Be The Villain Of Your Own Story

That’s right, you heard me. Own it. Someone’s going to make you the villain of their story regardless — you might as well wear it like a badge of honour, because their opinion means d***.

There are always three sides to every story; yours, theirs, and the truth. Very rarely do all three perfectly align. It usually comes down to a he said-she said situation, with both sides stating their arguments, compromising or agreeing to disagree, and moving on.

When someone is determined to make you the enemy, no amount of compromise will do. You are a threat to their plotting and scheming, their overall existence. If they flip the narrative and put the focus on you and your awful, horrible, no good, very bad tendencies, who will be watching them?

Blood doesn’t mean family; family doesn’t mean blood. As you get older, you have the amazing benefit of choosing who you surround yourself with, and nowhere in the “Adulting Handbook” does it say your toxic family – whether it be parents, siblings, or other – are automatically included in your sacred circle.

Here are some rules I’ve learned over the years and things to be aware of when it comes to setting boundaries to help you own up to your “villain” title in true fashion:

1. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

You can hope and dream that they will be accepting and understanding of the boundaries you set, but remember: they’ve gotten accustomed to you not having a boundary. Expect some conflict here initially, but hold your ground. 

2. Stick to it!

Don’t set a rule in place, only to bend or break it a few minutes later. Not only are you letting this person know that you can be haggled with and manipulated into doing what they want, but bet your ass they’ll use it again to their advantage in the future.

3. Be ready for a walk down Guilt Trip Alley.

Because not only have you taken something away from them, but you must be out to get them to be this cruel. They are family, after all — how could you?

4. There will likely be casualties.

When you cut off one family member, there are usually a few more that will also follow because said cut-off family member is great at telling stories and playing the victim. Hold your head high and realize you’re better off to begin with. Anyone that believes a story at face value without consulting sources or other parties involved isn’t worth you getting upset over.

5. You don’t always have to be the bigger person. 

Sometimes what pettiness calls for is more pettiness. Not because it will actually solve anything, but because it can actually be therapeutic in a way. In no way does this mean I’m encouraging or condoning violence or destruction of property, but if I can find a way to make their day a little more difficult, I’ll take it.

6. Remember who is responsible for the situation or predicament.

You are not in control of how someone feels or reacts to something. You are not in charge of their emotional well-being or of making sure they fully comprehend something. You are not responsible for the choices they have made to get them to this point. You can be there and support them, but it is not your responsibility to fix them or the situation.

7. Lastly, have grace, understanding, forgiveness and compassion… for yourself.

When you begin to cut contact with “family” members, there is a certain sense of betrayal and disappointment you feel. Not necessarily right away, but it’s there. You’ve let your family down, you’ve broken that family trust/promise, and you’ve disappointed them. Shake those negative voices out of your head because that’s your poisoned brain talking. It’s much easier said than done and there’s a very good chance you’ll break one, if not several, of these rules of engagement when you first begin your elimination round. It’s normal to resist change or for change to feel a little weird and unknown at first. It does get easier.

Setting boundaries and sticking to them helps others not only respect you and your time, but helps you respect yourself more because you’re working toward taming your wild people-pleasing ways and putting yourself first when necessary. It’s a process and something you have to work on every single day, but the freedom is exhilarating and allows for us villains to continue our villainous ways for another day. 

10 Non-Negotiable Boundaries All Strong Women Should Have For Their Lives

1. Identity Boundaries

Strong women know who they are on the surface and deep down. They don’t alter their identity to please someone, especially a love interest or a significant other. They don’t compromise when it comes to the things that make them who they are, like the language they speak, the culture they come from, their unique style, the food they love eating, and the activities that bring them joy.

2. Belief System Boundaries

Strong women are clear about the way they see the world. They stand by their beliefs and they stand strong, which is one of the things that make them strong in the first place. They don’t bargain with their integrity. They don’t say something they don’t identify with, even if it means that they will be judged, criticized, or threatened for their morals or religious and spiritual practices. If they don’t believe it, they ain’t doing it. Period.

3. Standards Boundaries

Strong women stay true to their vision in life, whether it be a vision for their personal life, career, family dynamic, friendship connections, or intimate relationship. They hold people to the same standards they live by. They don’t lower their expectations or their needs so someone can match their level. Just like they won’t decrease their vibe to get to someone else’s vibe frequency. They choose their integrity and self-respect over the presence of someone who lacks both of them.

4. Emotional Boundaries

Strong women regulate their emotions. They don’t allow someone to impact their emotional state of being. They know that it’s not their job to regulate the emotions of others. They also know how to express their emotions with maturity over hostility, open over passive communication and ownership over blame. They call someone out when they cross their emotional boundary and take the necessary action accordingly.

