Boundaries. What Are They?

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Varja

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2011, 06:23:03 PM »
In a sense, yes, I'd agree that they help define personal limits. In the situation you've shared, have you ever considered handling it this way?

Explaining your position, or setting your boundary:

'When you gossip, it makes me very uncomfortable.'

Defining the consequences of another boundary violation:

'If this gossip continues, then I will have to leave.'

Should the person repeat the same behavior, then simply get up and leave.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 05:40:52 PM by Spring Butterfly »
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

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survivor

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2011, 07:56:25 AM »

I seem to be able to set & keep boundaries with everyone but my adult children. I feel totally enmeshed in them & have gone non-contact with one of my sons because I was sick of giving & getting nothing back.

I've just been reading some of the links in this thread & I have figured out I need to set some new boundaries with my daughter as weve just re-established contact after a huge blowup. Im feeling vulnerable already so i need to decide what Im willing to tolerate in order to have a relationship with her, & what Im not. Or I'll blow up again :blowup:
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 08:49:03 AM by survivor »

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Navaho

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2011, 09:01:08 AM »
I agree survivor - without boundaries that we maintain we can easily lose control of ourselves.  Boundaries are really for us to be able to function in healthy and safe ways.  They are about us and not about anyone else.  So good idea and hope this helps in maintaining a relationship with your grown children. :yeahthat:

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Klarity Belle

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2011, 09:54:02 AM »
I have figured out I need to set some new boundaries with my daughter as weve just re-established contact after a huge blowup. Im feeling vulnerable already so i need to decide what Im willing to tolerate in order to have a relationship with her, & what Im not. Or I'll blow up again :applause:

This is a huge step forward for yourself Survivor, just being aware of these things is a big part of it, it shows that you are noticing that you are giving and it is not being reciprocated, your needs for consideration and respect in these relationships are not being met. It takes courage to set these boundaries with our children but it pays off in the end - it will give your daughter reason and time to reflect too even if her initial reactions are difficult.  Stick to your boundaries/consequences (((Survivor)))
"Your task is not to seek love, but to seek and find all the barriers you have built against it." ~ Rumi

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survivor

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2011, 02:52:09 PM »
Thanks for your encouragement Navaho & Klarity Belle,
                                                                         I've found an awesome website that is a recovery from codependence site. I'm just one big codependant mess really.
  I"d slipped so far back into my disease over the last 4 years that I'd forgotten I was a codependant.   I've been trying to stop rescuing my kids & set boundaries but the core problem was my codependency-its back & out of control ! :elephant:
  Ive been so desparate to get rid of that disturbed feeling that Ive been lashing out,spinning out & freaking out all over the place :whistling: It definitely got rid of people. :sad2:
I've just about figured out what Im going to say to her,hopefully she wont just hear :blahblahblah:
This is the website,
                                  http://www.joy2meu.com/Codependence1.html

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moglow

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2011, 05:22:14 PM »
To get back to a general boundary discussion ...

I wonder if anyone's able to really explain the difference between boundaries and ultimatums.  I realize a boundary is mine - I decide what is or is not acceptable and I enforce that boundary with consequences if/when necessary.  How is that different from an ultimatum, i.e. "do what I say or I will xyz"?

“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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gary

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2011, 05:40:59 PM »
Hummmmm.....not much difference it doesn't seem.

Unless an ultimatum is something you declare when you have been weak with your boundaries 8)

" A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.

Believe in yourself ".


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Bloshka

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2011, 07:12:56 PM »
Boundaries are the limits of your person and well-being.   You (and everyone else) has the right to feel respected, valued and safe.  If you don't feel those things, then a boundary has been crossed.

For example: If a person calls you fat then you won't feel respected or valued.  They have crossed a boundary in that they've disrespected and insulted you.

There are various ways to address the crossing of boundaries.   You can walk away.  You can say "I don't like it when you call me fat, I feel bad."    You can say "Did you actually just call me fat?"

An ultimatum, per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is a final proposition, condition or demand; especially one whose rejection will end negotiations and cause a resort to force or direct action.

