The Problem with “Boundaries”

The term “boundaries” is quite problematic. Language is very powerful and creates our reality.

First of all, when we use the term “boundaries,” it puts us in the position of victim and the other person as a villain.

Second, it implies that we need to have a barrier against others. This impedes the human need for connection and intimacy.

If we are constantly on the defense, we are expecting others to do us wrong, which solidifies an atmosphere of antagonistic relationships, which have become status quo.

A more uplifting approach is to take care of oneself. What that means is that people know well ahead of any mishap what your expectations or needs are. When we act in a way that is full of integrity from the onset, we set others up to win because they have all of the necessary information.

How that can appear is something like this:

“I would love to pick you up on the way. However, I need you to be on time, otherwise, I will have to leave without you.”

This simple statement, gives yourself the opportunity to serve, but on clear terms. The person can check in with himself and determine whether or not they can agree to the terms.

You may ask, “But what if they agree to the terms in word but not in deed? They agreed but were still late.”

If they are late, you get to make good on your agreement and leave. There are no surprises.

This very simple principle can be applied to all sorts of situations, even ones with higher stakes like close friends and family. Those who love you will appreciate having more information and an easier time of knowing where you stand.

Your Assignment: Is there someone in your inner circle who abuses one of your unwritten “rules” but doesn’t know it? If you are harboring some resentment, can you lovingly tell them, “I don’t think that you know this about me but, I need…” and then release your expectations of them, knowing that they will do the best they can in this time and space. Can you allow them to do what they need to do but also take care of yourself in the process?

Comments

One Response to “The Problem with “Boundaries””
  1. stephanie a. says:

    i love this. It’s a beautiful and concise explanation of what I’ve tried to explain to people. Boundaries are things that we impose on others. They are intentions that we set internally. Thank you for sharing, Sarah.

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