Civility and manners,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Health & wellbeing

Bullies and boundaries

“When you set healthier relationship standards in your life, some people will take it personally. That’s their issue, not yours. The distance you need isn’t against them; it’s for you. It’s a boundary, not a grudge.” ~Steve Maraboli

Bullying is demoralizing, and it doesn’t just happen to kids on the playground or in politics. In our daily lives we sometimes encounter folks who don’t play fair. Social bullies aren’t necessarily loud or obvious, and sometimes they don’t even recognize their own patterns of bullying. But you know ’em when you see ’em.

Social bullies are the ones who need to have the upper hand — in a variety of ways. They might hijack your conversation with nonstop talk about themselves. They might not let you win an argument, or they’ll top or contradict anything you say. Always in control, bullies are the ones who have a chokehold on your plans, or use manipulative behavior to get everyone to do things their way. They might seem clever or charming at times, but somehow leave you feeling disrespected or dragooned.

As Steve Maraboli reminds us today, creating strong boundaries is our best defense against any form of chronic bullying. We have the right to choose how we spend our time and with whom. ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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