries why was i feeling so childlike why was i feeling that fear as if i was going to be punished or in trouble or as if that suddenly if somebody was upset with my boundary that somehow that meant that i was bad like a bad person none of that made sense on a conscious logical level but emotionally that's what was going on inside
03:36
so when i didn't understand it it's like it just kept happening and repeating and i couldn't do anything about it because obviously we can't work through something or heal something that we don't understand so normalizing it okay if you were raised in a dynamics in childhood where you were not allowed to be you where you were not allowed to have boundaries right you weren't allowed to have physical boundaries i know in my coaching practice i get a
04:07
lot of people that say that their narcissistic parents the boundaries or the lack of boundaries was just insane some of them refused to let their children and these are older children sometimes young adult children living at home they weren't allowed to close the doors to their bedroom they weren't allowed to close the doors in the bathroom they weren't allowed to have any kind of emotional privacy and they weren't allowed to object to anything that the narcissist wanted to do even if it meant
04:38
encroaching on boundaries that made them feel uncomfortable so if you grew up in an environment where that's what you lived where you were not allowed to have your own boundaries and on top of it not only were you not allowed but if you tried to have boundaries you were severely punished emotionally abandoned and or verbally abused then that puts a dent in your nervous system
05:10
okay a lot of recovery from narcissistic abuse and complex ptsd is working through the dents in the nervous system that are the result of what happened in childhood so what happens is that in childhood when you were punished for having a boundary right that created pain in you that created feelings of rejection abandonment anger sadness frustration
05:41
a lot of strong emotions would come up as a result of that treatment but you had nobody to go to to say look i'm feeling this and have that person validate your feelings and help you through that you didn't have that in childhood so you were going through this behavior right from your parents that was wrong and it was creating strong emotions and you have nobody to to help you to process these strong emotions so what do you do you suppress
06:12
you can't share it with a toxic parent because if you say look this is hurting my feelings that you're not allowing me to do this normal activity because simply by having your feelings hurt by their actions which in their mind they're perfect right so how dare you not like anything that they're saying or any rules that they're um imposing on you you can't do that you're shamed even more for even being upset
06:43
so the emotions are there and they're suppressed you survive your childhood right and and one of the ways we survived a childhood like that was by suppressing those feelings were too strong for a child to work through so we suppress them we tend to think that children are resilient right and you know they can make it through well yeah they physically we physically survived those circumstances but
07:13
what is out of sight does not mean it's out of mind and what was suppressed stays in your nervous system and your nervous system is like a surveillance a 24 7 surveillance right and it's always looking for anything that slightly resembles what caused you to suppress those emotions in the first place and that could be many things but for the sake of this video we're talking about boundaries so what happens well now you're at work
07:44
and you notice that because of your lack of boundaries the workload is getting tossed on you it's getting higher and higher and higher to the point that you feel like you're going to have a nervous breakdown because you just don't have any time to just kind of recuperate and and you know have any time for yourself but you go to put down the boundary and that your nervous system that surveillance kicks on and it notices the action of putting down a boundary and it
08:14
makes an assumption of what happened in the past and what's basically taking place is what you suppress and put out of mind in childhood your nervous system because it's noticing a similarity is putting the two together and this is what we call an emotional flashback but what happens in an emotional flashback is that your brain confuses past and present so you feel the dread
08:43
the fear the abandonment the anxiety the loneliness the rejection that you suppressed in childhood you feel it coming up in your body and it feels as if the exact same way you felt at that young age is what's happening in your body and so you're feeling it from almost like a child mind side of it and when that happens when you're in the middle of an emotional flashback like that where you feel those dread those feelings of dread that those feelings of fear that you
09:16
felt in childhood when you're in an emotional flashback the left side of your brain goes offline brain scans have shown that when somebody is in and in a flashback the right side or the emotional side the fear center side of the person's brain is lit up like fireworks and the left side is black there's no activity in the logical side of your brain which is why at that moment
09:48
right you come from that fear center and you act from that fear center and you act from that child-mind-like way of being that if i put down this boundary i'm gonna get in trouble i'm gonna get punished that means i'm a bad person all of the things that were dented in your nervous system in childhood those are the only things you have access to at that moment of a flashback and it's it's why after it takes place and after you're out of the flashback you can look back you can be look back when your logic is
10:20
