Did I properly set boundaries?

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Kovera

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Did I properly set boundaries?
« on: May 17, 2016, 05:32:52 PM »
Okay so this has really been bothering me since it happened yesterday. I have a neighbor at the apartments I currently live at, who's behavior has really been annoying me. At first, I was friendly and always tried my best to be kind. This girl is 21 and lives with an abusive spouse (from what she's told me, he has all the signs of an abuser. I don't think she's aware of it though.) This fact alone alerted me to watch for any unacceptable behavior, as victims of abusers can sometimes carry out the same abusive tactics to those around them. I noticed from day one that she had a somewhat aggressive personality. Her behavior started getting to me when she would always text me asking me for a ride somewhere, like to pay a bill or get groceries. At first I would say okay and help her out. But then it started becoming a habit. She would text me every time she needed a ride somewhere, even to pick her up from work. She would always mask her texts to make it look like a friendly gesture or hello, which would lead to eventually asking for a ride. So after a while I noticed I was building resentment, and with self awareness I realized that my people-pleasing was part of the problem. I eventually decided to put a stop to this by setting a firm boundary. One day she texts me asking what my plans for the day were. She did this at 7:00 in the morning, when I am still asleep. (I set a previous boundary with her before asking her not to text me so early in the morning. This was the second time she kept doing it. Already another instance where she crossed my boundaries.) I was not happy about this, so I put my foot down and responded by saying something like this:

I  don't appreciate that you keep texting me early in the morning after I have clearly asked you to stop. Don't do it anymore please. What is it that you need?

...and man did she get upset, saying something like: never mind I'll get stuff done myself and I'm deleting your number. She then pulled what later felt like manipulation on me by saying right after: I wasn't sure if you needed to get stuff done early, so my bad. Just sounds like we haven't talked or hungout for a while and I thought we could.  I tried to kindly set a boundary about no more rides by texting back: Okay well sorry we haven't hung out in a while, I have a lot going on at this time. Unfortunately I don't have much time or resources to lend out rides anymore. I hope that is understandable.

Right after I sent this, she later texts me again, asking for a ride AGAIN saying something like this: " I don't know if your busy right now, but I need to go walmart and school. I have cash if you need it. I won't take long and I can walk home." At this point I'm practically ripping my hair out. What part of NO did she not understand? I replied by saying Sorry, don't think I can today. So then she says okay and asks to meet me for lunch. Feeling bad, I said okay and we hung out for a bit. One thing I noticed, which I now believe was subtle manipulation on her part, was that as we parted she started acting sad and talking about how much she didn't want to have to walk to walmart. I ignored this and stayed firm to my boundary. I said bye and went home.

Couple weeks pass... and then it gets ugly.

Yesterday I am at work when suddenly I receive a text from this girl, asking me what I'm doing. I simply replied that I was working, hoping she would get the hint that I could not talk right now. NOPE. she sent me another text asking if I would pick her up from somewhere. Now at this point I was under so much stress I literally had to start watching my breathing. I decided to be more clear.

Right after I sent that last text, in literally less than one minute, she sends me four angry replies.

At this point, I' am so agitated I don't even bother engaging, I am too old for petty drama. I was going to reply, but I decided to just ignore her string of emotionally charged texts. I have no intention of resuming any contact with her. Now, picking apart her responses, I noticed something. In the first one she tells me that by telling her "stop asking" I was being disrespectful. Seriously? because I enforced a boundary? She previously claimed I'm giving her attitude. How? by saying no? a person's tone can't heard through a text. She then pins the blame onto me by telling me "I should have told her no at the beginning of our friendship." Tries to instill guilt and obligation into me by saying "she gave back" (she did offer gas to me two times, but that was even after I kept saying NO!) Lastly, claims she is upfront and honest.  She has repeated this often to me many time before, and I'm wondering why. I have never stated that she wasn't, so why doe she feel the need to state this so often? makes me wonder...

can someone here please tell me if I said anything that implied attitude or rudeness? I tried to keep it simple and firm. Was my previous text not clear enough (When I said I no longer have time or resources to lend out rides anymore?)

I had the underlying feeling this friendship was toxic from the start. Overall, I feel this girl only texts me when she needs something. I am done with those types of people. What should I do to keep her out now? I am worried that by ignoring her people will point me out as the  immature one. The problem is that she lives in the same apartment complex, so I know I will see her again walking by. This girl does not hesitate to get physical or verbally aggressive either. I just don't know what to do...
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 11:29:44 AM by Bloomie »

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leapsand bounds

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 06:00:09 PM »
When people tell you who they are - believe them.

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Frazzled

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 06:23:04 PM »
I second leapsand bounds. My uBPD ex-friend's angry texts and emails to me and my husband in response to mild criticism told us in spades who he really was and still is, a petulant little child that doesn't want to grow up or let go of his rough past, from childhood to now.

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Kovera

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2016, 03:38:25 AM »
Thanks guys for your replies. Sorry for the rant... I just needed to vent since I tend to bottle my emotions. Feel like this is the only place where people would understand what dealing with these people is like   :stars:

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alonenow

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2016, 03:42:54 AM »
I am sorry you are going through that it is extremely difficult to set these boundaries after a pattern has been established.  You mentioned you had some warning signs from the beginning and people like that will use and use people as long as they can.  every person who feels the need to profess their honesty often are anything but honest offering gas money is by no means returning any favor she can do that with a taxi but they will not tell her "no that is ok"   every time I wonder if I need to soften up and not suspect people  with out concrete proof but stories like this remind me why I do not soften any resolve if I see any red flags at all.