Examples:
If you call me fat again, I won't speak to you.   (This one seems bumbling, but oh well....)
If this person calls me fat again, I will stay away from them.  (Better course of action.)
If you continue to have a Communist government, we will continue the embargo against your country. (Cuba)
If you shout at me, I will have to leave the room.  We need a time-out.




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moglow

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2011, 09:12:44 PM »
Kind of a thin gray line there, isn't it?  "I don't like it when you abc; if you do it again I will xyz."  Boundary?  Ultimatum?  We're taught to voice our limits (boundaries) so it does somewhat follow that our consequences for crossing those boundaries are ... ultimatums.  I can see where people get confused - I think I just confused myself.

“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Bloshka

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2011, 04:06:02 AM »
The ultimatum is the proposition that you will do XYZ if a person does ABC.

The entire propositions below are ultimatums:

— If you [cross my boundary], I will [take a certain action].
— If you shout, I will leave the room.
— If you invade my country, I will defend it and attack you.
— If you don't pay me by Friday, I will break your kneecaps.
— If you dump subsidized grain in my area of the world, I will take you to the WTO court.
— If you break the law, this society will try to prosecute and punish you.
— If you break the vow of fidelity, I will divorce you.

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Aames

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2011, 10:54:41 AM »
It can be tricky, trying to discern the difference.    But there is a difference:

from the site:  Life & Therapy:   http://elyntromey.com/therapyblog/?p=206     This article uses chosen / romantic relationships as the model, but the definition holds true across all relationships:

  A good boundary is the result of knowing yourself and having standards for how you want to be treated in relationship.  An ultimatum is the result of not setting boundaries to begin with; you find yourself unhappy with how you are being treated and you are focus on changing your partner’s behavior.  The crucial difference is that boundaries come from a solid place inside of you, whereas an ultimatum comes from a wish about how things could be.  It takes self-esteem to set a boundary, whereas most ultimatums come from a sense of desperation.


In many cases, the ultimatum is a poor substitute for a good boundary.  You may have been in a relationship in which you didn’t set boundaries to begin with, and you may wish you did.  Perhaps you wanted to say something early on, but didn’t because you were afraid of losing that person.  Now you’ve been together for a while, and you realize you want to be treated differently.  Instead of looking at the part you played in setting up the standards of your relationship, you decide that your partner needs to change their behavior, so you give them an ultimatum.  You are now focused on your partner’s behavior rather than your own, and this takes you away from yourself.  The more focus you put on getting your partner to change, the less you are able to figure out what your own boundaries are.  You may threaten your partner with dire consequences if they don’t change, but those consequences are somewhere in the future, dependent on something your partner may or may not do.

Instead of attempting to change your partner by making threats, look inside and see just what it is you really want in a relationship.  Rather than focusing on your partner’s potential, look at what is right in front of you.  What have you been settling for right here and now, in the hopes that something will change?  How long have you been settling for it?  Don’t expect your partner to change their behavior in order for you to decide what to do with the relationship.



Here's another on why Ultimatims rarely work:

  http://elyntromey.com/therapyblog/?p=100

Good stuff.
"Don't ever offer up facts for consideration where small minds and angry villagers are concerned. They don't like having their myths busted or their war-parties interrupted."

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moglow

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2011, 01:59:11 PM »
Quote
A good boundary is the result of knowing yourself and having standards for how you want to be treated in relationship.  An ultimatum is the result of not setting boundaries to begin with; you find yourself unhappy with how you are being treated and you are focus on changing your partner’s behavior.  The crucial difference is that boundaries come from a solid place inside of you, whereas an ultimatum comes from a wish about how things could be.  It takes self-esteem to set a boundary, whereas most ultimatums come from a sense of desperation.

Thanks, A!  That's what I needed to clarify it in my own mind - I know instinctively the difference between the two, but putting it into words wasn't happening for me.  Looks like I wasn't alone on that one.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 02:00:48 PM by MoGlow »
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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oneflewover

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2011, 02:05:35 PM »
Kind of a thin gray line there, isn't it?  "I don't like it when you abc; if you do it again I will xyz."  Boundary?  Ultimatum?  We're taught to voice our limits (boundaries) so it does somewhat follow that our consequences for crossing those boundaries are ... ultimatums.  I can see where people get confused - I think I just confused myself.

