Boundaries and the Assholes Epidemic

Have you ever just reallllyy wanted to throat punch someone?

Like POW, right in the jugular.


How do you hold people accountable for their actions when they’re hurting you or when they may be hurting themselves and / or those around them? How do you hold yourself accountable for how others treat you?

Wait… what?

I know you are probably thinking to yourself, what is this chick talking about. How can I be held responsible or accountable for how someone else treats me?

You teach people how to treat you.Click To Tweet

I’ll get to more of that in a minute.

Some people hurt you on purpose.

They’re malicious and cruel. They will go out of their way to make your life hard. They will try to push your buttons, they’ll be deceitful, lie, cheat, steal, they’ll suck the energy and life out of you and do it all with a smile on their face.

These are shitty people. I know a few of these people.

Sometimes we don’t see these types until it’s too late and they’ve already had a chance to sink their teeth in before we even notice what’s happening. We get in too deep and then we have a hard time clawing our way out and pulling away from their grasp. It happens to the best of us.

Sometimes you even feel sorry for these people. They make you feel like you owe them your attention and energy. They can turn things around and make it feel like the issues they are causing are your fault, not theirs. Sadly, there are many, many people out there that exhibit these character traits. You may recognize them as narcissistic behavior.

If you are empathetic, like myself, you probably feel like you have a giant target on your forehead that only these assholes can find.

I hate to break it to you, but…

It’s true. You do. They pick up your energy on their radar and they will be drawn in, like a moth to a flame… this will happen pretty consistently in life through varying relationships until you learn the lessons that are to be had in these situations and you figure out how to set boundaries.

The problem with being an empath, is that you feel sorry for assholes too.Click To Tweet

You can’t control the other person, obviously, but you can control how you react to the situation. If you allow it to happen, you ignore it, you don’t say anything, it’ll probably just happen again. By not doing anything about it or not setting clear boundaries, you’ve essentially given them permission to fuck with you. Obviously you have not given them permission (expressively), but in the mind and eyes of these types, no resistance, no barrier and no punishment for bad behavior is considered consent.

You can't control other people, but you can control how you react to the situation.Click To Tweet

Some people have no idea they’re hurting you.

They go about their business so completely wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t even realize the flurry of harm they’re causing around them.

Some people are completely clueless of the malice they cause. These can be scary people to have around, but they are not inherently bad.

“I had a boyfriend who unknowingly went out on a couple of “not dates” with another woman while we were together. It didn’t dawn on him that these were dates until she invited him over for dinner and a movie. I said, ‘like Netflix and chill? He said it wasn’t like that. I explained to him that he had (allegedly) “unknowingly” been dating this woman behind my back. I guess the pet names like sweet heart and love weren’t enough to set him off and clue him in.”

In some cases, it may not even be these people causing issues, but rather your perception of the situation. It may seem as though they are being malicious, forgetful, hurtful, or cruel, but, the reality could simply be chalked up to a story you’ve spun up in your head to make it appear a certain way. This can be entirely involuntary, and it happens more than you will believe.

In these instances, you need to take a step back, remove yourself from the situation, pause, and reflect on what happened. Look at it from other perspectives and take a moment to see it from the other side, or at least from another angle. If we’ve been hurt and / or burned before, it can be hard to remove ourselves from the situation to reflect on other angles. Hell, it can be hard to not get lost in the moment and lose our shit when we feel we’ve been crossed.

In the above story, my ex and I had similar issues earlier in our relationship that caused roadblocks and major trust issues on my side, so having this pop up again brought all those past issues and pain right back to the surface. So even though he told me he was entirely unaware of the fact that it was inappropriate, I couldn’t see it any other way.

We get stuck in our head, stuck in our stories and we believe everything we tell ourselves.

This isn’t conducive to positive energy or outcome. Let’s face it, we talk a lot of shit in our heads. We continuously put ourselves down, we judge ourselves and others, we make up stories, we create arguments and drama in our heads surrounding situations that may or may not even happen.

Admit it, you’ve planned out (and won!) arguments in the shower… We all have.

