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Setting healthy boundaries

Chrysalis123 posted 7/10/2019 23:17 PM

Posted by ser-

Healthy personal boundaries are a way to protect and take good care of ourselves. We all have a right and responsibility to protect our dignity and defend ourselves, and those boundaries let others know when their behaviour is not acceptable to us. It is important to assert our self respect and develop a healthy relationship with ourselves.

Setting these boundaries is an integral part of ensuring a healthy dynamic in a personal relationship. It is important to communicate these boundaries without blame to ensure the message is heard but still let them know how their behaviour is affecting us. A simple way to lay out these boundaries is to use a basic structure:

When you – a description of the behaviour that you find unacceptable. You want to make this as specific as possible and not rely on your perception of the behaviour but to be about the actual behaviour itself.

I feel – the impact the behaviour has on you. It is important to not let this define us but rather be an emotionally honest expression of our feelings.

I want – a description of the behaviour that it is you want from the other person.

If you – again a description of the behaviour that we find unacceoptable.

I will – a description of what steps you will take to protect yourself and that boundary if it is violated. Realise that you can only control yourself and not the other person. This part is not a form of punishment or manipulation but a way to protect yourself. The consequence should be realistic and within your power to enforce.

So an unhealthy boundary would be saying “You can’t go out any more”. This is quite visibly an aggressive means of manipulation and control and does nothing to create an environment of mutual respect or emotional connection. It will create an aura of defensiveness and possibly be looked upon as a challenge.

A healthier version would be “When you go out and do not let me know where you are I feel insecure and worry about what you are doing. I want to be with someone who is completely honest and transparent so that I can have complete trust in them. If you do not wish to respect my needs and be a partner in this marriage then realize I will confront your behaviour, voice my concerns, and insist of counseling. Should nothing change, then I shall maintain my dignity and self respect and re-evaluate my desire to stay in this relationship”. A statement such as this asserts your personal power over the situations you will allow yourself to be in. Strong, simple, and dignified.

Not only does the boundary have to be set, but we have to be willing to enforce them. It is not meant to be a threat or form of punishment – it is a consequence of the other person’s behaviour. The only way that we can do this is to judge that our own self worth is more important than the final outcome. Boundaries are a way to take ownership of our personal empowerment and avoid being a victim. They are a vital part of learning to communicate in a direct and honest way.

puffstuff posted 7/11/2019 06:08 AM

saved to my favorites.

sisoon posted 7/11/2019 09:42 AM

... and there's always this, too:

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