Hi Mo!  It can be confusing!  But I see it as this way:
 
Boundaries are internal markers we set for ourselves when it comes to the external effects of others.  

Ultimatums are external markers we set for others when it comes to the internal effects it can have on ourselves.

Example:

Boundary:  Because he drinking, it is best that I leave. (my decision based on his behavior)

Ultimatum: If you continue to drink, I will leave. (my request for him to alter his behavior with a consequence if he decides not to)

But to me, they are both worthy tools in our ability to control how we, not them, cope and deal with something.  
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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Varja

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2011, 05:32:33 PM »
Setting boundaries isn't a more sophisticated way of manipulation - although some people will say they are setting boundaries, when in fact they are attempting to manipulate. The difference between setting a boundary in a healthy way and manipulating is, when we set a boundary we let go of the outcome. When we issue an ultimatum - we EXPECT an outcome, and are still attached to it.



“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

~ Bodhipaksa Krishnamurti

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Hopeful at last

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2011, 07:27:03 PM »
Thanks for posting this one and for all the info, everybody!!!   :tongue2: I've been sitting here making notes and flow charts....  the part about an ultimatum coming from a place of low self-esteem and no boundaries having been set in the first place makes perfect sense.  But I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it all......I SERIOUSLY need to work on this so I want to get it right!!!!
One question:
If the relationship is a looooong standing one (Unchosen) with someone and is one in which no boundaries were set right at the beginning, am I understanding this correctly...if you follow the steps, (outlining your boundaries, telling them what YOU will do if they are breached) and the other person keeps breaching them, then is the only recourse to stay away from the person, so long as you keep the "door open" so to speak?  And isn't that kind of an ultimatum still????? 
ex/  I won't be spoken to disrespectfully.  I will not continue this conversation if you continue to speak to me disrespectfully.
And then if they continue speaking disrespectfully, then you leave, ***as long as you have let them know that you welcome a conversation another time, so long as they speak to you respectfully.  And then you just stay away until they can speak to you respectfully??? 
 :oh: 



 

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Aames

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2011, 08:13:40 PM »
There is no requrement that you keep the door open to future contact.   You certainly may keep the door open if that is your wish, however -  If you feel you have reached your limit, and are of a mind to close the door on that relationship once and for all, it is certainly your perrogative.   The only requirement is that you understand you are exercising your bounaries (and their consequences) as a means of protecting yourself, and not as a means of punnishing the other person. 
"Don't ever offer up facts for consideration where small minds and angry villagers are concerned. They don't like having their myths busted or their war-parties interrupted."

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Hopeful at last

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2011, 06:19:03 PM »
Thanks Aames, that makes sense about using the boundaries to protect myself and not to punish the other person.  At this time I want to keep the door slightly ajar.......although that could change in the future.  What I'm having trouble with is whether the difference between a boundary and an ultimatum is just in the way it's worded, using "I" rather than "you" (in addition to the distinction you made)????  Maybe I'm just not getting it!!!!  :blink: 

What I'm having the most difficulty with is trying to maintain a relationship with my other family members, while at the same time setting up some boundaries with my Mom.  I'm feeling a lot of anxst right now because me talking less or sometimes not talking at all with my Mom (sometimes her giving me the silent treatment to try and punish me for the boundaries I'm setting) is creating friction with the other family members.  I've explained to my Dad that I still care about Mom and that I just told Mom that I can't keep discussing my medical conditions with her at great length and that I will talk to her happily about other topics- to give one example of a boundary I've put in place) 
I know that I can't be responsible for what they are feeling/thinking and I know that I am just protecting myself......maybe this is what is meant by not being attached to a certain outcome???? 
It's starting to look like the cost of protecting myself is the loss of a relationship with my brother, my Dad, my cousin, and some other close friends of the family.  Is this something that everybody goes through when they are establishing boundaries?  Am I just suffering from the "I want people to like me" blues???? 


