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Advice on boundary setting

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  slimone 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #48707

    allison123
    Participant

    Hi all,

    Has anyone read the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud? It comes from a Christian perspective. As someone who is not really religious, I was wondering if it would still be helpful to read.

    I’m not anywhere near ready to date again, but when I am ready, I want to have set boundaries about what I allow and will not allow in a relationship. I was hoping to get some advice on how to set and maintain boundaries. I realized that I had none in my last relationship (& even some past friendships), and I want to change that.

  • #48723

    slimone
    Participant

    Hi allison123,

    There are likely numerous books and resources on setting healthy boundaries, and I am sure online sources as well. They will be helpful, I am sure. But also think about how you can feel, inside yourself, when a boundary needs to be set and honored.

    This will be your greatest asset in meeting new friends and potential partners, co-workers, bosses.

    What I mean by this, and I am not so good at explaining this, is listening to your gut, the way you react (internally) to a statement, behavior, suggestion, etc.

    Does it make you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, confused, instantly nervous, anxious, scared, or puzzled. Then something is off. Regular and well-meaning people will very rarely make us feel off. Folks who are manipulating and scheming will always make us feel something is not quite right. Generally they will do it very soon upon first meeting or interacting with us.

    It is less about what they do, than how we feel. Protecting ourselves is less about figuring out what they did, and honoring what our body is telling us, through these slight, or more strong, responses we have.

    As you know if you spend too much time trying to figure out WHAT is going on, then you have spent too much time being manipulated, and are likely to end up falling for the con. So, it means not worrying too much about whether what you are feeling is ‘right’, based on ‘what you know’. It is about, FULL STOP, honoring your feelings.

    The boundary is simply saying an internal NO, and then stopping the whole interaction, and never looking back. Or, with a nice person, simply stating your truth (like: I would like to keep dating, but I am not ready for sex), and letting them respond. Then it means honoring your own boundary, until such time as you are ready to let it go (if ever).

    Boundaries are you loving you. You putting your well being, your life, your future as your first priority. You loving yourself enough to be authentic and committed to your own happiness and security. It means that no one takes the place of you. You are the decider. Not them.

    I hope this helps some. It worked/works for me.

    Slim

    • #48785

      allison123
      Participant

      Slimone,

      Thank you for your response! I feel like my biggest struggle is that I want to give people the benefit of the doubt and believe that most people are good at heart. But the truth is not everyone has the best intentions. My gut felt off from the beginning with my ex, and I ignored that.

      I did find myself standing up to an acquaintance who was not respecting my boundaries recently, and it felt great. I guess it just takes time and practice.

  • #48790

    slimone
    Participant

    allison123,

    But you are right! MOST people ARE good at heart. Only a small minority don’t have a connection to their emotions and empathy. That is why you won’t find yourself having to set boundaries left and right. But when you get that feeling that something is off, then you can just let yourself be guided to disengage.

    Setting boundaries will protect you when you need it. But it won’t alienate the whole world, because most people will be mostly kind, mostly caring, mostly thoughtful. They won’t trample your boundaries.

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