People always ask me about boundaries. We talk a lot “of” boundaries and there is no shortage of Instagram quotes applauding boundaries, yet it’s still confusing. Let me see if I can help shine some light on the topic. Let’s start by thinking of yourself as a Superhero. Got an image of yourself in a cape and some sort of headgear? Okay, good. Here’s a list to know when to activate your Boundary Superpowers.
- Instant Connection and Attraction. DANGER!! It was a fundraiser and I could feel a shift in the room’s energy. I turned around and there he was. Every dude there was old wearing a dark sports coat … and then there was THIS guy … younger with a light tan suit. BOLD! He was surrounded by attention and admirers. Hours later, at the after party … I hadn’t spoken a word to him yet or made eye contact, I knew better. Somebody ordered shots, I said no, he drank half of his and slid the shot glass across the table, half-full, directly at me. Game over! We made eye contact and it felt like I had known him my whole life. Nights like that make for great stories but to say that didn’t turn into something messy later would be a lie. Every positive relationship I’ve ever had took warming up. The CareBear and I had a great eye to eye moment when we first met. It was sweet and curious. It wasn’t DANGER! Fly away from instant attraction, Superhero, I know it’s tough, but you can do it.
- Everyone else is an Idiot. This is the “where have you been all my life?” move. The “everyone else is an idiot” move works because it’s subtle and plays into our egos. Humans think that we have more common sense, better driving skill, and more aptitude than the average bear. Basic human nature defines this, so when someone who you feel this instant connection with is confirming what you’ve long suspected … everyone else is idiots except you. Ohhhh, except you and them … see how they did that? It’s still that cheesy, “where have you been all my life?” move, just coming at you from a different angle. Always activate your boundary superpower with people who think everyone else is an idiot…
- Isolation Tactics. Next, your loved ones, besties, and co-workers are all idiots. Your manipulator will say that they are all jealous of you and don’t want you to be happy. They don’t understand you, not the way this person does. Narcissistic people need divisiveness. They are most comfortable when it’s an ‘us against them’ scenario. They gain power over you when they can separate you from your support people. Making themselves your main source of human support. These folks start with random and nearly un-noticeable comments. Then they keep adding more and more. Pay attention She-Ras and He-Mans!
- Super Long Text Messages are the New Tears. Narcissistic folks tend to find empaths. Even the fiercest, powerhouse men and women can be rattled by the tough guy breaking into tears. But even worse than those old school tears, the super long text message. Explaining all their deepest feelings, the things they can’t show up to say but NEED you to know. So sensitive, so raw, so too good to be true. HEY!!! Don’t miss that last one, “too good to be true” nine times out of ten is exactly that. Not true. Or in the case of the highly manipulative person, only true in the moment. If someone can fire off text messages that would take the normal human hours to create, you most likely are dealing with someone self-serving. If someone needs to explain themselves like they are writing a novel, through the medium that is designed to be quick and to-the-point, please activate your boundaries superpower.
- Drama, Drama, Drama. There’s always another drama. Empaths are really good at cleaning up drama because they get to the heart of things. Here’s how it goes, the empath says, “Let me tell you exactly how to handle this.” Or worse, they actually handle it. Buy the manipulator that car AND their parent a car too. Guilty as charged here. If you find yourself thinking that this person has just needed to find YOU to help them clean this up. DANGER! Why do they have all this drama in the first place? Oh ya, it’s because everyone else is the idiot, it’s all THOSE IDIOTS that keep bringing your manipulator all their drama. That’s it! So, then you keep helping them through the next drama and the next…. Don’t be me! Don’t let it take years to activate those superpowers.
- Copying You. Did your new gal pal just buy a pair of cowboy boots and has tickets to a Luke Bryan concert after you told her you love country music? Did your buddy just trade his truck in for a Jeep after you told him you were looking at Jeeps? And are they acting like you didn’t tell them these things OR do they have the audacity to tell you that YOU are the one copying them. Run … Superhero … Run!
- Repeating & Forgetting. Are you repeating and forgetting things? Well … if you’re overcome by instant attraction, worrying about all the idiots, losing your support people, having to analyze super long text messages, listening to and handling someone else’s drama, and being constantly copied. Ya, you might be losing it and repeating yourself and forgetting things. But don’t worry, all you do is activate those boundary superpowers.
What do you think about these boundary red flags? What would you add? As always, thank you for reading. Remember, we all learn from each other. Please consider sharing your experience with boundaries.
*If you fear you are in a relationship with a manipulator or someone highly narcissistic please consider talking with Coach Jen about boundary coaching. It’s not easy when we change things up in our lives and having a coach help you in making healthy changes can make the difference. Please email Coach Jen for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org