Whether at work or at home,good communication is important when you are setting healthy boundaries with others.This technique will assist you in being clear when expressing what you want.
When… (describe the behavior)
I feel…(describe your feelings)
I want…( state what you want)
- When you come home from work you disappear into your office downstairs.
I feel ignored and unloved.
I want you to ask me about my day.
2. When I have an urgent deadline
I feel pressured
I want you to become more sensitive about this by not adding more to my already full workload.
Note: If you are expecting total cooperation when you first set up a new boundary,think again. You may be setting yourself up for a major disappointment. Let’s face it,we know it takes time for people to adjust to a new situation. Some people are really ticked off when their brand new boundary is ignored,but unless the situation is absolutely intolerable,consider giving the other person a little wriggle room. Old habits die hard when it comes to adults. And teenager,some have selected hearing. Often they don’t remember what you said yesterday.
Boundaries are to protect lives not to limit pleasures.Edwin Louis Cole
Obtaining agreement for a new boundary is a form of negotiation. To maintain healthy integral relationships,adults need to regularly negotiate boundaries between themselves. Focus on making it a win-win.One thing you don’t want to do is isolate your family and friends by being too rigid. Like the willow tree,you need to be flexible. Getting everything you want some of the time may be sufficient. Check your position by asking these two questions:
- How important is this?
- How far do I want to take it?
Consequences are often the only way we can get cooperation and have our needs met. My nephew was late again. Infact ,it was well past his curfew. Being a typical aunt,I was sleeping with one ear open,listening for his safe return. By the time he noisily entered the house in wee hours,I was tired and angry. ” You are grounded for a month!” I yelled.
Be careful what you set up. That consequence didn’t affect him nearly as much as it affected me. Having a crancky,moody,teenager in my space for thirty-one long days was nearly unbearable.
When you set consequences,make sure that you are willing to enforce them. Be certain the impact on the other peeson is greater than on you. Don’t threaten to leave a relationship if you’re not ready to do so. Don’t say you ‘ll quit your job if that isn’t your intention. Making hollow threats can backfire on you later. Think through your consequences first,don’t make them in the heat of the moment. Consequences often take creativity. Remember,your goal is to change the behavior. If you aren’t prepared to follow through,the other person will not be motivated to change. The secret is in the follow through.
When people set boundaries with you,it’s their attempt to continue the relationship with you not an attempt to hurt you.Elizabeth Earnshaw