Posts tagged ‘Boundaries’

January 28, 2009

More on Brakes and Boundaries….

by Rod Smith

Order through link on the right

Order through link on the right

Yesterday I wrote about sound and healthy boundaries and the need to have a good sense of when to “apply the brakes” in a relationship. In an attempt to win a person, to find some sense of security in a relationship, many men and women abandon themselves and give their all, without clearly seeing the other person has little or even no desire to be reciprocal. It is NOT a relationship if ONE person is doing all the work. I’d suggest you need a brake alignment, or a complete new set of brakes, if….

1. You are giving your trust, forgiveness, and respect to a relationship and there’s little or nothing of the same coming back to you.
2. You buy gifts, send cards, and are always on the lookout for what a particular person needs or wants, and yet you get little or nothing back.
3. You will readily volunteer your services and time, reschedule your own plans, and try to move heaven and earth for someone, but you get little or nothing back.
4. You work hard to keep a particular relationship going and the other person appears not to work at it at all.
5. You are emotionally involved at a deep level with someone who may well be totally unaware of your growing obsession.

November 18, 2008

Good boundaries, make good people…

by Rod Smith

dsc_0642Literal boundaries, like fences, walls, and lines on the road, surround us. Others are unseen, like the acknowledgment that a couple is a couple. People give couples “room” to be a couple even though there is no line or visual demarcation declaring them to be a couple. An internal boundary is “the line I draw” that will not allow me to steal, shoplift, or randomly hit people who annoy me.

Boundaries acknowledge necessary separateness. They assist with space and definition. They provide clarity, – all necessary components of individual growth, development, and the provision of wellness for the whole.

Boundaries keep us apart, and together, by keeping us healthily apart.

A very simple illustration: every time a vehicle is on the road a driver must obey (honor, acknowledge) many rules, and respect many boundaries or, of course, accidents occur, build up occurs, people are injured, and things are damaged. The same is true with people and within families, churches, businesses, and communities.

Even trees — and I know the analogy is not perfect! — if planted too close together, cannot grow to full height. If they are too far apart, their unified capacity to provide shade is limited. People who are too close, and people who are too far apart, cannot express their full potential.

People are unique (distinct, separate) and when that uniqueness is honored and respected, relationships flourish, people’s skills and talents come alive. Everyone’s enriched. When personal boundaries are ignored or violated, people suffer. Ways that people ignore the boundaries of others are through disrespect, through having false or unrealistic expectations of each other, and through assuming upon each other, or taking each other for granted.

Respecting an emotional, psychological, or physical boundary is the recognition of the simple truth that people (even married couples) remain unique individuals. Healthy relationships do not rob a person of his or her uniqueness, no matter how much love or “closeness” there is. Every person has his or her own body, his or her thoughts, his or her feelings, his or her dreams, desires, and separateness. When these distinctions are honored and respected, then the choice to be in a relationship and the choice to love is that much more profound.

Boundaries empower people to love with freedom. Unhealthy boundaries make (force, coerce) people to “love” from force, intimidation, domination, and manipulation.

Good boundaries help people to love each other, respect each other, to be closer to each other in ways that are helpful to everyone.

June 7, 2008

Neighbor’s wife makes advances to me….

by Rod Smith

“People often feel it’s acceptable for men and women to develop platonic, non-romantic, non-sexual relationships with people they are attracted to as a friend. I’m not saying that having a friend of the opposite sex is wrong, but it can be dangerous. We are creatures of nature and run toward those who bring us comfort, joy, love and satisfaction. I’ve seen all to often where a wife will slip out on her husband and he would never know. My neighbor’s wife, a beautiful woman had everything going for her, but she would always make these advances toward me, and was serious about them. Had I not been married and if I did not have spiritual values I would have given in because ultimately that is human nature. I would see her with him, she would be a different person rarely speaking to me, When he’s away she’s a flirt without letup.”

You have not “given in” to the advances of your neighbor because you have a clear understanding of who you. Your neighbor’s confusion doesn’t rub off on you. Your strong boundaries have saved you from unnecessary, and inevitably painful, conflict.