I tend to have strong boundaries. Some people don’t like that. I like my alone time, routine, and schedule, and I’m not a fan of people dropping by unannounced. I have to in order to be in this profession for the long haul. My job is all-in. When i’m with a client my attention is fully focused on that person, and the five other people I see that day. This is balanced with lots of time to myself and with loved ones.
Sometimes you set a boundary and somebody gets hurt. While it’s essential to examine yourself in the situation to make sure your boundaries are appropriate, if someone gets crabby and tries to make you feel bad because you’ve set a boundary, this is a pretty good indicator to back away from the relationship in intensity, time spent, or other contact.
A lot of times, a discussion about boundaries with the person can lead to greater understanding and even give them permission to set their own boundaries. But other times, it doesn’t.
Some of the people who are the most hurt by your boundaries are the ones who either don’t believe in having them or don’t feel entitled to having them themselves. You saying “no” and setting limits is a threat to their identity, a burr in their side giving them the chance to say, “I don’t set all those ‘boundaries’. Who does she think she is?”
You could try to teach that person that it’s ok for her to have boundaries too, but at this time she would probably rather overextend herself for you and then harbor resentment when you don’t “appreciate” it enough.
I know a wise person who taught me something setting limits. If I need to have strong boundaries, and those boundaries work for me, that is on me. If that doesn’t work for someone in my life, that’s on them. They can be upset at me for setting the boundary, but since I have boundaries, I don’t have to think like they do, and I can let them have their opinion of me. If that leads to a rift, well, that is on me, because it is a consequence I was willing to take on in order to keep setting limits that work well for my life and family. But it’s also on them too, since they aren’t willing to take my limits seriously. If someone is scoffing at when I draw limits, and undermining them, that’s a red flag.
Maybe it causes a rift for awhile, but I’m an optimistic person and believe that rifts can sometimes teach both parties to cool off, re-evaluate the relationship, and move forward with that person (if they choose) with new behaviors that are more helpful for the relationship’s success. This requires evaluating what you really want from the relationship and what you’d be satisfied with.