Boundaries Cut Two Ways

There are six sources of influence either working for or against you. One of these six dimensions is called Social Motivation. Simply stated, there are people in your life that influence your behavior, positively or negatively. For those that aren’t good for you, then you need to learn to set boundaries with them. Not for their sake, but yours.

These boundaries come at a cost, but so does not having them. The choice is yours.

Accept that the people in your life are who they are. You’re not going to change them. Only they can decide to do that.

You must set boundaries that work for you. You reason to set them is so you can have the life you want, not so you can have the other person you want. Setting boundaries is about taking care of yourself not manipulating someone else into changing.

For example, let’s say you’re struggling with your relationship with your mother. Time with her is filled with drama. It leaves you feeling manipulated, coerced and attacked. Setting a boundary means you may decide to limit contact to limit your exposure. If you choose to share this with her, then you should be honest. “Mom, I don’t enjoy your unsolicited feedback about my life. I’ve asked you many times to stop, but you don’t honor my request. I love you and want you in my life, but I will only be coming over for Sunday family gatherings from now on. I’d like to spend more time with you, but won’t be doing it as long as that continues.”

You can apply this straightforward boundary to any unhealthy relationship, personal or professional. Yes, it’s a tough decision and you must live with the pros and cons, but it’s the only way to keep your sanity and live the life you deserve.

If you don’t want this type of boundary, then take responsibility for your choice to continue to let the other person affect you the way they do. Boundaries cut two ways. They help you distance yourself from things you don’t want, but they also may cost you some things you do want.

Published by Marc Casciani

Bridging brothers & sisters to what's important. Author of Craft Your Calling. Host of the Neighborly Love podcast.

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