Daring to relax into a state of authentic vulnerability offers the potential to grow in compassion. It is always through compassion we find a way to exercise love towards ourselves when things aren't going our way or when others have been mean to us.
After that, the next step is filling ourselves with this love as a foundation for our expression and interaction with the world, even when it means setting boundaries towards others more firmly. It might sound awkward when we say no, but what it really is, is stopping abuse and letting more love in.
After all, we all want someone to come home to and who will cheer us on when we head out the door into the world, like our parents once were supposed to. Now as adults, its our own responsibility towards ourselves and in our relationships, but as adults and not by parenting the other. He or she also need to take care of his/her own inner child.