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gary

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2011, 06:59:05 PM »
Quote
Am I just suffering from the "I want people to like me" blues????
 


They may not like us for setting boundries but they may wind up respecting us but never admit it.
" A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.

Believe in yourself ".


Josh S hipp

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http://gawalters.com/blog/

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Jillian

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2011, 09:06:02 PM »
Quote
Am I just suffering from the "I want people to like me" blues????
 


They may not like us for setting boundries but they may wind up respecting us but never admit it.


I think, too, that for those of us raised by PD parents, it's hard to recognize the difference between people "liking" us and people treating us well.

I'm still learning this. When people like me, or show interest in me, I turn to butter. I'll even let them treat me badly. Because my mom "liked" me sometimes, and not others, and being treated well was dependent on whether she liked me. (My dad, too, in many ways.)

But now I'm seeing, slowly, that she can dislike me all she wants (or like me) but what's important is that she treats me and my children well. And slowly.. I'm starting to see that the same is true for non-parental relationships.

I really, really want people to like me, though. That has to come from the early childhood training - people must like me before they will treat me well. Or, he doesn't treat me well, if I could get him to like me, he'd treat me better. Or, he doesn't like me, it must mean my boundaries are "bad." All that... from mixing the need to be liked and accepted with the need to be treated well.

I'm sure there's more to the whole "I want people to like me" business. But in regard to setting boundaries, I think mashing together the needs for being liked and being well-treated is pretty common.

Might be the same for you, too?

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Hopeful at last

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2011, 08:01:36 PM »
Hi Jillian,

I think, too, that for those of us raised by PD parents, it's hard to recognize the difference between people "liking" us and people treating us well.

BIG TIME!!!  It's very true for me too. 

When people like me, or show interest in me, I turn to butter. I'll even let them treat me badly. Because my mom "liked" me sometimes, and not others, and being treated well was dependent on whether she liked me. (My dad, too, in many ways.)

I really, really want people to like me, though. That has to come from the early childhood training - people must like me before they will treat me well. Or, he doesn't treat me well, if I could get him to like me, he'd treat me better. Or, he doesn't like me, it must mean my boundaries are "bad."


I totally know what you mean!  When someone treats me badly, I blame myself, wondering what signals I'm giving off that people pick up on that let them think I am a pushover ("bad boundaries"), or that I am just flawed because even my own family didn't like me, so how can other people?......trying desperately to make them like me so that they will be "nice" to me, 
Even though I don't have a lot of friends (another issue, but probably related tho') I haven't been so selective and have also allowed my "friends" to treat me quite badly, to say things to me that were unkind, and accepting that they will just call me when they need something or when they have nothing better to do.  One of them even tells me when I call that she doesn't want to waste her cell minutes and tells me to call her on the weekend, even though when we have been out, she's constantly talking to other people on the phone when it was just the 2 of us there!   :-\ 
I've been quite isolated lately too because of my health and can't socialize much or do activities that are good ways to meet people and so maybe I am coming across as needy too????  :wacko: :blush: 

But now I'm seeing, slowly, that she can dislike me all she wants (or like me) but what's important is that she treats me and my children well. And slowly.. I'm starting to see that the same is true for non-parental relationships.
You are so right, it's that expectation of being treated well that we need to focus on.  I am realizing that in the past my "filters" weren't functioning....that people could become my friend just because they seemed to like me (Yay!!!!!) or wanted to spend time with me (yay!!!!  I mustn't be as bad as my parents said!!!)
Can you relate to that too?

It's tough sometimes to sort it all out, but I think just the fact that we are coming to some of these realizations about ourselves and where they likely stem from, we are well on our way!!!   :tongue2:
I'm really hoping that I get to the point where I don't care if someone likes me, just as long as they treat me well AND to the point where I am confident that people WILL like me, because I am a likeable person. 

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts Jillian.  Here's to true friends and to good self-esteem protected by solid boundaries!!!
Take care!  :bighug:
H.