It’s Okay to not be okay! Set boundaries so that no one can degrade you. Degrade means to treat someone with contempt, to debase, shame, disgrace, cheapen, prostitute, dehumanize, or devalue you. You will see warning signs, don’t overlook them. When you grade yourself, you set your standard of worth and leave no room for doubting.
We should grade ourselves through evaluation and quality based on our experiences, book knowledge, and admiration of others. If you like First Lady Michelle Obama, then research her. If you like an aunt or uncle in your family research them. Famous people are not the only ones that you can strive to emulate. Please note that you do not have to be exactly like them. You can pick good qualities from one person and other qualities from another. Look at your behaviors, health, education, finances, cleanliness, clothing, job/careers, hair, skin, exercise, sound of your voice, kindness, abilities and comfortability with yourself. People will mostly grade you on the outside, but you know who you are inside and out. Being unsure about yourself or always looking for approval from others can cause a manipulative abuser type to try you. Knowing who you are, who you want to be, where you want to go, and what you want to do will help.
Degradation is allowed when abusers come into your life and take over. Some signs of an abuser, bully, pimp, or users are:
- Put demands on you that do not line up with your values or the direction you are headed.
- They tell you what not to wear or to wear what may make you uncomfortable, demean you or exploit you.
- They talk to you like a child and /or call you out of your name (bad words).
- They manipulate you by telling you if you, love me or want something then you will do what I say.
- They yell at you, hit you or threaten you with a weapon.
- They will threaten your family or threaten to tell your secret(s).
Please know that these types of abusers have no certain age, sex, or color. Setting boundaries and sticking to them will keep you focused, safe, on target and clear. Facing the consequences of there threats may not end up as bad as you think. You may find support that you didn’t expect.
Boundaries are confines, limits, partitions, and borders that keep the enemy out. Ways to set boundaries for yourself are:
- Name your limits- Ex. What will you not allow? How much will you spend?
- Tune into your feelings (believe your instincts).
- Be direct with people (don’t be afraid to express yourself).
- Give yourself permission to say yes and no where applicable.
- Seek support from long term friends, parents, family or teachers (make sure they have wisdom).
- Say No! Stay firm with your No.
- Set and keep self-care a priority. (don’t let yourself go)
- Practice self awareness. Recognize when you are slipping, straying, sliding or falling.
- Preserve yourself for BETTER! (You do not have to taste or try everything you see)
- Limit Alcohol & Drugs because it lowers you inhibitions and can cause you to fall into a space or place that you may not recover from without scars and wounds.
- Never let the abuser bully you into silence. Silence is what they want. Do Not Be Silenced!