kicked back on and you can be like why didn't i like it doesn't make any sense well it doesn't now because your left brain is back online but at that moment it's not okay so what's happening is you're going through an emotional flashback what the boundaries that you're wanting to put down are triggering your unhealed wounds that took place when you tried to have boundaries in childhood so long story short in order to have
10:52
um boundaries in the present in order to put them down in work relationships and friendships in romantic relationships we have to heal those unhealed wounds that's the cptsd recovery part of of this process we can't just leave the past in the past because it stays alive in your nervous system and your nervous system activates parts of your brain that override your conscious thinking
11:23
okay so in order to not go to that side where you shut down and you don't put that boundary down you have to be able to work through the emotional flashbacks and that takes time it takes working through past trauma it takes learning to resolve the things that you have to suppress so let's talk about the other extreme the other extreme is you want to put that boundary down but you feel like you have to be a jerk in order to get people to respect your
11:54
boundaries i hear this so often where people say michelle i know my boundaries and my family you know they're toxic but i don't want them out of my life i want to have relationships with my family members but i want to have boundaries so that i can have these relationships without getting sucked into toxic um encounters with them and without feeling so horrible you know by the relationship which by the way anyone that chooses to have
12:25
relationships with family members that are like that that's a personal decision and no one should judge that everyone has their reasons everyone has their own personal circumstance there's not a one way for everyone go no contact that might be your thing and that might have saved your life and that you may feel strongly about that for yourself and that's wonderful but i'm a big believer in meeting people where they're at and allowing people to make their personal
12:55
decisions in regards to the relationship they want to have with their family members okay so in this case i'm talking about people that are maybe in a romantic relationship maybe it's a long-term marriage maybe it's with their parents and for whatever reason they can't or don't want to be out of those relationships okay if you want to have boundaries and you find yourself flinging over to the side of losing all control and then obviously having that used against you
13:26
then i want to talk about that for a couple of minutes okay the most powerful thing that helped me in those situations was changing my mindset okay in other words once i learned that boundaries are normal which is quite sad to have to be an adult and learn that but it is what it is right so once i learned that boundaries are normal and that i was allowed to have them and i wanted to start putting them down
13:56
what happens when you try to put boundaries down with individuals that don't respect boundaries are they like oh wow michelle that's such a healthy behavior i totally support and respect you no to them a boundary is like oh this is something i can do that can frustrate michelle and get her agitated and i can soak up that energy so they view boundaries as something to cross not something to respect
14:28
understanding that is the first step okay just because you know that you are allowed to have boundaries and that you can put them down doesn't automatically mean that people are gonna see it the same way as you they're still gonna be them they're still going to be people that always look for ways to cross your boundaries and always look for ways to poke you so that you wind up giving them a negative emotional reaction so let go of getting them to see it your way that's step one for that mindset
15:00
step two in changing my mindset was learning that putting down boundaries doesn't mean other people are happy and that that's okay we tend to think and this is this comes from our upbringing right we tend to think that if we put down a behavior or if we act in a certain way and somebody's happy with us then that's good but if somebody is upset or disappointed with us then we somehow think that we
15:31
did something wrong no no that's not true people are allowed to be upset people are allowed to be disappointed people are allowed to be frustrated with you and that is not a reflection on who you are as a person and it's not a reflection on if you're doing the right thing or not now think about it because if you think like that basically everything that you do has to get a stamp of approval from
16:03
someone outside of self that means everything you do is dependent on how someone else feels that's a very disempowering way to be because what if that person is always unhappy and disappointed with you unless you are completely sacrificing you for them okay that's something that in childhood you may have done because that was a survival skill but in adulthood it's only going to keep
16:34
you um you know being mistreated okay so you get that mindset that's the first thing to have in place the second thing to have in place is to know what you have to do to enforce your boundary it's not enough to have a boundary it's not enough to tell somebody your boundary sometimes we think i'm going to tell my boundary i'm going to call up my mom and i'm going to tell her this is my boundary and we think we have to tell them
17:04
now if those are healthy relationships and telling people your boundary is wonderful but if they are unhealthy relationships and the person you want to tell is somebody that never listens to you and never sees your perspective you're going to spend a lot of energy trying to get through to somebody that is intentionally not wanting to listen or hear you so rather than having to tell somebody your boundary you simply show them so for example let's say you do tell your narcissistic
