Archive for ‘Boundaries’

March 21, 2011

Boundary Lessons

by Dandy

Hello wonderful readers!  This past week I was going through some old journals and notebooks.  I found a particular entry that I’d like to share.  This was written during a time of great anxiety.  I was recognizing that I was being mistreated and taken advantage of.  I was angry and resentful.  Angry at those who had trespassed against me and angry at myself for not having a better understanding of my boundaries sooner.  Even though this entry has an undertone of anger to it, I remember feeling great empowerment at the time of writing this, because I was finally getting it.  It was my Eureka moment! 

When I started this blog it was my strong intention that there would never be anything negative in my posts.  So I hope you can see where I was reaching from to get to these discoveries.  It was a breakthrough for me and really, really positive things came from it. 

1.  No really does mean no.  I don’t have to  explain myself.  I don’t have to answer anyone’s questions.  I don’t even have to debate my position.  NO!

2.  I don’t have to make or keep peace with people who blatantly take advantage of me time and time again.

3. I don’t have to be helpful or accommodating to those who have a complete disregard to my feelings and well-being.

4.  I have a right to ask questions about the things that have a potential negative effect on my life, or could cause me great distress.  Even if people think I’m sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong or if they think I’m crossing their boundaries – I have a right to be protective of my own happiness and wellness.

5.  I can object to potentially hurtful things before I actually become hurt. 

6.  I don’t have to explain myself when somebody objects to my independence.

7.  I don’t always have to be the one who apologizes first.

8.  There’s a difference between having a sense of entitlement and rightfully sticking up for what is mine.

9.  Even though I don’t have a sense of entitlement doesn’t mean I’m less deserving of anyone else of good things.

10.  I am not obligated to help out people who choose not to have their shit together.

11.  I am not obligated to be sweet and nice to those who are intrusive and imposing.

12.  I don’t always have to be the one to “figure it out” for someone who falls short.

13.  I will no longer feel ashamed for having moments of insecurity.  It’s normal.

14.  I don’t have to apologize for not meeting someone elses expectations, especially when those expectations are so high it’s cruel. 

15.  I have a right to my anger.

If you know of anyone who struggles with boundaries I hope you pass this on to them.  What do you think of setting boundries and maintaining them?

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December 13, 2010

Do you get lost in a relationship?

by Dandy

It happens.  Even strong people can lose themselves in a relationship.  We can become so happily wrapped up in our partner that after a while we feel something is amiss within ourselves.  Where did we go?  When we are in love our partner gets high on the  list of priorities.  That’s ok.  They are supposed to be on that list.  Their time schedule, their hobbies and interests, their priorities, it all becomes our own priorities.  It’s when we get lost in them we become unbalanced.  How do we hold onto our selves and have a healthy relationship?

To have a healthy relationship you must be a healthy person.  A symbiotic relationship is an unhealthy one.  One person is needy and dependent.  One person has power over the other.  The result of this is the loss of integrity of both partners.  A healthy relationship is one where there is maturity, peace, and stability.  Both individuals have plenty of room to be themselves and there is genuine acceptance.  In a symbiotic relationship one partner is driven by fear that the other will leave.  In a healthy relationship, each individual is free to take up room in the others life and each person has balance in their own life.  A person will choose rather than be driven to give love to the other partner. 

  We have all seen negative, sick, grossly unhealthy relationships.  Many of us don’t even have much of an idea of what a healthy relationship even is.  In a healthy relationship we give our love freely, with no conditions and expectations.  Many of us have learned through our observances of other relationships, that to give love means to “give up” or “give away”.  In essence creating a deficit in our own selves.  We also learn to give only as much as we expect to receive, so that we don’t feel cheated by giving more.  In a healthy relationship, giving is very different from these types of messages we have received.

In a symbiotic relationship one partner gives up a significant part of themselves in order to keep the peace.  This unhealthy individual is ruled by a fear of being alone and they will give away parts of themselves for the sake of staying in the relationship.  So while short-term conflict is avoided, the status-quo will be maintained.  In the long run the price paid is high.  The price is the precious loss of self.  If one partner sacrifices themself too much then the other partner has more power and control over the entire relationship.  When there is an unbalance of power the relationship will feel very unsatisfying for both individuals.  The price paid for not being alone is to give up who and what they are, their wants and needs. For not wanting to be alone the individual will ultimately feel alone. 

To have a healthy relationship we have to love ourselves.  To give up ourselves or shrink it down to make room for the other partner, will haunt us.  We will feel resentment, regret, and anger.  Therefore, the relationship will deteriorate.  We all need relationships, but we also need to be fulfilled within ourselves.  When we give up pieces of ourselves for the sake of a relationship we do so at the cost of our identity and personal growth.

Our lives should never totally change when we enter into a relationship.  We have to maintain our individuality and personal goals.  We need to maintain and continue to develop our friendships, hobbies, careers, and interests that we had before we met our partner.  If we give these up, we give up our uniqueness.  Maintaining our individuality will enable us and our partner to build a healthy relationship.  We will also be more interesting for our partner.  They will want to stay with us.

Symbiotic relationships fail in many ways because they are unsatisfactory.  When we enter a relationship and give up all the wonderful things that make us who we are we aren’t giving ourselves the love we need.  We have to love and respect ourselves first before we can give love to another.  The loss of self, identity, authenticity, whatever you wish to call it is a profoundly sad loss.  It is devastating.

We also must not confuse identity and individuality with flexibility.  Identity is about all the great things that make us who we are.  flexibility and compromise are crucial to a healthy relationship and will always be necessary in any relationship.  To compromise we have to be committed to honest communication of our feelings and needs at all times.

Neither you or your partner should give up what makes you unique and the special person you both are.  It’s up to you and your partner to create and maintain a balance.  Healthy boundaries will accomplish this along with loving ourselves.

November 2, 2010

Boundaries for good health

by Dandy

There are great advantages to having boundaries.  We need to have them with everyone and everything.  Having boundaries makes it difficult or even impossible for us to be mistreated, taken advantage of, walked on, and abused.  Having boundaries shows that we respect ourselves and place great value on our self-worth.

When we have boundaries, we aren’t overly accommodating.  We can recognize when something doesn’t feel right, or when something feels wrong.  We know the point of when to say ENOUGH.  People with boundaries can take appropriate action when needed.

When we have established our boundaries we get along better with friends, co-worker, neighbors, relatives, and partners.  We discover what our values are and what our value is.  It’s about knowing what we are willing to accept and what we aren’t and we commit ourselves to it.  That way when people cross our boundaries (and unfortunately some will) we become empowered with the signal that something isn’t right and that action needs to be taken. 

When we do not accept the crossing of our boundaries, we give attention to our basic gut instinct that keeps us safe, physically and emotionally.  In keeping our boundaries strong we say no to those whose behaviour is unacceptable and inappropriate.  We are saying we value ourselves.

Having boundaries is one of the most healthy things we can do for ourselves.  Some of the most critical mistakes I’ve made in my own life have been when I allowed my boundaries to be crossed and I suffered needlessly for it.  Having boundaries doesn’t turn us into hard s.o.b.’s.  It doesn’t mean we aren’t flexible to people and life challenges.

If you need a place to start in figuring out your boundaries, look at past relationships, professional and personal.  Look at what did and didn’t work.  In doing this you can start to define what you can put up with and what you cannot.  All relationships must have deal breakers.  Write them down, put it up where you can review it often and adjust yourself to your new set of values.  This is the road to self-esteem, healthy relationships, and self-worth.

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