Home > Opinions > Dr. Grady teaches how to R-E-S-P-E-C-T boundaries

Dr. Grady teaches how to R-E-S-P-E-C-T boundaries

October 1, 2010

By Dr. Lynne Grady, Guest Writer

Photo by Jacob Stone

What kind of behaviors will you tolerate and what limits do you set on the things you’re willing to do?

Boundaries are all about personal safety and well-being.  Before you can set boundaries, you must recognize what they are and where they need to be drawn.

Some people are unclear just where they end and another person begins.  Some don’t have a sense for what’s “their stuff” as opposed to “someone else’s stuff,” which results in not only taking an inordinate sense of responsibility for another’s behavior, but also an inability to recognize where their personal power ends.

Our true power is over the execution of our own free will, the power of choosing our own actions.  We do not have power over outcomes, other’s behaviors or situations.

We have the power over the decisions we make in response to those things.

Personal responsibility is exercising that power in our own best interest.  Others do not have power over us either.  They don’t “make” us angry, they present us with challenges and we make the decision about how to respond.

When we respond in a way that we think is “right” and it does not lead to the outcome we desire, we set ourselves up to feel angry, helpless, and even depressed.

For one to really empower themselves in their lives and relationships, one must set limits, respect boundaries,   not excuse inappropriate behavior, communicate directly, make one’s needs known and choose appropriate responses to the situations that threaten those needs.

All this can be achieved without anger, hostility or resentment.   It’s a matter of self-care, personal responsibility and not assuming responsibility for other’s decisions.

Taking responsibility for setting our own boundaries and limits is fundamental to overcoming unhealthy dependence.  When we stop “needing” so much, we are able to restrict both the lengths we are willing to go to try to get what we want, and the behaviors we are willing to tolerate.When we empower ourselves we enable ourselves to seek and maintain healthy relationships that have the potential to be mutually supportive, authentic, deep and lasting.

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