Mareus News Blog

When familiarity breeds contempt…

May 24th, 2017

  • How good are your boundaries?
  • What are you tolerating from others?
  • Do you find you are always the one cutting slack or giving help but not really getting the same back?
  • Do you let certain people treat you less well than they should?
  • Are you feeling undervalued or unappreciated in certain relationships?

If so you might need to look at your boundaries.

Having good boundaries in place is a positive thing.  Having good boundaries is about respecting yourself and putting positive strategies in place to protect yourself from those who might take advantage of your good intentions.

Unfortunately a lot of the time our biggest tolerations are of the behaviours of people in our closer circles; partners, family members, in-laws, old friends, bosses and long-time work colleagues who feel they can say what they like and treat you however they want to because you know eachother so long and so well. These can be harder to understand and cope with.  You might ask yourself why someone who knows you so well, and should know better, would expect you to put up with so much more than a newer friend or acquaintance or work colleague would.


While the odd toleration can be an important part of keeping the peace in your inner circles, putting up with long term bad behaviour or disrespect towards you can be very destructive and damaging to your self confidence and feelings of self worth.

So how can you turn things around and start educating people about how you want to be treated?

Step 1:  Think.

Is it a toleration or a simple disagreement? Disagreeing from time to time is normal and important in relationships. It would be very unusual and probably a little worrying to agree with someone else 100% of the time.  A healthy debate, a heated argument or an unexpected difference of opinion is a normal part of adult relationships. Disagreements can challenge us to look at the world in a different way and increase our self awareness.  The key is to have a look at the frequency of incidents and the behaviours of both sides in the aftermath of disagreements. If these situations are happening a lot, or if you feel consistently bad after these interactions with a particular person, it might be a sign of an unhealthy toleration that requires you to take action.

Step 2: Talk.

Habits and beliefs can also play a part here. In long standing relationships (business, friends or family), both sides over time build up beliefs about the other person and make assumptions about their motives and intentions without actually asking the other why they are behaving a certain way. The brain takes short-cuts. The brain can get it wrong.

In your closer circles a good first step is to talk. Ask questions rather than assuming. Educate others about your own motives and values.  Find out what’s really going on. Don’t short-cut and fill in the gaps with assumptions. With relationships worth fighting for this should pave the way to a better, more mature, relationship.

However, if someone is saying “well you are known to be X, Y, or Z” it is possible they aren’t really listening to you anymore. It’s possible they are devaluing you. They may have already made up their mind about you and how they feel they can treat you. Or they may just be in habits where they switch to autopilot whenever there is a disagreement.

If you feel no effort is being made to hear or understand your point of view, this is definitely a time to consider putting boundaries in place to protect yourself and your wellbeing.

Step 3:  Put good boundaries in place – it’s empowering!

If no matter what you do, you find your energy, confidence or happiness dropping consistently at the thought of meeting or interacting with certain people the next action is to find an appropriate boundary to put in place for this relationship. There are many unique ways of doing this.  It is an empowering and brave thing to do, and it allows you to honour yourself and your own personal values. What’s stopping you?

Putting the right boundaries in place can have different outcomes depending on the type of boundary and the reaction of the other person. Boundaries can reinject value, respect and enjoyment into some relationships.  Other times boundaries can take you away from certain relationships altogether.  Whatever path you choose your energy will feel better once you stop tolerating and start putting yourself front and centre.  It’s time to re-educate others on how you want to be treated.

Positive people


Step 4:  Hire a coach to champion your change.

It can be hard to start putting boundaries in place when your energy is lowered by long term challenging relationships.  Working with a coach will help you identify tolerations, put good boundries in place and ensure you have support through these challenging times.

A coach will champion you as you take action to honour and respect your personal values.  A coach will keep you on track as you start the process of re-educating people how to treat you the way you want and the way you deserve.

Step 5:  Avoid pity parties and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Once you have your boundaries in place, you can move on to more positive interactions in your relationships with other people. A few good friends are more valuable than a large circle of people who don’t share your values and best interests. A few constant friends are more valuable than the transient ones who only join in to gossip about how bad everything is.

seat at the table

Remember, for all the tolerations you put up with, there are also people in your life who care for you and appreciate you. It’s easy to take this for granted and focus on the negative.  A good practice to ensure you don’t go on autopilot yourself is to put aside a set time in your day or week to remember the good guys, good times and good vibes that you are grateful for in your life. As Tony Robbins says, where your focus goes your energy flows.

Celebrate those positive relationships and spend your time focusing on those people who lift you higher. It’s a more empowering use of your time.

No-one has the right to belittle you or treat you badly.  Stay strong, and believe in yourself. Empower yourself with good life strategies. Show up for yourself. You are definitely worth it!

believeAll the best from Park West,


If you would like to chat about how coaching might work for you, please reach out to us at



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Filed under: Authentic Self, Boundaries, change, Comfort Zone, Life Coaching, Tolerations, Uncategorized, values
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