People’s ability to adapt to the boundaries you establish for them is different from the emotional responses they may have when you first establish those boundaries.
We all have a remarkable capacity to make adjustments in our behavior once we’re shown that our actions wont be accepted or tolerated.
I’m sure you can think of more than one example from your own life when you objected to some new changes, but eventually moved on from your complaints and adapted to those changes.
Unfortunately, most people never give themselves a chance to see just how good others’ capacity for change can be, because they give in to various forms of pouting.
“Pouting” refers to the resistance people initially express when you introduce a new rule into your interactions with them. Different people pout in different ways.
HOW they pout is not what’s important. What’s important is WHY they pout.
They pout because the boundaries you establish are inconsistent with the way you’ve trained them to interact with you in the past.
Everything you have said or not said, done or not done, praised or not praised, and criticized or not criticized has been a teaching lesson for others on how to treat you.
In other words, people don’t pout because they lack respect for your boundaries or because they refuse to change. People pout because you’re asking them to do something uncomfortable; namely, you’re asking them to make changes that go against the momentum of their past conditioning.
Once you understand this, you can stop taking people personally when they pout and you can stop being intimidated by their resistance.
If there are boundaries you need to establish in order to preserve your health and protect your happiness, then tactfully and assertively make them known.
Don’t worry about people’s reactions.
They may pout, but if you’re firm, they’ll get with the program.
“But, T.K.!!!! What if they don’t???”
Well, don’t make that decision FOR them. Even if they don’t, give them time to PROVE they wont.