Trying to set boundaries with unhealthy, toxic, and narcissistic people can leave you confused, abused, and tormented.
They’ll trigger you and then offload their own trauma onto you to maintain their false and delusional narrative, pushing back and smashing any boundary you try to set up.
Then your emotions will go into a tailspin, and just like that, they’ve managed to make YOU look like the one with the problem when all you really wanted was to create a safe, healthy, and sane space for yourself.
In today’s Thriver TV episode, I take you through the four steps to firmly and absolutely set boundaries with any toxic person in your life. By the end of the video, you will know how to reverse the damage in your life so you can start living the glory of your life. Watch now!
Today, I’m going to talk to you about the four steps to setting boundaries with toxic people, AKA narcissists, so that no longer are you confused, abused, and tormented by unhealthy people. Before I get started, I just want to say how grateful I am for your likes and subscribes on my YouTube channel and that you’re sharing my material with people who wish to heal for real from narcissistic abuse.
What Is Self-Definition?
Let’s jump in with an understanding of self-definition and how vital it is to your boundaries. What is self-definition? In narcissistic abuse, we lose ourselves. This means that you don’t have self-definition. Your entire life is being defined by somebody else, namely the narcissist, and what he or she isn’t doing.
The Thriver work and healing in this community is all about bringing you home to yourself, and that’s what self-definition is. We call it self-partnering, but the self-partnering is so you can get self-definition.
Self-definition is about, “Who are you? What are your values? What are your truths?”
For you to be self-defined, these need to be an absolute, regardless of what anybody else is or isn’t doing. No matter what is causing your pain and your trauma, if you’re trying to make somebody else change in order to stop feeling neglected, or hurt, or abused, or traumatized by somebody, you’re not self-defined. You’re handing power over. You’re trying to receive your life through another, rather than generating it for yourself.
Let me give you a very simple example. If you were to say to a narcissist, “You’re lying to me, I know you’re cheating on me,” then you’ve made it about the narcissist. Who you are is then determined by the response you get, and I’m talking about somebody who is, and you know they are, and they’ve done it before, and they’re doing it again.
Of course, the narcissist is going to deny this and twist and turn and accuse you of being disloyal, paranoid, and damaged. You’re never going to get the truth because the narcissist lives in the shadows. They’re a False Self. They lie. You’re not going to get the truth and waiting to get your truth from the narcissist equals how to lose. That’s not self-definition. It means you’re being defined by a False Self which of course leads you to the breakdown of yourself, your life, and your Soul.
Honesty, trust, fidelity, loyal and true union, and care is what you decide you will live with as a self-defined person. So, you would declare – more to yourself, but also to the other person – “I’m only going to do a relationship of integrity and trust. ” Then you have a true boundary, by being self-defined and choosing your definitions for yourself – and even more so through your actions of pulling away.
So, what is a boundary by definition? It means keeping the bad out and keeping the good in. When you no longer try to change a narcissist, and choose to no longer place your pearls in front of a swine to be smashed, you are no longer participating in letting the bad in. In other words, you stop ‘having it in your life by staying with it in your life’ – and that’s really what a boundary is.
I hope that this has helped you get a lot clearer about self-definition, let’s look at the four steps to take your power back and lay boundaries with a narcissist or a toxic person.
Step Number One – Acknowledge Your Trigger And Self-Partner With It
Step one is to acknowledge your trigger and to self-partner with it. Narcissists and toxic people do lots of nasty things: careless, thoughtless, negligent, and even cruel and callous acts. As a person wishing to create a healing, supportive, expansive life, why should you have to put up with such treatment? You don’t.
However, know this, narcissists are masters at triggering you. They need to do it and they will do so. They must do this to project their unhealed erupting triggers. Narcissists have terribly fragile and damaged Inner Identities and emotional selves. They have to project it onto you to try to offload their own trauma. It’s like kicking the cat, and they need to blame you for their life to maintain their false and delusional narrative that they’re magnificent and there’s nothing wrong with them.
By triggering you into painful emotions, they can hook you and smash you emotionally, and then stand back and say, “Look at you. It’s you who’s the problem.” Plus, they parade this evidence to all and sundry to have other people believe that you are the damaged one and they’re the good one.
Being triggered is going to happen to you if you’re around these types of people because toxic people do it par excellence as often as you could imagine. It just happens all the time.
What do you do when they launch a missile at you exactly where they know they’re going to get a reaction from you? Don’t react. Don’t grant them what they want.
Breathe, imagining opening up your body, and even close your eyes, and take your attention inside of you, and say to yourself, while you breathe with your body open, “I bless and accept this feeling.”
