In the past, I’ve felt resentful toward different people in different types of relationships.
I used to feel irritated with family members who often gave me unsolicited advice. And in love, I used to resent how I was the one fixing things while feeling unheard.
Past approach and why it never worked
Whenever unsolicited comments came my way, I used to feel the need to either defend myself or simply accept them out of diplomacy.
My mind would get into a negative vortex, having imaginary arguments over and over again, for hours or even days.
In love, I had conflicts and resentment while feeling that I was the only one really caring to fix any issue that might arise.
And yet with time, I’ve realized how I was the one expecting them to cooperate and change, while still allowing what I didn’t like to continue happening to me.
Expecting others to cooperate might be reasonable in different situations, but people don’t usually change unless they can see why they have to. And yet when they feel our expectations, they usually become more defensive and therefore more resistant, as it might trigger them to wonder if they are not good as they are.
Everyone wants to be heard and cared for. And yet whenever there are conflicts, we might react defensively as we might feel that the other person isn’t really hearing and caring for us.
New approach and why it works better
As I became more and more interested in the masculine/feminine dynamics in relationships, I realized how by being in my masculine energy I was creating a competitive ambiance that fosters defensiveness and more conflicts, while tapping into my feminine energy allowed me to inspire more respect and care for my boundaries.
In love, my masculine energy often starts to lead the situation by critically analyzing what needs to be done, and taking action while expecting the other person to do something as well. It could get competitive when arguing with someone, focusing on who is right and overexplaining everything, which makes it even harder to avoid defensiveness.
But whenever I connect to my feminine energy, I’m able to be softer and yet firmer with my boundaries. I can feel my heart and speak from a more loving and connected place, and if a situation no longer serves me, I would express how I feel about it, without insisting, and flow away if nothing changes.
My masculine energy would compete for who is right, while my feminine energy would cooperate for connection and flow away if something no longer aligns with me.
Energetically, a boundary is something that I know from my inner self that I will no longer have the space for it.
Whenever unsolicited advice comes to me, I would politely reject it and take myself out of the situation if needed. I might say “we’ll see”, but I no longer explain myself nor allow enough time for the other person to further impose any opinion that doesn’t resonate with me.
If someone truly appreciates my presence and respects me, they will avoid crossing my boundaries as it’d mean risking losing my company.
This applies to love relationships as well, as I express how I feel and I don’t have the space for anything that truly doesn’t align with me anymore, instead of overexplaining.
How to know if you have firm boundaries
One simple exercise I often do is to mentally state a boundary and see how it feels inside me.
Do I feel really sure and confident about it? Or does it feel weak and unsure internally?
Do I feel comfortable and assertive, or am I questioning if there could be any exception to a certain boundary?
How much you respect your own boundary, and how you feel about it, will subconsciously and energetically dictate how others perceive it.
For example, I have personally felt the shift in how others are offering less unsolicited advice to me, the moment I began to feel more confident with my own decisions and ideas. I would also not ask for any advice on matters where I’m already sure of what to do.
Learning to have healthy boundaries might take some time, and I’m still working on this. However, the more confident we feel with what we no longer accept or tolerate, the more our boundaries will be respected.
Mónica Valverde is a daydreamer navigating the experience of human life. She’s in love with Spirituality, Inner Work and Relationships.
If you find this interesting, feel free to check out other related articles:
Why Marriage Counseling Didn’t Work For Me And What I Wish I Knew
How Self-Love Deeply Affects Our Relationships
This post was previously published on medium.com.
You may also like these posts on The Good Men Project:
|White Fragility: Talking to White People About Racism||Escape the “Act Like a Man” Box||The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men’s Lives is a Killer||What We Talk About When We Talk About Men|
Photo credit: Mikail Duran on Unsplash