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FinallyPeace

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 11:34:06 AM »
Kovera - you were COMPLETELY  appropriate!  You need to keep ignoring her or just plain out block her number.

Also, she can take the gas money she was offering you and call a cab or Uber for goodness sakes.   :stars:
"Behind the smile, a hidden knife!"
― Ancient Chinese saying describing passive-aggressive behavior
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"Red flags aren't party favors.  Don't collect them."
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npdsurvivor

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2016, 01:37:23 AM »
Hi Kovera,

Your interpretation of her behavior and her lack of boundaries seem completely correct. She seems like she's definitely trying to use you and take advantage of your kindness. I believe you're doing the right thing by trying to keep her away and to establish boundaries.

I'm kind of in a similar situation with someone who lives close to me and is in all of my classes at school. She's also trying to overstep my boundaries. She usually wants to get together every single day after class and if I can't or don't want to, it feels like I'm on the defensive having to explain myself and my schedule to her. It's really uncomfortable, especially because when you live so close to that person you feel like you can't completely get away from them and their manipulation. My situation is a bit different, but I can definitely relate to wanting to end the friendship in a civil way due to your living situation, which is of course easier said than done.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 01:42:14 AM by npdsurvivor »

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clara

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2016, 11:56:35 AM »
Sorry you had to go through this.  This is one of the main difficulties those without PDs have with those that do--it's hard, if not impossible, to really understand their rationales.  And they have them.  To themselves, their behavior is totally okay and justifiable, and you're the rotten one for not accepting them or doing what they want (once you fall into their trap).  This neighbor must have burned a lot of bridges for her to keep targeting you, because generally they leave you alone the second they know they're not going to get what they want any more.  Of course, usually they have to have someone else to "fall back" onto before they do this because their behavior is so programmed in that one direction, they can't change course until they see an alternative road.  She'll disappear in time and don't give yourself one nanosecond of guilt over what you've done, she was WAY out of bounds and out of line. 

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xredshoesx

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2016, 11:10:40 AM »
would you have done anything different in the chain of events after sitting down and writing it all out?  if  the answer is 'no' then you did a good job-

if yes, maybe the thing you'd like to change is what you need to tighten the boundary on, kwim?   

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Kovera

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2016, 02:39:19 AM »
would you have done anything different in the chain of events after sitting down and writing it all out?  if  the answer is 'no' then you did a good job-

if yes, maybe the thing you'd like to change is what you need to tighten the boundary on, kwim?

I've thought about it, and I don't think there's anything I would've changed other than I probably should have set the boundary sooner. I helped at first out of sincere efforts to make things easier for her, but I think I let the behavior pattern last too long before putting a stop to it. I believe this made it more difficult towards the end. I remember reading an article about boundaries not too long ago, and it advised readers to be prepared for some people to get angry at you for setting them. I now see this as a sort of test for potential toxic relationships. Not sure if someone is exhibiting toxic behavior towards you? set a boundary. The way they respond can be quite informative. And she passed this toxicity test with flying colors.

I do a feel a bit of guilt still, because I know some of her behavior is influenced by her abusive boyfriend, and I know all too well what it can be like living with those kind of people. But I was also able to pinpoint that the guilt is coming from the codependent child in me wanting to keep helping her. I am still a bit new to my awakening, so practicing all of this still feels fresh... it feels empowering though to choose not to put up other people's BS.

Surprisingly this girl hasn't bothered me since this happened. And you know what? I hope it stays that way. Her problems and behavior are not my responsibility.

Thank you guys for all of your replies, and my sincere apologies to the admin (I didn't know I wasn't supposed to post texts or media conversations on here... oops)

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xredshoesx

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2016, 07:32:28 AM »
no worries about the texts part- we just want to elimate the chances of anyone being found and having their identity/safety compromised here-

loving this part- this right here

Surprisingly this girl hasn't bothered me since this happened. And you know what? I hope it stays that way. Her problems and behavior are not my responsibility.

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thegirleastlikely

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2016, 10:09:59 AM »
When people tell you who they are - believe them.

 :yeahthat: 100% You are the winner! You won the Internet today.

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thegirleastlikely

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2016, 10:21:13 AM »
Kovera, you've done a great job of voicing your boundRies and they seem like reasonable boundaries to boot.

Sometimes when I'm feeling sassy and when I'm dealing with kind of minor/new relationships with a PD that's trying to manipulate me I wanna say
 "Does NO mean something different to you? Does it mean keep asking until you get the answer you want?"

I can understand you wanting to be open and generous to her potentially having an abusive partner- it's the kind of situation where I'd be available as well. I'd open the door to a friendship in case she wanted to disclose to me or needed help escaping.
But I'm not a fan of people that just pass on their own drama. Being relatively young, she might find her way but it's not your responsibility to baby her.

How frustrating for you. Hope it doesn't escalate further.

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all4peace

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Re: Did I properly set boundaries?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2016, 10:48:00 AM »
I think you set great boundaries. We humans sometimes give each other the benefit of the doubt, and it's not until a long unhealthy pattern has been set that we see what is actually going on. Then it's tough to set the boundaries, but really necessary. You did great!

Sometimes when I'm feeling sassy and when I'm dealing with kind of minor/new relationships with a PD that's trying to manipulate me I wanna say
 "Does NO mean something different to you? Does it mean keep asking until you get the answer you want?"
I used to ask my young-at-the-time children "What part of "no" are you struggling with?" And, yes, PDs do often seem to behave as toddler. I agree that setting a boundary and seeing the response is super informative.