Why are you doing this? To enhance your ability to be self-defined. You’re embracing how you feel which means you’re going to get in touch with what this means to you, and this is going to help you decide who you are in relation to this.
If you don’t do this process, you’re not in the driver’s seat of yourself. Rather, you’re defining self through another – which equals handing your power away to the narcissist, and any reaction from you is simply handing the narcissist the bullets to shoot you back with.
Step Number Two – What You Need To Heal
Step number two is what is this showing me I need to heal?
There are people who will mistake saying that taking responsibility for your trigger is victim blaming and shaming. Please don’t get personal inner responsibility confused with taking the blame for something. It’s not at all. The people who say this, who say it’s victim shaming are often the greatest victims I’ve ever seen. These are people that are stuck in their trauma and they don’t turn inwards. They don’t do self-partnering and inner work, and many have have become very damaged and toxic because they’ve cut themselves off from any ability to take back their own energy and Soul and heal.
Let me give you another simple example of what I’m talking about in regard to being self-defined with step number two. If somebody says to you you’re a fraud and a phony with what you’re doing in the world, if you know who you are and you’re self-defined in your belief in yourself, then you’re not going to be triggered.
You will know this person is toxic, and if they don’t believe in your definition of you, then you don’t want them in your life. In that stance of where you’re standing with that, you don’t need to change their mind about you. You don’t need to argue with them, and you actually don’t even need to be devastated. It can be disappointing, but you’re not devastated.
However, if you have unhealed inner traumas regarding how people see you or even how you see yourself – that maybe you aren’t authentic, or that people may persecute you if you don’t do things perfectly (the imposter fear syndrome) – or if you have persecution programs that you haven’t healed yet, then words like that could powerfully land and detonate something within you.
Now, here it is, narcissists go for your weak link, the place inside you where you’re not self-defined. They work it out. It’s like the enemy scoping out territory and seeing where there is a crack in the integrity of the boundary walls and shooting a missile straight into that crack.
How do you stop the boundary wall caving in, and the narcissist taking possession of your territory which is your Soul?
The answer is simple, by healing up the crack! And you may think that you’re handing over ground by taking your attention off them and onto yourself, and turning inwards, and making this all about yourself, and asking yourself with full inner integrity, self-partnering, and fascination, “What is it that was just triggered that I need to heal about myself?”
But you are not giving up ground because this is a position of strength, of inner integrity, and this is where we detach, take ourselves away from the toxic person, refusing to hand them what they want which is our emotional attention, and practicing self-definition with questions like, “How does this make me feel?”
Step Number Three – Define Yourself And Your Truth
So, what does it really mean when we sit with our journal and we write about what we feel after an exchange with a toxic or narcissistic person? It means that these feelings can only be resolved between us and our own Inner Being. Our inner children are screaming for us … your inner child is screaming for you to turn inside and love yourself back to wholeness.
If we try to make the narcissist this person and hold them responsible for our own self-definition, self-partnering, self-love, and our coming home to ourselves, the narcissist is not going to heal us back to health. They’re going to slam us harder, showing us all the ways we are not as yet self-partnered.
The following decision is the only empowering one that works as a boundary with narcissists. It’s this, “I’m no longer engaging with you or holding you responsible for my life. I’m breaking away from your energy to heal myself.” And less is really best. So, it’s something like, “There’s nothing to explain. I know who I am. My definition of me doesn’t depend on you. And my reality is only this now.” State what your truth is. Short and sweet, and that’s it.
But please know these statements can’t be about trying to get the narcissist to get it. They don’t. They never will. You’re not going to train a crocodile to roll over while you rub its belly. It’s a crocodile. A narcissist never sees you as a flesh and blood human being with a Soul or feelings or who deserves real love. You’re a prop. You’re a tool to mine and exploit, period.
No matter what this person says, you are simply, with those statements, deciding who YOU are and standing in it. That means you’re now a self-defining person, healing up those cracks that the narcissist was getting you on so that you can evolve past this person, heal up your fears and repeat traumas, and come out as an even bigger and better self-defined and whole person than you were ever – even before this horrible experience happened to you.
Of course, I know this is going to be painful. It’s hard. It is the scariest journey of your life. But if you don’t take this path, you’re going to continue to be hooked in, lose more and more pieces of yourself, continue to be defined by the narcissist which means controlled, traumatized, emptied out, and destroyed, or you can work with these three steps.
