“Take it easy!”,”Chill !!” – The phrases you often listen to whenever you react to someone’s statements that can offend boundaries set by you in your relation to that person. Such a person might be a total stranger, a colleague, relative, friend or lover. What boundaries you have set in your dealings with that person are not meant to be crossed for any reason whatsoever. They might give you the random chill in your spine by intimadating you or might lead your temper to rise or may make you numb in a way that you stay stunned about what to say or how to respond to such a stimulus.
And when you react to it with anger or even affirm your boundaries again, then they try to teach you how to chill and not to take life too seriously. Sometimes, they affirm you that they have gone through great ordeals that you have no idea about and still they are capable of playing around. Actually, they are just playing around with their words or even emotions but seldom logic. Their pain does not entitle them to offend you. If their words are hurting your emotions or sentiments or feelings or you are plainly feeling misunderstood or made fun of or taken advantage of or manipulated with, it’s an offence to your person and their own pain is no excuse to inflict any pain upon you.
For a moment, you might give them another chance by giving due regard to their suffering as a benefit of doubt but that kind of behaviour might continue if not opposed or stopped at the first instance. They might play hooky under the veil of their pain or anger but it is not acceptable because you are not responsible for that pain and thus, it’s also not your duty to tolerate it for any measure.
For opposing or making it stop, you do not need to play the same. You don’t need to play mind games or get angry or play the blame game or be pitiful in any way. Be sympathetic and neutral simultaneously in whatever you say and the tone in which you say it.
For example; say
- “I have no idea what you have gone through but your pain does not entitle you to offend me and I found your behaviour offensive to my boundaries”
- “I would like to understand your reasons but still your this action/behaviour is unacceptable to me.”
- “I did not offend you, and I would appreciate it if you reciprocate the same.”
- “How would you feel if I offend your boundaries and then give excuse of my pain?”
And, if he or she still does not stop or get even more offensive or aggressive or passive aggressive then be a little more strict and say “Would you understand my dignified silence or you want me to react like you have reacted?”
What you say should be clear, and should give them a message that their behaviour is unacceptable whatever might be the reason behind it. But do not trigger their emotions or do anything to hurt them as it might worsen the situation altogether. Keep calm and be firm and unprejudiced in your approach.