How to Manage Boundary Bullies (including Narcissists!) - Terri Cole
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boundary bullies

How to Manage Boundary Bullies (including Narcissists!)

Do you know any Boundary Bullies? These are people who want what they want regardless of how you feel about it. They can act in overt or covert ways to ram their agenda through. Interacting with them can be stressful and leave you feeling defeated and drained.

In today’s vlog I will be covering:

  1. The connection between your own blueprint or past experience with boundary bullies and whom you are attracting into your life today.
  2. The 3 Questions to ask yourself to identify the original boundary bully
  3. How to Stop the Auto Yes
  4. How to Create Clear, Concise & Consistent Boundaries with Boundary Bullies

Those of you who are familiar with my work know that the first step to changing anything is to try to get to the root of the original injury. Your boundary bully downloaded blueprint from childhood is where we begin. During your childhood, were you allowed to draw boundaries, disagree with the majority or say no in your family of origin? Did one of your parents or caregivers dominate the others in the group? Were you encouraged to assert yourself or would differentiating result in punishment? Chaotic family systems where there was abuse, addiction, neglect or extremely high expectations for children usually do not encourage or teach healthy boundaries. But fear not, you can learn.

After you have answered the Boundary Bully questions on the downloadable cheat sheet (below), you can move onto answering the three questions to gain clarity about any boundary bully you may have in your life right now.

  1.    Who does this person remind me of?
  2.    Where have I felt like this before?
  3.    Why is this behavioral dynamic, this way of interacting familiar to me?

You may be tolerating or attracting boundary bullies into your life because they deeply unconsciously resonate with you as familiar if one of your parents behaved this way. Understanding that now is not then and separating those feelings and experiences, will give you clarity on how you want to mindfully respond to boundary bullies now.

The next step in managing boundary bullies is to stop the “auto yes”. Learning how to say no when you want to helps you avoid complications down the road. To successfully get to effectively saying “No”, you can start by simply buying time by not automatically saying, “yes.” You don’t owe anyone an instant answer. If you are asked to do something that you know you don’t want to do, instead of saying yes and figuring out a way to cancel last minute, get in the habit of saying, “I will need to check my calendar and get back to you” or “My partner and I have agreed to keep Sundays for family time but thank you for thinking of us.” Eventually, as your boundary-setting skills improve, saying no when you feel no, will become easier and more natural. Realizing that you have a right to say “no” and truly believing that, is the foundation for successfully drawing this type of boundary.

Boundary bullies can be manipulative and crafty. They will play on your guilt and perhaps imply or straight up say how selfish you are for asserting your boundary or remind you of all they have done for you. Stay calm, state your simple request and restate it as many times as needed. Be sure to be clear, concise and consistent with your boundary language. Try to use “I” statements and stay away from shame, blame or guilt.

Remember that being in your life is a privilege. As you continue on your evolutionary path, you may outgrow some friendships, romantic relationships or even your job and that’s OK. Being discerning about whom you allow into your life, creates an intentional fulfilling life!

And ladies, please sign up here to receive your own Boundary Assessment and join our FREE Boundary Bootcamp Challenge crew. Our first FREE Q & A livestream is this Friday on August 11th @ 5pm ET. The challenge will run from September 1st to the 8th. Join us to become the Boundary Ninja you know you were meant to be!

Thanks for watching, reading, and sharing!

And as always, take care of YOU.

Terri Cole
  • CATHY Annette KEY
    Posted at 02:02h, 08 August Reply

    I grew up in a Family. Where it was like I died
    & never existed. My mother told me before she died at 91. She decided I could raise my. Because I could dress myself. But I think she decided that when I was 2 .. My aunt Willie said she told family not to tell me there waa something wrong with me growing up. Just like my mother told them to stop.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 10:52h, 02 January Reply

      So sorry to hear this, Cathy. No child should be left to “raise” themselves. I am holding space for your healing xo

  • Jaime
    Posted at 08:59h, 08 August Reply

    Awesome stuff! So validating and true. I love the research you cited about it hurting the brain, too.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 19:53h, 04 September Reply

      Thanks Jaime, I’m so glad you found it helpful. XO, Terri

  • Melissa
    Posted at 12:33h, 08 August Reply

    I am a grown woman with a narcissistic father. One of my biggest problems is setting boundaries with him. Your videos are inspiring, but I have a specific situation that I need help with. My dad is extremely touchy feely with me. Always coming at me for kisses. I dodge him and he kisses me on the neck or cheek. Constantly trying to hug me, etc. It is nauseating. You would think by my reaction after all these years, he would take the hint. I just cringe when he comes for me every time I pull in the driveway or get ready to leave after visiting. How do I put a stop to it??

