Articles

Protect Your Peace from Toxic Relationships

What does it mean to protect your peace?

Protecting your peace means caring for and safeguarding your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self – in ways that you define for yourself. Protecting your peace is a personal journey, where ultimately you make the decisions and set boundaries for yourself that you determine to be in your own best interests.

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a way to create a peaceful life. Our boundaries are a way we honor our own needs, goals, feelings, and values. Think of boundaries as guidelines to live by that only you can define. As we grow and change, our boundaries will too. Boundaries are meant to keep us safe and feel respected.

Boundaries are based on your relationship with yourself, so only you can set your boundaries. There are many different types of boundaries, like emotional, physical, spiritual, financial or digital. Some examples of boundaries can be:

  • I’m ok with listening to you telling me how you’re feeling, but I don’t want to talk about my feelings right now.
  • I’m ok with having sex, but I want to use a condom and a dental dam.
  • I need to go to church every week, and I won’t skip a week if I can’t help it.
  • I’m ok with giving you $5 this time, but I won’t give you an extra $20.
  • We can follow each other on social media, but I won’t give anybody my login information.

Don’t know what your boundaries are? Practice setting them and adjusting them when needed. Think about what you are ok with and what you are not.

Respecting boundaries

Every person has the right to change their own boundaries at any time. This includes yourself, your parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and even your romantic or sexual partner(s). Boundaries play a very big part in creating healthy relationships with ourselves and others. Healthy boundaries let you be YOU and allow each person to protect their own peace.

Overstepping Boundaries

Sometimes, people will overstep your personal boundaries intentionally or even try to change your boundaries. This might indicate a toxic relationship – when someone is trying to control or hurt you.

Below are the same boundaries shared before. See what overstepping these boundaries might look like:

  • I’m ok with listening to you telling me how you’re feeling, but I don’t want to talk about my feelings right now.
    • Overstepping: “I told you how I feel, you must be feeling the same way.”
  • I’m ok with having sex, but I want to use a condom and a dental dam.
    • Overstepping: “You don’t actually think we should use a condom, do you? I don’t think you mean that.”
  • I need to go to church every week, I won’t skip a week if I can’t help it.
    • Overstepping: “I don’t want you to go to church, because I’ll miss you. Skip for me.”
  • I’m ok with giving you $5 this time, but I won’t give you an extra $20.
    • Overstepping: “He gave me $20, so you need to give me $20 too.”
  • We can follow each other on social media, but I won’t give anybody my login information.
    • Overstepping: “You might be cheating on me, give me your login information, so I can check your social media.”

What Can You Do if Someone Oversteps Your Boundaries?

When someone oversteps your boundaries, it’s ok to tell that person what they are doing and tell them to stop. If you feel safe enough and that person is important to you, you can show them how to respect your personal boundary.

Keep in mind though that some people will refuse to respect your boundaries. In this case, it is your responsibility to protect your peace. Not everyone is meant to walk with us on our life journey. You deserve to surround yourself with loving people who respect your needs, goals, feelings, and values. Remember, you are the expert of your own experience, and only you have the power to create or change your personal boundaries. Trust in yourself!

When to Reach Out

Relationships can be challenging to navigate sometimes, especially a potentially toxic relationship where a friend, family member, or someone else is trying to control or hurt you.

If you think you might have toxic behaviors or that you are in a toxic or abusive relationship, consider talking with a trusted adult. Talking to a trusted adult- such as a counselor, uncle, auntie, or teacher- can give you the opportunity to learn healthier relationship skills, so you can live in a way that aligns with your values.

Are you or a friend feeling unsafe in a relationship? If so, consider checking out the resources below on getting help.

This page was informed by information from loveisrespect.org

Additional Resources

Getting Help

  • Alaska 211 – Call 211 or visit the website here for help finding resources in your community.
  • Alaska’s Careline – 24/7 crisis line. Available by:
    • Calling 1-877-266-4357 (HELP)
    • Texting ‘HELP’ at 839863; from 3pm – 11pm Tues-Saturday AKST
    • App is available for download on Google Play/App Store
  • Crisistextline.org – by text
  • StrongHearts Native Helpline -1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483), you can connect anonymously with a Native advocate
  • Loveisrespect.org teen dating abuse helpline – by text, live chat, or by calling 866-331-9474
  • If you need advice from a trained counselor, consider texting the word “NATIVE” to 741741. You will be immediately connected with a crisis counselor. Don’t hesitate to reach out. All support and resources shared will remain confidential. Plus, there is no cost to you.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is a distressing experience that can impact us emotionally, mentally, physically,...