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parent that you no longer will be engaging in conversations where there's yelling screaming insults and just disrespectful behavior okay you tell them that and what happens the next time you're talking they do something that they always do they disrespect they raise their voice they insult you have two choices at that moment you can try to convince them and defend yourself and explain and explain
18:07
which by the way which may be tempting to do and i know we tend to get in the beginning of healing and learning these and learning how to implement these healthy behaviors that's a temptation because there's still a tiny piece of you that might think if i can just get through they'll understand and then everything will be wonderful no it's not going to work so that is a choice but it's only going to result in you losing energy and continuing in the same patterns
18:40
of tolerating the abuse and the disrespect or you can enforce the boundary now in my case i'll tell you how how i learned to do this and maybe this will open up perspectives for for your personal situation so there were certain topics that i didn't want to engage in with a certain person that i felt was very high on the scale of malignant narcissism okay so yes i did say look these topics are this topic is off limits
19:10
and what happened it's so funny when you tell a narcissist don't do this it's like they can't wait to try and see what happens when they do so that's exactly what happened this person started talking about it and that's when it was in my power to empower myself and this is what i would do without being a jerk i'd be like oh you know what i know i'm interrupting you but i gotta make a quick phone call um i'll talk to you a little bit later dot dot dot and i'd be on my phone and
19:41
completely just getting out of that conversation now i did that when i was in the car and they love to do things in the car right when you're in the car with them they love to to do things to push your buttons because you can't go anywhere but that's what i would do and i would literally make a phone call and just for the rest of the ride it was impossible to go back towards that topic and i didn't get angry with this person i didn't allow myself to look frustrated or feel frustrated in fact i wasn't
20:12
frustrated because i was proud of myself for enforcing the boundary rather than focusing on this person didn't respect the boundary they never respect the boundary and every time i no i didn't let my mind stare at that i let my mind stare at wow michelle look at how easily you are able to shift and wow look you're enjoying this conversation with so and so and and look even though you're stuck in the car a place where this would often take place look at how much in control you are i would stare at that and my energy
20:45
would be so positive that they got no supply from me and it wasn't about faking it it was about really focusing on what allowed me to feel empowered okay when i would be on the phone with this person and they would try it at that at those times i was just like oh you know what i got another call oh i'm so sorry i have to go to the bathroom you know gotta go nice talking to you bye now some of you might be thinking but michelle that's
21:17
that's weak you should tell them and you should call them out for their behavior well if that particular person that i'm discussing if that particular person was a reasonable person i totally agree with you but to try to call out a person like that is to put myself in a disempowered position where i am trying to explain color to a blind person okay and i'm going to be giving a tremendous amount of energy and all that energy
21:48
that i'm putting in to explain that person's like soaking it up so it's not weak there's actually more strength in allowing yourself to to be in an empowered position than a disempowered one trying to convince when we're trying to convince somebody that's not an empowered place it doesn't feel good okay so notice i didn't have to do it with anger because it's not my personality we want to enforce boundaries that are
22:19
in alignment with our best self and if we start doing it with anger and if we start flying off the handle we're giving again we're giving that energy they're soaking up that narcissistic supply and we don't feel empowered that way so it's about finding ways that you can put down that boundary in a way that allows you to feel proud of yourself and empowered okay so if you're struggling with this the first thing i would recommend is
22:50
really working through learning how to work through emotional flashbacks and doing some work on working through unhealed moves from the past that's the first step the second step is to start looking at how you can enforce the boundary not that you are going to tell the person or that you have the boundary but how can you enforce it when not if when they try to cross it and what you can start doing is just imagine yourself putting down that boundary imagine yourself
23:21
being able to do it in your mind visualizing it because now you're putting down the neural pathways that you need to be able to do it so that in the moment that you are in that situation where this person is crossing your boundary you can put down that you can enforce your boundary and then remind yourself it's okay if they're mad it's okay if they're disappointed it's okay if they're irritated they're allowed to have whatever emotions they choose to have give them
23:51
the permission that they never gave you they never let you have permission for your own feelings and sometimes we can get intertwined in that way of thinking okay so we want to give them permission if they want to have those emotions we don't like those emotions but that's their choice right you're still allowed to be you so i hope this video helps anybody that is wanting to put down boundaries with difficult people without having to fling all the way into acting in a way
24:22
that makes you not proud of of the way you're being and again if you feel like you can use some weekly support make sure you check out the thriver school of transformation

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