5. Energy Boundaries

Strong women protect their energy with every fibre of their being. The people they choose to be around are people who have good, positive vibes. The things they invest in are things that motivate, inspire, and challenge them. They don’t stay in places where they are not appreciated, they don’t stay in environments where they are not seen, and they don’t stay in situations where they are not supported.

6. Mental Boundaries

Strong women practice mindfulness. They are aware of their inner voice. They believe their thoughts are not them, just another visitor stopping by. When they experience anxiety or depression, they know to take care of themselves and how. They reach out for support from their inner circle and help from a professional. They commit to routines/habits that improve their mental health like journaling, meditating, reading or therapy. They make their mental health a priority, and when they see that someone does not respect or take it seriously, they leave.

7. Time Boundaries

Strong women don’t entertain what does not entertain them. They respect their time. They don’t invest time on things, people, places or parts of them that don’t add value to their life. To them, time is the fuel to their passion because once invested the right way, it takes them places they never imagined were possible. When someone fails to value their time, they let them go immediately because they know it speaks volume about their intentions and character.

8. Physical Boundaries

Strong women respect their bodies. They cherish their personal space. They practice consent and expect the same from everyone else. They don’t stay in physically unsafe environments. They don’t take it lightly when someone tries to physically abuse or harass them. They know, however, that it’s not their fault if someone inflicts physical pain on them because they know they can’t always protect themselves from evil.

9. Sexual Boundaries

Strong women have a healthy relationship with sex. They don’t fake orgasms. They don’t engage in unsafe sexual acts. They don’t do things they are uncomfortable with just to pleasure their partner. They are confident with saying not right now, not this, not you. They don’t engage in casual sex when a relationship is what they want. They ask for what they desire and like in the bedroom, and if that is not their partner’s cup of tea, they aren’t afraid of ending it. Basically, they don’t settle for mediocre sex.

10. Personal Life Boundaries

Strong women keep their personal life personal. They don’t feel the need to disconnect or overshare. They reciprocate what they are given and disclose information with people who have earned their trust up to their comfort level, of course. They don’t mix personal with work and they don’t mix family with friends. They know how to live a balanced life because balance requires strength. They let go of anything or anyone that disturbs that balance because letting go requires strength. And they live by each boundary listed because living by what you believe in requires strength, too.

What No One Tells You About Removing Toxic People From Your Life

If we look for toxicity in general, we would get pages and pages of information on it. The insidious way of toxicity creeping into our lives is what we are all familiar with. But what about passive toxicity? The kind we face in the form of so-called concern, friendly glances, honest advice, and some people who claim to be our friends.

Toxicity isn’t something that you realize when it’s happening to you. It is a behavior that occurs in chains and keeps strangling you until you’ve lost yourself. Often we have people in our lives that are very close to us and we share a close bond with them. There is always emotional investment involved on one side. Some people act very diligently, honestly, and supportively, but what lies behind that charming exterior is jealousy and a self-centered interior. We have all had “friends” who we relied on at some point in time with our whole heart, but instead of getting the love and support that we craved, we only got feelings of self-loathe, depression, and tons of insecurities.

In this journey of life, we have encountered different souls. They say the ones you vibe with are the ones you’ve had a connection with in the past life. Strangely, no one acknowledges the fact that we at times get wronged by many masked ones in order to find our ultimate angels that are our true soul connections. When we have a toxic person in our life, our life seems so very complicated. We feel like we’re constantly striving for solutions to the problems created by our minds. There is a fear of rejection, a sense of not being “up to the mark” and simultaneous stress at the back of our heads. This vicious cycle is what makes us confined to a bubble of sadness, sudden moments of happiness, and never-ending insecurities. Now, if we are so webbed into all the harmful things, why don’t we realize it? Is it because those toxic ones have made us feel validated only when with them? Is it because we are too emotionally invested in this toxic relationship? Or is it because we are blinded by the charm of those strangling us?

In most cases, we realize the damage has been done by the time we are too afraid to leave. We have been tricked into the thought process that the other person is emotionally dependent on us and we are the only person there for the toxic one. You feel a pang of sudden guilt at even the slightest thought of cutting them off or creating a distance for your own good. It isn’t because we are too pure-hearted or pious, but because we are tricked into being slaves of mind games and meaningless friendships. The ones in which you are always on the giving end than too toxically happily. This toxic chain is a comfort blanket that is actually sucking our blood underneath, but we take a lot of time to break out of it.

The most important thing here is that we take too long to know that enough is enough. The mere realization of toxicity and its patterns is what takes long. Long enough to drain us. There comes a time when we get so frustrated with ourselves thinking about what’s “wrong in us” that we start introspecting and end up realizing the actual cause. It is our long-gone self-respect that comes to the surface with our will to connect the dots. As we get done with joining the unfortunate events and witnessing how insecure we have become, we urge to break free. It is at this point that we forget all the so-called boundaries and the fear of the unknown. It is at this point when we let the guilt in but only to set us unapologetically free.