Healing From Trauma

After you experience trauma, it might seem like you will never feel...

Culture is Prevention

Honor Your Needs

To give yourself the energy you need when you face a difficult...

Learn to Identify Your Emotions

Sometimes we can identify our emotions through how our body feels. When...

Culture is Prevention – Sarah

Learn to Be Present in Your Body

After trauma, we may feel like our mind is caught up in...

Finding Balance in Your Day-to-Day Activities

Trauma often throws us off- mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically- but there...

BRAVE: Episode 7

Form Healthy Relationships with Trusted People

Coping with trauma on your own can be difficult. Think of the...

Cope with Things That Remind You of Trauma

Our brains are always scanning the environment for danger. When we have...

BRAVE: Episode 6

Reaching Out For Help

Sometimes the bravest thing we can do when we are struggling is...

Managing Our Mental Health

 Mental health is how we think about things and our conscious...

BRAVE: Episode 5

Self-Care

Self-care is key for taking care of ourselves and achieving our life’s...

Tips for Moving Beyond Blood Quantum

We know blood quantum, or “how much Native blood you have,” isn’t...

Brave: Episode 4

Blood Quantum Blues

“So… how much Native are you?” The dreaded question every Indigenous person...

I Strengthen My Nation Challenge #2

American Indian and Alaska Native Community Projects Created by Youth to Stand...

BRAVE: Episode 3

I Strengthen My Nation Challenge #1

Artistic Expressions of Resilience to Stand Against Substance Misuse The National Institute...

What Is Tribal Consultation?

Tribes are nations that have the right to make decisions about how...

BRAVE: Episode 2

Self-Compassion

Treating ourselves with compassion can have a big impact on the quality...

Chickasaw Spaceman

John Herrington, born in Wetumka, Oklahoma, is an enrolled member of the...

BRAVE: Episode 1

Lateral Violence

What is Lateral Violence? Lateral violence- also called internalized colonialism or horizontal...

Indigenous Comic Books

Comics and cartoons have existed for centuries, but it wasn’t until the...

Sunhawk / Managing Stress

Reclaiming Our Stories Through Media and Film

As Indigenous people, we know that storytelling is a powerful teaching tool....

Indigenous Star Stories

When you look up at the night’s sky, what do you see?...

Olivia / Keeping It All Inside

Native Crisis Text Line

Sometimes things are too overwhelming to deal with alone. If you need...

IndigiLOVE Campaign

IndigiLOVE is a campaign designed by tribal youth to spread positivity, share...

Nadira / Reaching Out for Help at College

Substance Misuse

Substance misuse is a health issue that impacts many people. It is...

Supporting A Loved One

It can be painful watching those we love struggle. We may feel...

Maiya / Dealing with Anxiety Attacks

Why Do I Keep Saying “Yes?”

You have done it again! You’ve said ‘yes’ to something you don’t...

Coping with Stress

Everyone feels stressed at times, but stress is not always bad. Sometimes...

Kennedy / Seeing Kindness

Eating Disorders

Eating healthy food is an important part of our well-being. After all...

Tips for Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep might seem like a waste of time. You could be doing...

Kaytlynn / Combatting Stressors

Talk About It

Does the idea of giving a friend negative feedback about their behavior...

Cultivating Self-Love

Want to build your confidence, self-esteem, and wellness? It all starts with...

Jowun / Self-Care For Me

Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

We all have relationships with a variety of people, including friends, boyfriends,...

Spiritual Connection: Being Part of Something Bigger

Do you remember the last time you had an awe-inspiring moment that...

Isis / School Stressors

Food as Medicine

Indigenous teachings and ways of living kept our peoples well for centuries....

Indigenizing Movement and Mental Health

Movement is medicine – for our mind, body, and spirit. For our...

