The Boundary Model is your Mantra of how you protect yourself from toxic and abusive people. Here it is – simple, pure, exact. Don’t change it. Don’t deviate from it. Live by this and your life will be yours to live happily ever after!
Download the Mantra to keep it close!
The 4 Step Boundary Model: Your Mantra to Honor Yourself
Step 1 of the Boundary Model: Politely Ask To Stop
Politely communicate to this person how you want to be spoken to and treated and that what they did now was hurtful to you and something you don’t want to occur anymore.
“Hey John, listen, you just put me down now in front of the kids and I really don’t appreciate being talked down to like that. It’s very hurtful to me and it makes me sad and upset. I don’t want to feel this way anymore and I am sure you don’t want to hurt me like that either. So please don’t talk down to me anymore, ok? I would really appreciate it. Thank you for understanding.
If John continues to speak down to you (or behave in ANY other way that is not ok with you, you move to Step 2 of the Boundary Model.
Step 2 of the Boundary Model: Firmly Ask to Stop
Be firm and direct in your request for changed behavior. We are not asking anymore, we are stating this as a fact – this is the new way with you so act accordingly. Period.
“John, you just called me stupid now in front of the kids. I asked you before not to talk down to me anymore. Yet you did it again. Stop it. Don’t do that again. It’s not acceptable for me for you to behave and talk to me like that again. I will not accept this behavior anymore. So stop.”
There will be a backlash, be ready…. But do not engage. Walkout if you have to, hang up the phone, leave the room. Do not engage in a dialogue of why this demand is not ok. It absolutely is ok. You owe no one an explanation of how to be treated.
As usually happens with Toxic people this behavior will continue. If “John” does it again, you move to Step 3 of the Boundary Model:
Step 3 of the Boundary Model: Demand to Stop or Else!
Demand firmly and unequivocally of how you expect to be treated, and clearly stipulate a consequence if the demand to respect and honor your boundary needs are not met.
This Step is the hardest of the Boundary Model. You MUST be able to go through with the consequence (which is Step 4). If you don’t go through with it, then you will be like the Shephard who cried wolf – when it really mattered, no one came to the rescue. Don’t the that Shephard! If you mean business, and you want to be treated well, you have to stand up for it and fight for it. No one will do this for you. Only you can do it for you. So fight for yourself!
“John, you just told me I am fat and ugly and I will never amount to anything in my life. That is absolutely not ok!!! I have asked and told you twice already that you can not talk to me this way anymore! This is out of line and I will not stand for it anymore. Do it again – talk down to me in any way, insult me, ridicule me, put me down, embarrass me, or anything of the sort, then understand that I will leave you and we will get a divorce. And I am not kidding.”
Note: You don’t have to have such a harsh consequence. You can take the phone away from your kids, you can get separated, you can take a break from seeing your boyfriend, you can block someone on the phone, you can take a one week break from talking, etc, etc. The key is to make the consequence something you can commit to and stick with and most importantly something that will PROTECT you from this negative behavior you don’t want anymore.
John, as all Toxic people do, will insult you again and put you down again, it’s something they can not help as they are broken people who love to bully others. It is not our job to fix him, it is not your job to save him. It is your job to fix YOU. Is it your job to save YOU. So here we go to Step 4….
Step 4 of the Boundary Model: ACT on Your Consequence
As always happens, toxic people will again abuse, put down, and hurt your feelings. If this happens again, Step 4 in your Boundary Model is to “pull the plug” on whatever you decided in Step 3.
NOTE: You do not even have to TELL this person you executing on Step 3. You can just do it. There is no need to “tell them” oh – you did it again, so now I’m going through with it. Its actually almost redundant at this point.
If you insist on letting them know, then something like this will work:
“John, you just told me I’m an ugly stupid good for nothing woman. It’s enough. It’s over. I have had enough. I am filing for Divorce.”
Or whatever consequence you gave at Step 3, you need to do it now and show this toxic person you are not putting up with their issues anymore.
This is not about THEM. This is about you.
CONCLUSION on the 4 Step Boundary Model
It’s not easy – I know – but you will be amazed at how your life will change. Honor yourself, honor your mind, your emotions, your sense of worth. You have every right to demand positive and respectful behavior from those around you – especially those that are supposed to love you (boyfriend/family/parents/spouse).
Print this out, keep it on your phone, take it with you everywhere.
Don’t do such hard consequences at the beginning if it’s too hard. Practice baby steps. Try just Step 1 and Step 2… but I encourage you to go through to Step 4.
You will be amazed that those that love you and honor you, will respect your boundary model and will change to keep you in their life.
Those that don’t, don’t deserve to have you in their life. And you certainly don’t deserve their emotional and verbal abuse.
When you have had enough. You will know. And using the Boundary Model will change your life forever.