choosingchange works with you on a systems based theory to help you establish effective ways of relating. Boundaries are one of the most important aspects of this system.
Boundaries and how we utilise them inform our sense of self our sense of being, belonging, where-I-end-and-you-begin. They help us make sense of the the world and where we fit in.
Our connections with each other are determined by the boundaries we set between us: how independent we are, how closely we rely on “others” for our sense of self.
Just as we don’t like people taking over our land, letting trees overhang our property and cause shade or dropping leaves, we also don’t like people doing that to our sense of being or sense of place/space.
Imposing our ideas or presence on someone else often causes anger and frustration… often without both people knowing why… just sense of encroachment.
You determine your existence…
Clearly asking for what you want is the core to healthy boundaries. This sets you up for healthy relationships. Being able to determine what you want and what you don’t want is the key to setting your personal boundaries in your relationships.
When the other person is clear what the consequences are if you do not get what we are asking for, they have the choice to agree or… negotiate. Try to be willing to continuously negotiate for the things you want, the behaviour you expect from our friends, lover and colleagues.
Allowing ourselves to determine how we are treated is essential for us to be less dependant on other people’s will. What happens if people continue to treat you badly?
we don’t always get what we want…
You have the choice to renegotiate, leave ( the relationships, job, restaurant, flat…), but the important point here is that you choose… you may not end up with exactly what you want but my guess is you will be happier having made your own decision —
I choose to stay in this job, even though I don’t get the money I think I deserve, my boss doesn’t respect me, I am not happy on a daily basis… but it is my decision and now I go home at the end of the day knowing it is always my choice to continue. I can not blame my boss or my lack of education for keeping me there and I am thinking about positive ways to make changes… changes of my own volition.
The trouble with email SMS and telephone conversations
One boundary many people forget to enforce is the “Let’s not talk about these important issues over the phone or by text or email…”
It is very easy to get the wrong handle on things with text messages or even speaking on the phone. Non-verbal information exchanged during conversations is regarded to be more important than the words spoken.
In many cases, up to seventy-five percent of the meanings we are trying to give our friends is through sideways glances, nodding, minute movements of our eyes, our arm and hand movements, the way we look at someone, feet shuffling… all these are added on information for the person who will interpret our meanings more fully.
Imagine the difficulty of telling our loved ones the most important things in our lives… especially if there is tension and distrust present anyway.
I say, give away the text and phone conversations, except for brief information conversations defining where we are meeting and what time, and sometimes what to wear. Save the big conversations to face-to-face meetings.