Lack of boundaries invites lack of respect.
It’s her fault, not mine. It’s his fault, not mine. She made me do it. He makes me angry. The language of victims, not owners of their lives. Abdicating the responsibility of our choices is disempowering, and as adults we are ultimately responsible for our feelings, choices, and responses.
In my life, the animal world has served as a wonderful teacher, and metaphor for learning lessons. Here is one I learned from a couple of my little friends.
Gypsy is a Jenny, yes, a little donkey. A miniature to be exact. She hangs out with Mr. Q another mini. He brays too much. He pushes her around at times, until she has had enough of that then she sets a limit, usually a sound kick to his head with both hind feet. Ouch! Really, you’d think he would learn.
When she sets a limit there is no question that enough is enough. Mr. Q being the smart ass, he is respects her limits. One intelligent dude if a bit hard-headed.
Are you setting limits? Good limits? Are you holding those limits? If not remember Gypsy, she is always good at giving us reminders! Setting good limits early on is best. It keeps you from having to be shall we say as forceful as Gypsy!
Or are you like Mr. Q? A bit pushy? Do you get surprised when someone sets a hard limit? Do you respect the limit? Is there a way you might be more aware of your impact on others and soften your approach? A more collaborative approach might be more useful.