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The Six Essential Personal Boundaries

As humans, we all need both connection and autonomy. Balancing our needs for both is a lifelong practice. The challenge is like a tide that rises and falls.

The typical wrestling to achieve balance and the resulting lean in the direction of connection over autonomy or vice versa is distinguishable from having an extreme emphasis on either connection or autonomy. The later can leave us lonely or living a life in chaos. To avoid life at either extreme, we can engage in the daily practice of setting boundaries.

 

What is meant by Personal Boundaries?

Personal boundaries are the limits and rules we set for ourselves with others.

Unhealthy Boundaries are personal boundaries that are too rigid or too porous.

Rigid or Porous Boundaries

A symptom of overly porous boundaries is codependency. Codependency involves the loss of self and caring and doing for others even at the expense of self. The other boundary extreme is to have rigid boundaries, which is to be self-isolating and...

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Emotional Maturity as a Foundation for Honesty and Intimacy

Kaileen shared,

"I am a fighter. I'm an only child. My room was always very quiet. Leaving my room, I did a lot of watching and observing. I observed my parents either arguing or ignoring. My father was consistently the parent with the power. I wanted to defuse their fiery and alternately icy cold encounters.  I wanted their conflict to stop so I did all that I could to please my parents and be the perfect daughter."

As children, we lack the power to influence our environment.

We want the bad things taking place around us to stop. We want to make things better. Kaileen's power stopped at the border of what she could draw attention to or draw attention away from.

Marvin shared that as a teenager he fought with his parents at every turn. His way of protecting himself was to fight for what he believed was right or to prove that he was right and that his parents were wrong.

Marvin's mother was emotionally manipulative and engaged in gaslighting. Gaslighting is to manipulate...

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The Essential Ingredient for Healthy Relationships

 Rebuilding relationships begins with

rebuilding the relationship we have with ourselves.

Exploring and gaining understanding of our internal world, the relationship we have with ourselves and the contexts in which we experience conflict can help us to expand all of our relationships. Our internal world includes the understanding of how we perceive conflict, which influences the way conflict shows up in our relationships.
 

The most overlooked yet essential ingredient for a healthy relationship is to understand your own internal experience of conflict.

We begin our exploration of our internal experience of conflict by looking at the way conflict appeared in our family system as we were growing up.

We each grew up in a unique family system. Our family system is made up of the people who played a major part in our lives growing up. For some of you, your family system may be your mother and father and you. If your parents divorced and remarried, you may have two family...

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Don't Compromse Who You Are

How have you been feeling?
 
If a relationship is leaving you feeling stressed or unsure, it may be because you feel you have to compromise on your values or give up some of what you feel makes you who you are at your core.
 
If you grew up in a family where your needs were seen as unimportant and you were asked to suppress those needs in order to please others, you may relate to what it is like to feel you need to be a people pleaser.
 
Of course, all relationships require some compromise but it is important to look inward to see if you are compromising on a value that is too important for you to release.
 
For example, if you value autonomy but have been giving up that autonomy in order to help another feel they are more in control you may be compromising on this important value of autonomy.  If you are making yourself uncomfortable so that other can feel more comfortable, that may be the cause of stress or uncertainty.
 
For me, it...
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