Something I wrote in September 2017:
Being someone that struggles with setting boundaries, there are a few things I have come to realize about them.
For one, they are strongly related to the socially programmed construct of having to “be nice”. One side effect of adopting such a belief is that you begin to ignore, suppress and deny the expression of any emotion which may be considered negative or which may suggest lower impulses (anger, sadness, disappointment, etc.). This interferes with a very important aspect of one’s behavior, authenticity. The conditioning unintentionally starts with our childhood when we are told that we have to behave (which is necessary to an extent) but then society takes advantage of this door to our psyche in order to instill its rules by rewarding the ‘virtue’ of obeying authority, which in essence is the quality of ‘being nice’ and not causing problems. Being nice is very insidious as it can get you to lose your integrity if it becomes the purpose that supersedes being true to yourself. That’s a way of making you accept things without a reaction by opting for agreeableness at the detriment of sincerity.
Another thing that I observed was that when you feel bad due to somebody else’s actions, then not expressing your true emotions leaves you angry and bitter. The other person may not have bad intentions, but keeping yourself in line just so you don’t bother the other person even though they are causing you discomfort is a recipe for resentment. And here is where the word ‘NO’ works miracles. From my experience, people who have difficulty setting limits are afraid that saying no might be interpreted as ill will, when in reality it’s just self preservation. Not only that, but they are also afraid of hurting another person with their sincerity. And in extreme cases, they may even hurt themselves by refusing to do what is right for them – acting according to their feelings – just because the opposite is expected of them.
One more thing I noticed from my own experience is that people who struggle with saying no complain…a lot! I only figured out the reason for this today! Yes, it took me a while! It’s because they fail to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HOW THEY FEEL and they blame others instead. In doing so, they are basically turning people into aggressors while it is them that are enabling (what is perceived as) aggression by accepting the ‘aggressive’ behavior. Get that MINDFUCK!
It’s exactly today that I stumbled upon this wakeup-world article called ‘Power and Corruption: The Matrix of the Master and Slave’ and in it the author talked about how in every Master-Slave dynamic it is always the Slave that has to do something to change the situation in order to bring new awareness to the interaction. That’s because the Master is satisfied with his position (and those that are satisfied don’t seek) even if he’s not consciously aware that he’s inflicting pain or provoking discomfort and so it is the responsibility of the slave to revolt and re-frame the situation so that the cycle is broken:
“Hegel’s theory presents an extraordinary and compelling truth; the world is made up of masters and slaves and neither will ever become conscious unless this pattern is broken and remade. Moreover, the more conscious individuals are, the less likely they will enslave others, or accept enslavement. […] When one consciousness meets the other the stronger one will enslave the other. If the slave does not revolt this status quo will remain; and neither becomes conscious. If the Slave becomes conscious there is revolution. Only then is the Master conscious as well. Only when The Slave revolts is either the Slave or Master conscious.”
– Ethan Indigo Smith
“Blind compassion is rooted in the belief that we are all doing the best we can. When we are driven by blind compassion, we cut everyone far too much slack, making excuses for others’ behavior and making nice situations that require a forceful “no”, an unmistakable voicing of displeasure, or a firm setting and maintaining of boundaries. These things can, and often should be done out of love, but blind compassion keeps love too meek, sentenced to wearing a kind face. Blind compassion is kindness rooted in fear, and not just fear of confrontation, but also fear of not coming across as a good or spiritual person.
When we are engaged in blind compassion we rarely show anger, for we not only believe that compassion has to be gentle, we are also frightened of upsetting anyone, especially to the point of their confronting us. This is reinforced by our judgment about anger, especially in its more fiery forms, as something less spiritual; something that shouldn’t be there if we were being truly loving. Blind compassion reduces us to harmony junkies, entrapping us in unrelentingly positive expression.
With blind compassion we don’t know how to – or won’t learn how to – say “no” with any real power, avoiding confrontation at all costs and, as a result, enabling unhealthy patterns to continue. Our “yes” is then anemic and impotent, devoid of impact it could have if we were also able to access a clear, strong “no” that emanated from our core.
When we mute our essential voice, our openness is reduced to a permissive gap, an undiscerning embrace, a poorly boundaries receptivity, all of which indicate a lack of compassion for ourselves (in that we don’t adequately protect ourselves). Blind compassion confuses anger with aggression, forcefulness with violence, judgment with condemnation, caring with exaggerated tolerance, and more tolerance with spiritual correctness.”
– Robert Augustus Masters