Sometimes all we need to do is communicate our discomfort. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding. Talk it through. There are a lot of assholes out there, but not all of them will go out of their way to piss you off or screw you over. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

“Hey, that was kind of a dick move. Did you mean for it to come off like that?”

“Wow, what you said really stung. Did you really mean that?”

Or in reference to the above example…”I understand your need to make friends, but messaging and hanging out with another woman behind my back is a super shitty, and seemingly scum bag thing to do. Were you intentionally being a dick and trying to hurt me and make me jealous are you really that ignorant?” #sorrynotsorry

Maybe you’re the Asshole.

I’m all for the whole zero fucks to give movement, but where do you draw the line? IS there a line? Who determines the line?

In all honesty, I wish I could partake more actively in this movement, but sadly, I care too much for my own damn good. I have zero asshole in me and it has bit me in the ass more times than I care to admit, hence all the articles on boundaries. The thing is, a lot of people have literally no common sense and will not see your line, so therefore, they will continually cross it. These people will be total assholes, not giving a shit who they are being an asshole too, or who their asshole behavior is affecting.

Is this you?

Maybe it’s someone you know. Someone close to you, someone you deal with daily. Either way, handling the situation can be a slippery slope and needs to be handled with concise care, or alternatively you can adopt the whole “zero fucks mentality” and just cut those fuckers out.

Don’t be afraid to cut these people right out of your life. I’ve removed people from my life on numerous occasions and I’m not even sorry. If the relationship doesn’t feel right, or they’re treating you in a way that doesn’t make you feel important, respected, or comfortable, or they are doing something that goes against your values,


Or as the kids say #BYEFELICIA

If someone is throwing shade and bad vibes in your life, your happiness, or they are causing issues and stress on your well-being or mental health – Cut. Them. Out.  You owe them nothing and your mental health and well-being is more important than trying to make things work for THEIR sake.

If they treat you like shit, they don’t deserve a place in your life. End of story.

Also, I know this can be difficult. This article may come off as being something that is easy to do, but it’s not, especially if you’re not used to the concept. Cutting someone out of your life doesn’t have to be permanent or forever move, it CAN be, but it doesn’t have to be at all. It can be a “see you later until you get your shit together” type goodbye if that makes it easier.

How do you hold these people accountable for their actions? If the asshole is YOU, how do you hold yourself accountable and stop being such a dick?


Walls keep people out. Boundaries show people where the door is. Mark GrovesClick To Tweet

Boundaries are the invisible fence you build around yourself. They dictate how you allow people to treat you. You set them up, let those around you know where they are, what they mean, and what the consequences are for crossing them, and leave them at that. When people try to cross them, they start off with a warning zap, another zap, and then the law comes down. If you are clear and specific about your boundaries, those around you should understand them enough to respect your wishes.

Ex. I will not tolerate you speaking to me this way and if it happens again you will be blocked, deleted, and removed from my life.

Boundaries have been set. If the other person chooses to cross the line, the conversation is over and you follow through with your consequences.


Just like parenting, you have to do what you say you are going to do – it’s called integrity. If you say you are going to do something if a boundary is crossed, then do it! Otherwise it’s just a threat and will be treated as such. People won’t take you seriously until you actually prove to them that you mean business.

So to sum things up, here are 3 simple steps for setting boundaries:

  • Set clear and specific boundaries
    • I will not tolerate this type of behaviour
  • State clear consequences when boundaries are crossed
    • if this happens, then this will happen, or this is what I will do
  • Follow through with stated consequences
  • Repeat

It may take some time to establish respect in the boundaries department. If people have been used to getting away with murder, it will take some time for them to adjust to the new rules. They won’t like it, but they don’t have to.

Important Take-Aways from this article

You teach people how to treat you.

Make sure you teach them from the beginning that you are not a doormat, you will not tolerate being disrespected.

Establishing respect for your boundaries may take time as people adjust to the new rules.

Don’t ever be afraid to put your own mental health and well-being first.

This may be a hard adjustment for some, and you may be made out to be the asshole when you start putting your foot down.


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