I hope you can now understand the gift of these steps because not only are you going to lose your trauma bonding and imprisonment with a narcissist, you’re going to finally and utterly and completely come home to yourself, which is exciting. It’s the true meaning of self-definition from which finally you get to be the creator of your happy and healthy life. I promise you, and that’s what Thriving is all about.
Step Number Four – Be Willing To Lose It All To Get It All
So, let’s have a look at step four, the final step – be willing to lose it all to get it all. Life with a narcissist is a false life. It’s a life of being defined by another, handing your power, Soul, and energy force away.
Of course, the trap we all fell into was that we were choosing other things and putting them in front of our own Soul and our own self-definition. I personally hung on way too long because I didn’t want to lose the property, my resources, my life’s work, the home I created for my son, and of course the dream that I wanted to stubbornly hang onto – the dream of my marriage.
The more I didn’t choose my Soul and Source as my higher power to partner me, the more I was partnered with the lie, and I was losing everything, including all of my resources and the property. My son was being torn to shreds and alienated away from me, and I then lost my health and sanity in a total breakdown … and then almost my life.
There was nothing left of what I previously thought of my life and myself by the time I chose my Soul. Thank goodness I finally did and reversed the damage of my life to now become the glory of my life.
This, I understand with boundaries now, and I teach this – my Soul is not for sale. Now, if something or a person in my life is toxic, I go through these three steps, and I honour my inner truth, regardless of ‘what ifs’.
Let me put it to you this way, when we made choices that were bad for us, because of fear of loss or that we couldn’t survive without this choice or whatever it was, we all went through the Soul lesson anyway of severe loss and breakdown. We didn’t save anything, and it was because we weren’t honouring the lesson of choosing the truth of our Soul, our own self-definition. We weren’t letting go. We were letting other people mess with us and use us for fulfilling their truth, often in very abusive ways.
I promise you with all of my heart that all of the Thrivers that I see put their Soul calling and their Soul truth above everything else experience powerful graduations in their growth healing and self-definition, and they also have miraculous shifts in the bounties of their life.
By saying, “My Inner Being, my Soul is the most valuable commodity there is, and I take full responsibility for this and pull away from you,” then narcissists lose. They no longer have any power over you because they are no match for this. That’s how you break the spell of a False Self attachment and free yourself to experience a True Self attachment which is, “I honour my Soul and now Source honours me too in all ways, always.” That’s what you get to live.
So, do you see it now, that this was a true spiritual lesson of the Soul war, Soul, S-O-U-L war with a narcissist all along, for you to choose your Soul and your self-definition to come home to yourself. If you do this, you will win the greatest battle of your Soul and your life, and I can’t tell you the miracles upon miracles that you will receive in your life, just as I have.
Every time you refuse to hand power over because of fear, obligation, or any other reason that isn’t pure, you will leave behind so much you’ll discover is far inferior to the doors that are going to open in front of you for your True Self and your True Life.
What does this look like in real life? Really, it is you saying, “I’m choosing a life of sanity and truth and my values and that’s my reality. That’s it.” And the narcissist will say something like, “If you try to leave me, I’ll take everything. I’ll expose you,” for whatever they think they’ve got over you.
You then say, “Okay, do that if you need to. I don’t care. I’m choosing my Soul.” That’s it. That’s it, and you mean it. You walk it. You do it. You don’t bite. You work hard at inner healing because of course you’re going to be triggered with so much pain and fear and trauma as you detox from the narcissist. You have to work hard at it, and then you will walk through the valley of death out to the garden of Eden.
No matter what the narcissist tries to fire at you, you’ve got self-definition. You value your Soul, and you have the literal protection and armour of Source / God / Creation which the narcissist is no match for.
I’m not kidding, and this is when the False Self attacks from the narcissist fall to bits. Your self-partnering means that all of creation and life has been unleashed to partner you which means that you have the right instincts, messages, people, solutions, and support that can now stream into your life. I mean it, more spectacularly than you could ever imagine, and we have Thrivers report within our vast global community experiencing these divine synchronicities every single day.
So, in conclusion, let’s have a look at the boundary steps. We’re just going to abbreviate them.
Number One: Bless and accept your triggered feeling.
Number Two: Detach from the narcissist and ask yourself, go within and say, “What do I need to heal here?”
Number Three: Decide your truth about who you are in this.
Number Four: be willing to lose it all to get it all. Choose your Soul above all else. Be prepared to lose something or somebody else rather than ever lose yourself.
If this makes powerful sense to you, then I’d love to help you by introducing you to my training, and the powerful global community who live this as their way of life, in all of life. This is my Narcisssistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP) community, and you can join us by clicking on this link.