When I was a kid, our family home was on a beautiful wooded lot in the Orem river bottoms. It was really quite idyllic with a stream running across the front, tall Cottonwoods trees and a gorgeous hill behind. It felt like the perfect place for our family and pets.
Our next door neighbors were our cousins and we spent hours roaming the hill and playing all kinds of outdoor games on our huge combined yard… you see, there was no fence dividing our properties.
As kids, we thought this was the perfect setup, but for our parents, not so much. Tempers were fueled when the dog made a mess on the wrong lawn, or when it someone accidentally put a hole in the trampoline, or perhaps when one yard wasn’t cared for as well as the other…
People say good fences make good neighbors, and the same could be said for having boundaries in relationships.
SETTING PROPER BOUNDARIES CAN ACTUALLY CREATE MORE LOVE IN A RELATIONSHIP.
A proper boundary establishes where one person ends and the other begins. It holds us accountable for managing ourselves as adults.
Without setting proper boundaries, we succumb to feelings of resentment because we feel we’ve had to compromise our values.
A proper boundary is a request, made from love, that allows you to live in harmony with your own principles.
It also comes with a reasonable consequence that you need to be willing to enforce 100% of the time.
What a boundary is NOT, is a way to manipulate or threaten, and it is never made in anger or delivered as an ultimatum.
It looks something like this:
“I want to communicate with you and work out our issues. If you raise your voice or yell, I will choose to leave the communication.”
“You can choose to smoke, but I prefer not to be around smoke. If you smoke that is fine, but I will choose not to be around you.”
Your boundary is about you and how you will respond.
The other person is allowed to make their own decisions and manage their own actions.
Just like a good fences keep us from feeling resentful about the neighbor’s dog, good boundaries keep us from feeling resentful about someone else’s behavior.
Need help with setting some boundaries of your own? Work with me.