Entitlement goes something like this: When someone hears the word “no,” they have the same reaction a two-year-old has when deprived of something: “Bad Mommy!” They feel as though the one who deprives them of their wishes is “bad,” and they become angry.
The angry person has a character problem. If you reinforce this character problem, it will return tomorrow and the next day in other situations. It is not the situation that’s making the person angry, but the feeling that they are entitled to things from others.
Here are six steps to consider when someone responds to your boundaries with anger:
1. Realize that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem.
2. View anger realistically. Anger is only a feeling inside the other person. It cannot jump across the room and hurt you.
3. Do not let anger be a cue for you to do something. People without boundaries respond automatically to the anger of others.
4. Make sure you have your support system in place. If you are going to set some limits with a person who has controlled you with anger, talk to the people in your support system first and make a plan.
5. Do not allow the angry person to get you angry. Keep a loving stance while “speaking the truth in love.”
6. Be prepared to use physical distance and other limits that enforce consequences.
If you keep your boundaries, those who are angry at you will have to learn self-control for the first time instead of “other control”.