Aurora / Connection

Mindfulness Meditation

Sometimes everyday stress can get to you. For some of us, it...

Diabetes Awareness

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day!...

Ashley / Self-Care Looks Different For Everyone

Is My Relationship Healthy?

All relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to abusive with unhealthy...

Resources for Exploring your Sexual Identity

Your sexual orientation will emerge over time, probably little by little. Don’t...

#Indigilove Recap Video

Tips to Protect Yourself from COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19 in our state, threatens our elders, our families,...

History Through a Native Lens

Timeline Overview This timeline of historically traumatic events was authored by Karina...

Siletz DVPI PSA

Helping a Friend Who’s Been Raped

Getting support from people they love and trust can be invaluable for...

Tips to be an Engaged Bystander

Leading up to every violent incident (be it intimate partner violence, domestic...

MMIWG (Murdered Missing Indigenous Women and Girls)

Creating Safe Spaces

While the perpetrators of violence (like intimate partner violence, domestic violence, or...

Wearing Contact Lenses

So, you’ve made the switch from wearing glasses to the ease of...

Life Is Sacred

Introducing Uncle Paige

  We R Native is excited to announce that we have a...

Native VOICES Movie

Watch the most awesome sex ed video ever. You’ll meet Jamie and...

Elder Teachings

Native VOICES Episode 4

We all care about protecting ourselves and the ones we love. Embrace...

Native VOICES Episode 3

We R Native. We R Proud. Accept Yourself. Protect Yourself. Tune in...

Defined by my Ancestors, Not Dead Presidents

Native VOICES episode 2

Winter is here and so is snagging season. Use condom sense and...

Native VOICES episode 1

50 Shades of Grey? Nah, try 50 Shades of Native VOICES! The...

Heart of the Land | Prevent Suicide

Fitness Challenge

Working out does not require having an expensive gym membership or equipment....

Infant Immunization Week

To promote the importance and achievements of vaccines, especially in protecting the...

We R Native Ambassadors

We R Native Ambassadors Class of 2018/2019

Consent

People often think consent is only important when it comes to sex....

Feeding 7 Generations

Food is a gift. Salish Elders remind us that true wealth is...

Healthy Relationships PSA

 

10 Tips for Staying Healthy & Happy in 2020

1. Smile every day and make a special effort to see and...

What to do with that pumpkin

Now that Halloween is officially over and your carved pumpkin slowly begins...

Native VOICES Trailer

Check out the trailer for Native VOICES

The Flu

What is Influenza? Influenza also known as the “Flu” is a highly...

Red Ribbon Week

It’s Red Ribbon Week® (October 23-31)! The Red Ribbon Campaign® is the...

WRN Ambassadors

Represent We R Native

Baked Pumpkins Seeds

Check out these awesome recipes for making different flavors of baked pumpkin...

Back to School Tips – College

Going back to school? Excited? Sad? Whatever your feeling, we’ve got some...

Indigikitchen

Re-indigenizing our diets

Mountain Meditation

Sit tall with a long spine and your head erect to allow...

Mental Health Month

May is national mental health month! It is time to spread the...

I Like the minty ones

  Native VOICES – the best sex ed videos you’ll every watch...

Sleep Journey

Welcome back Shike doo Shidine (my friends and family)! I hope you...

Trouble falling asleep

Having trouble falling asleep? Try these awesome techniques used by the #WellnessWednesday...

Powwow Sweat

Jingle Dress

Sleep Week

I love sharing good health and wellness material on our We R...

Taking Baby Steps to Get Off the Couch

It’s all about Netflix and gains! Take some baby steps to get...

My Culture

We R Quileute

No Bake Energy Bites

Eating food for energy is a great way to start getting the...

National Nutrition Month – Smoothie Recipes!

March is National Nutrition Month and a time to focus, or refocus...

Native Energy Odyssey

Visit from the Sustainable Development Institute to Lakota Nation – Pine Ridge...

Lovers’ Yoga

With Valentine’s Day behind us, we’d like to remind you that everyone...

Banana Pancakes

February is the month of love and a time to recognize that...