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 01:04h, 23 December Reply

      Hinting seems to be ineffective. Next time you go say you don’t feel well and don’t want to get him sick to start a new pattern of him NOT mauling you. Next time step back after an appropriate greeting (whatever feels good to you) and if he goes to kiss you again or hug you physically move away and say please stop. The less you fall into line with what he wants and take control of the situation the less powerless you will be and feel, to control what happens. Thank you for sharing here!

  • Michelle Hostutler
    Posted at 19:34h, 08 August Reply

    Thank you much for your wisdom, in all your videos!!!!

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 22:05h, 17 August Reply

      Hi Michelle, I’m so glad you find these helpful! Thank you for being a loyal subscriber! XO, Terri

  • Kendal d
    Posted at 21:55h, 17 August Reply

    This is so helpful! I can’t seem to find the link for the downloadable cheat sheet on the page, however.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 22:04h, 17 August Reply

      Hey Kendal, I’m so glad you found this helpful. Please check your email as I’ve sent the cheat sheet there!

  • Kat Burns
    Posted at 12:26h, 18 August Reply

    I woke up this morning distraught over the treatment I am receiving from my son. He is using my grandchildren to control me by making me have only supervised visitation. Yet when I ask him (which I have many times) why I can’t be with them alone? He says that it something we have to discuss in private. But I have tried to set up dates to do just that and he is unavailable.It is going on 8 years of this torment and deception.I decided to take a look online to see if there were other sites on narcissism and that’s when I ran into your site. I find it a god-send. I was looking for clarification and guidance and there you were! Surely, I am blessed. Thank you so much for sharing yourself.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 22:29h, 21 August Reply

      I am so glad you found me and that the vids are adding value!

  • Gabriella Maddalena
    Posted at 20:35h, 22 August Reply

    Terri, I cannot being to tell you what a blessing these videos and pod casts have been.

    My fiance and I got engaged at the beginning of this month, and there was a particular member of my family who was not as happy with the way the event unfold. These videos have helped me think about my past childhood and realize some of her patterns when boundaries are crossed; even when my parents were still together. The road creating and enforcing the boundaries has only just started, but it is very clear something needs to be done to help our future relationship. Thank you does not express the magnitude of gratitude I have.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 16:10h, 09 September Reply

      Hi Gabriella, I’m so happy you found this helpful. Wishing you the best!

  • Mayssam Saab
    Posted at 06:11h, 26 August Reply

    All this was immensly helpful. A drastic change in my life happened along with suffering the syptoms. Supportive ur vids are.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 22:18h, 26 August Reply

      Thanks for watching, Mayssam, and I’m glad you find my videos helpful!

  • Amy
    Posted at 16:21h, 03 September Reply

    Wow! You have amazing presence and wisdom. I am subscribing and joking the boundaries boot camp! Such a serendipitous timing 🙂 Thank you for sharing your gift free of charge. It means so much. xo

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 19:46h, 04 September Reply

      Thanks, Amy! We are excited to have you! XO, Terri

  • Joy
    Posted at 14:43h, 24 January Reply

    I need some truth, Terri. I feel like I’m drowning, and I have absolutely no one to turn to. My husband and I have been together for 9 years total, married for five with two small children. The entirety of our relationship my husband has been addicted to cigarettes. Maybe this is silly, cigarettes aren’t the same as meth or heroine, but it is causing a significant hardship on our family. Our children talk about smoking in the future, we struggle to pay bills and buy the simple necessities(food). He has cycles he goes through where he quits smoking, but starts drinking, we run out of money, he says things like “If you think about leaving me(I’m assuming this stems from his own feelings of abandonment and “failure” to support our family) I’ll take the kids from you” or “if you leave me I’ll find you and kill the person you leave me for”. Then he says he never said that or never would say that. Last night he asked if he could get some marijuana from a friend and pay him back after pay day. I told him there was no feasible way for us to do that, and be able to pay bills, buy food, and pay for my antidepressent. He got it anyway, and told me he simply forgot to tell his friend that he no longer needed/wanted it. I know this is long, it could be so much longer, and I know I’m all over the place but I need some guidance before I have a breakdown.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 13:28h, 28 January Reply

      I hear you Joy. His threats are not ok. I hear you saying finances are tight, and I encourage you to find a therapist in your area to help support you through this and sort things out. There are even some that offer sliding scales for their fees. Sending you strength and light.

  • RaySweeney
    Posted at 20:18h, 30 March Reply

    I was I a relationship with a women that had so many boundaries she was closed off in her own walls needles. To.say it did not work.out it was as she will.see me when she felt like it and I was to just wait around for a call.back.or a text back I could.not even get a time of the day she could be available. It drove me crazy.
    She .impatient I never experienced anthing like it how do you deal.with that.

    • Terri Cole
      Posted at 10:04h, 01 April Reply

      Closed off is different from having boundaries. She could be closed for many reasons, but for a relationship to work both people have to open to each other in appropriate ways. Have you listened to the recent episode from last week about voluntary vulnerability? You might find that helpful.

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