Boundaries

Padma

Cat, AJ and Milfoil - you have all turfed up so many pearls in the last few paras that I cannot even begin to quote! and they all sent gongs through my mind - like, "Here be thruthies!"

Crap. I am going to have to read and reread all the posts here so everything sinks in. Drinking from the firehose again. Too much to swallow at once!

But I do come away from reading them with a sense of just how really, truly important it is to have boundaries, and to make sure they are respected; and to respect the boundaries of others.

And to make the boundary thing clear and understood between people I interact with, and me.

As to game players...that, I have no time for ;p You either is for real, or you ain't, in my book. ;p

I am so, so, so tired tired of tossing my energy down black holes, just to help people. I need to begin helping myself and let the others get on with their process. I didn't even realise it till now.

Thank all of you for talking about this - I sooooo needed to hear all this, and didn't even know it till I innocently wandered into Milfoil's thread....thanks again, Milfoil ;) and the others!
 

Milfoil

AJ that is a perfect point about manners, that's just how it was taught to me, that it was bad manners and lots of what I should and shouldn't do.

Cat* - yes, precisely, we have a mutual responsibility to let others know where the line is that we draw. Often we have been told to be polite, not make others uncomfortable and just let things be, don't make waves so when someone is pushing our boundaries, we are already compromised by this and don't always make those boundaries clear.

Rather like setting out the rules when offering a reading or exchange, you can't complain if someone doesn't do things appropriately if you never laid out the terms before starting.

Love that phrase LP "drinking from the fire hose". :D
 

Disa

Manners, yeah- I think I missed out on a lot of that. I gravitated more towards my mom's side- the heathens :p

The thing is I think it's important to teach manners to the point of being polite in public, but I think it's a huge disservice to children to stifle their independence and not allow freedom of thought and freedom of expression- within some limits of course, but not too much. Otherwise, it takes them years to come to terms with what THEY actually think about things and what pleases THEM instead of always trying to please mom dad, grandma, society,etc.


And after reading through cat's post again, it came to mind that- if people don't know themselves because they are too busy pleasing others, how can they ever expect anyone else to know them? Just sayin... I also like clear and direct, all the underlying sutleties and game playing don't work for me.
 

gregory

...and then there are people like me who would be really, really grateful if more people had clearer boundaries (or maybe just expressed them early enough and/or more clearly) because otherwise people like me assume that we can go on doing what we're doing because you're fine with it. No resistance leads to the assumption there is no boundary.

I'm sure that makes me sound like a terribly insensitive person who walks all over her fellow humans unless she is stopped by some drastic means.

NO - it is perfectly true; I HATE it when after I have known people for years and SUDDENLY discover they hate xyz, that I was maybe only doing because I thought they LIKED it.

How to make a good friend feel REALLY DREADFUL. :mad:
 

Padma

NO - it is perfectly true; I HATE it when after I have known people for years and SUDDENLY discover they hate xyz, that I was maybe only doing because I thought they LIKED it.

How to make a good friend feel REALLY DREADFUL. :mad:

My mate has done this a couple of times in mundane ways. i.e., eat roast chicken once a week for years, then suddenly turn on me one night and say, "I hate roast chicken!" then I just look dumb-deer-in-the-headlights ! lol..and yes, gregory - you are right - it is dreadful, and hurtful.

We have talked about it, and he has stopped doing that ;) but it is rather passive aggressive, isn't it? Or some similar label...something not nice, anyways...

I'm afraid I'm going to have to quote Dr. Seuss again...

"Be who you are, and say what you mean. Those who mind, don't matter; and those who matter, don't mind"

:)
 

gregory

- or from the same source:

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

And yes very hurtful; then again - I spent years feeling guilty, as I HATE seed cake and I had it drummed into me that All Men Love It, and All Good Wives Bake the horrid things. But I never made one. 40+ years into marriage - and that's a few years back now - I finally discovered - he didn't mind a bit; he hates it too ! We need to spell things out.
 