Lived Experience: Reese’s Story

LGBT: loved & accepted

Bannock Bread

Eating healthy means getting the right balance of nutrients your body needs...

5 Healthy Resolutions That Aren’t Losing Weight

In an effort to feel healthy, a lot of us pledge to...

Lived Experience: Randy’s Story

LGBT: loved & accepted

Tis the season

Rethink the season of giving. The holidays have a way of bringing...

Recovering Addicts on How Rehab Has Improved Their Lives

People don’t leave rehab without having their lives changed. Getting clean by...

Lived Experience: Ceci’s Story

Two Spirit: loved & accepted

National Native American Heritage Month

A little proclamation from the prez in honor of National Native American...

Youth Activism

How to get started Youth have powerful voices, and those same voices...

Dreamcatcher-We Need You Here

Our community is like a #dreamcatcher. Each strand has it’s own qualities,...

WRN Ambassadors THRIVE Photo Contest

Submit your pictures to generate awareness for We R Native’s 2016 THRIVE...

Men’s Health

It’s Men’s Health Week this week. It’s a time for health and...

A Gift from the Creator

LGBTQ-Two Spirit: You are a gift from the Creator. You are part...

E-cigarettes

E-Cigarettes have emerged over the past decade and researchers are in the...

Honor LGBTQ2S People

Protect yourself and your family from suicide. Statistics show the risk of...

Lived Experience: Shea’s Story

Two Spirit: loved & accepted.

Iesha-LaShay

During May we asked you to share how you’re making a positive...

Shea Norris

My name is Shea Norris, I’m 23 years old and I come...

The Medicine Game

Brothers Miles and Lyle Thompson-two of the top college lacrosse players of...

Reese Tahmalwash

I am Reese Tahmalwash, I’m from the northwest, am a member of...

Randy George

My name is Randy T George. I’m 27, full blooded Native. I’m...

Warriors Against Violence Society

“Women’s Honour Song”

Mental Health Tips

Health requires mental, emotional, physical & spiritual balance. Mind, body, spirit, and...

To Eat Healthy, Will I Have to Change My Life Completely?

Being healthy and fit has many benefits. This includes preventing chronic diseases...

Energy 101: Hydropower

Learn how hydropower captures the kinetic energy of flowing water and turns...

Tips on Eating Out

Going out to eat is easy and tastes great. However, you usually...

The Weight Scale Lies

The weight scale is a crucial tool to measure your fitness and...

A Fish Tale

The Truth About Cheat Meals

You may have read many fitness articles that praise cheat meals. The...

Identifying Harmful Foods

A key step to adopt the ancestral way of life is to...

Breaking the Statistics

Spokane area Indian youth showing how they’re breaking statistics.  

Identifying Ancestral Foods (Raw and Organic)

A key step to adopt the ancestral way of life is to...

How to Substitute Junk Foods

Sometimes you need to have cake or pizza. Having junk food cravings...

Gen-I

Meet more Indigenous youth whose plans to make a difference brought them...

How to Eat on a Road Trip

When you are on a road trip, it can be hard to...

How to Approach the Grocery Store

Trying to buy food in a grocery store can be a challenge....

Vote Indian Vote

Students from Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, Montana promote the Native American Vote.

Do I Need Workout Supplements

What are Workout Supplements? Supplements can include products such as multivitamin, protein...

Do I Need Protein Powder to Get Ripped

Why is Protein Important? Proteins are the main building blocks for building...

Love Your Life

After serving multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, like many veterans, Lyn...

All About the Proteins Food Group

What is the Proteins Food Group? All foods made from meat, poultry,...

All About The Ancestral Diet

Colonization led our people to believe that Western medicine, foods, and technology...

Love Your Life

From desperation to inspiration, Shaneyka’s story will help lead you to appreciate...

Could spirits be trying to tell me something? I’m not Native American as far as I know, but things keep happening so often that I can’t ignore it anymore!

see answer

Find Us

Contest

Protect Your Peace from Toxic Relationships

Follow Us

Enter Phone Number to Subscribe:

Msg & Data Rates May Apply.
Text STOP to opt out. No purchase necessary.
Expect 4 msgs/mo.Terms and Conditions

Menu