“We cannot simultaneously set a boundary and take care of another person’s feelings.”
– Melody Beattie
What is a boundary?
Most people are aware of boundaries for material objects, yet struggle in implementing emotional, physical, spiritual and mental boundaries for oneself. The purpose of setting a healthy boundary is to protect and take good care of yourself.
If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, then you may not have learned to set a boundary or to know what it really is. Learning to set our own healthy boundaries is an exercise in personal freedom.
PEOPLE LEARN HOW TO TREAT YOU BASED ON WHAT YOU ACCEPT FROM THEM!!
Poor Boundaries Defined
How do you know whether or not you are in an unhealthy relationship? Chances are if you are in a dysfunctional relationship it will feel “normal” or even “comfortable” to you if you grew up in a dysfunctional home. You may not recognize the signs until you are well on your way to giving up your entire self for the other person. Below is a list of some of the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy boundaries.
|Feeling like your own person||Feeling incomplete without your partner|
|Feeling responsible for your own happiness||Relying on your partner for your happiness|
|Togetherness and separateness are balanced||Too much or too little togetherness|
|Friendships exist outside of the relationship||Inability to establish and maintain friendships with others|
|Focuses on the best qualities of both people||Focuses on the worst qualities of the partners|
|Achieving intimacy without chemicals||Using alcohol/drugs to reduce inhibitions and achieve a false sense of intimacy|
|Open, honest and assertive communication||Game-playing, unwillingness to listen, manipulation|
|Commitment to the partner||Jealousy, relationship addiction or lack of commitment|
|Respecting the differences in the partner||Blaming the partner for his or her own unique qualities|
|Accepting changes in the relationship||Feeling that the relationship should always be the same|
|Asking honestly for what is wanted||Feeling unable to express what is wanted|
|Accepting endings||Unable to let go|