SunChariot

While I think this can be an issue I need to work on, yes I think it is important. I think in large part we teach people how to treat us by what we accept and what we don't. If we accept certain kinds of treatment and do not say a word or react then that is telling the other person that it is all right with you to be treated that way and they can feel free to do it again and again.

We teach people how to treat us by how we react to their treatment, or how we don't react. In that sense, people who do not like the way others treat them probably don't have a strong sense of boundaries. Also if we don't show our boundaries, people get the feeling that we don't really respect ourselves and since they think we likely know ourselves best it can lead to feelings in others at times that we are not worthy of respect.

While having boundaries is about self-respect, that does not mean you cannot have respect for BOTH yourself and the other person at the same time. Whether or not it comes off as harsh and uncaring is a matter of how you choose to phase things. There are always a number of choices available to us of how we can phrase anything.

I have heard it is better to use "I" phrases and not "you" phrases. Like "I felt this or that way when you did that", Not "How could you do this to me?" or "You have no right to this!" As these kinds of phrases (the last two) can make people defensive and when they get defensive they stop listening to your side and get on with defending themselves and doing whatever they need to to do that. And to goal is a good communication and to fix things. Not for both people to start taking sides but to get on the same side.

Also telling someone where your boundaries are and asking them to not cross them is asking for their respect on the matter in essence, so I think you need to show them yuo are willing to respect them at the same time and phrase things in a way that shows that. If the person senses that you want their respect but you are not willing to give them yours (accusing them of things or sounding like you are against them) I can't imagine that will go well. It also has to be mutual.

I heard this next part from a professional relationship counselor. That a good place to start is to just say to the other person "I felt disrespected when you said/did that" and see what happens. Most people would not purposely want to disresepct you and that ought to lead you to fix that,. If you have someone who really doesnt' care that could be someone to cut out of your lfie if that is possible, so that is good to know.

Babs
 

Richard

Boys get fed the same sort of humility crap as girls, but peer pressure to defy it is generally strong enough to nullify it. It may, however, cause serious inner conflicts when one set of standards is taught in Sunday school, but contrary behavior is expected by one's friends. My own Moravian upbringing, which was theologically quite liberal (and intellectually stimulating) but strongly pacifistic, made it all the worse. Gott sei Dank one grows into adulthood, wherein one is relatively free to set one's own standards.
 

Milfoil

SunChariot brings up a good point. Counselling has a great deal to do with establishing healthy boundaries both between counsellor and client and between client and everyone else. Healthy boundaries are classed as those which promote mutual respect rather than defensive reactions.

We had a wonderful example of this on the last course I did. One student in the group could not seem to understand that counselling was not giving advice, it was becoming difficult for anyone to pair up with and work with him. The tutor made the boundary very clear in a group discussion by stopping him with a firm "no" and clearly stating again the phrases we were working with. These phrases would never include "I think you should", "what you need to do is" or "you should be". She then asked him to repeat his statement using the phrases we were working with such as "what do you consider" and "how would you" etc.

Different people 'get it' in different ways. Some need the mere gentlest of nudges, others need to be told straight and what may seem rude to you or I may simply be straight forward and clear to someone else. It is a case of having to try to judge each situation on its own merits and we won't always get it right but, as SunChariot says, the language we can learn to use, really helps to remove the accusatory from a statement.

A good article:
http://www.therapytoday.net/article/15/54/categories/

It's one of the most difficult areas of romantic relationships knowing how to set appropriate boundaries when you are buzzing with hormones, emotions and expectations. You don't want to come across as controlling but nor do you want to be seen as a push over.

One of the most difficult areas are those surrounding abuse survivors and we can all relate to this in our own way, however minor our problems in life may be in comparison. When we have a bad experience relating to other people it can really undermine healthy boundaries for years if not the rest of our lives unless we keep re-examining.