This series has been a long stretch on my journey to a fulfilled life. I got to teach what I needed to learn. The most valuable part of what I learned is, ‘There is a need to purposefully create boundaries to foster healthy personal and professional relationships’. I became clear about what I want and defined the point of “too far” with what others want from me. When friends would tell me their struggles, I kept thinking “Boundaries! You need boundaries! ” The more I blogged about boundaries, the more I started seeing how they work and the problems that happen when they’re violated. When we identify what is really important, we can protect it by “Drawing the Line.”
This series was based on the book, “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life.” The following are the bite-sized pieces of wisdom from each week that include 12 posts and 10 Boundary Laws.
Drawing the Line: Boundaries (#1): In learning about where my own line is, I can then give more respect to where other people draw their line. When I clearly communicate my boundary, I invite others to communicate their boundary.
Boundaries with my Self (#2): We have an “out of control soul” that violates boundaries that include: 1. Weight. 2. Money. 3. Time. 4. Task Completion. 5. Tongue
Boundaries at Work (#3): A lot of conflict can erupt when people are not clear about expectations and responsibilities. 1. Getting saddled with another person’s responsibilities. 2. Working too much overtime. 3. Misplaced priorities. 4. Difficult co-workers.
Boundaries with Kids (#4): Develop boundaries early in young children. Teach responsibility, delay gratification, and limit-setting to have a higher probability you surviving their adolescence. Parents’ job is to prepare children for adulthood. 1. Self-Protection. 2. Taking Responsibility for One’s Needs. “We must allow children to experience the painful consequences of their own irresponsibility and mistakes.”
Boundaries in Marriage (#5): “More marriages fail because of poor boundaries than any other reason.” Boundaries need to be defined. Limits need to be communicated. Consequences need to be clear in advance. We must take responsibility for our own feelings in order to have true intimacy. Setting limits is an act of love in the marriage. When we draw the line in marriage, we become very clear about
Boundaries with Family (#6): Lack of boundaries with family can inhibit our growth. 1. Preventing Independence: (aka “Failure to Launch”). 2. Second Fiddle: (aka “Daddy’s Princess”). 3. Perpetual Child Syndrome: (aka “Mommy’s Little Man”).
Boundaries with Resistors (#7): 1. Angry Reactions. 2. Guilt Messages. 3. Counter-Moves.
Boundaries with Money (#8): Option #1: Gift the money. If it is a one-time transaction, consider “giving” the money as a gift. Option #2: Deal or No Deal. If the loaning process is continuous, then more drastic measures are needed. “Help them change their life, not live in denial.”
Boundaries with Friends (#9): We need to redefine what we can offer our friendships so others can be clear about what to expect. 1. High-maintenance friends need to be put on notice. 2. Privacy in marriage needs to be protected. 3. Keep friendship opportunities open. 4. Abandoning friendships because life changes is unacceptable.
Boundary Problems (#10): 1. “My boundary problem is that I don’t have any.” 2. “I don’t need help, I can do it all myself.” 3. “When I need something, you better have it.”
Boundaries with God (#11): God respects our boundaries. God allows us to feel the consequences of our choices. Own our boundaries with God. Don’t be a Freedom-Hater.
Measuring Success with Boundaries (#12): Four ways to tell if you know how to “Draw the Line” when implementing boundaries. 1. You feel resentment. 2. You feel an attraction to boundary-lovers. 3. You feel responsible only for what is yours. 4. You feel confident in saying “no” to the little things.
10 Boundary Laws
Law #1 Sowing & Reaping (#13-a): Stop rescuing irresponsible people from the natural consequences of their bad choices.
Law #2 “Responsibility” (#13-b): Be responsible for myself and allow others to be responsible for themselves.
Law #3 “Power” (#13-c): Mend broken fences in my own relationships.
Law #4 “Respect” (#13-d): Respect others by minding my own boundaries.
Law #5 “Motivation” (#13-e): Freedom first, service second: Give out of gratitude for my blessings.
Law #6 “Evaluation” (#13-f): Take a second look on the effects my boundaries have on others.
Law #7 “Proactivity” (#13-g): Express our needs early.
Law #8 “Envy” (#13-h): Take action when I see the blessings of others that I want to enjoy too.
Law #9 “Activity” (#13-i): Be assertive in pressing against boundaries we’ve outgrown.
Law #10 “Exposure” (#13-j): Making boundaries unclear or inconsistent can make them hard to follow.
The conclusion of a blog series brings feelings of achievement, relief and reflection. There were two main goals for this series.
The first goal was to know what I’m responsible for. In the process, it became clear what I am not responsible for. I stopped myself from fixing other people’s problems. I didn’t own those problems. They were “not mine.” I can hold myself accountable for only the parts that are mine that I have control over. I felt relief when I implemented boundaries.
The second goal was to give more respect to other people’s boundaries. I started inquiring upfront about boundary locations so I know how to proceed. When boundaries are communicated, it invites others to protect what is important to you.
I love learning about personal growth. I am humbled by the opportunity to share insights. Wisdom served in bite-sized pieces is challenging to keep simple. Thank you for joining me on this stretch of “My Journey to a Fulfilled Life.”