Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
Boundaries help us protect, take care of, and respect ourselves and others, but it's not always easy to recognize, express or enforce our boundaries. This group is about what boundaries are - discussions about all things related to boundaries.
Latest Activity: Jun 1, 2015
The purpose of having boundaries is to protect and take care of ourselves. It means being able to tell people when they are acting in ways that aren't acceptable to us, but in a way that is respectful and loving at the same time. Many of us confuse caring with being a doormat, saying "Yes," when we want to say "No," but feeling guilty or "unchristian," if we decline to help, give or participate in things. Just because we're Christians we're not doormats. There's a difference between being a servant and being abused.
Boundaries are NOT about controlling, manipulating or influencing another person's actions, beliefs, lifestyle or life. Boundaries are the rules and guidelines we establish for ourselves. For instance, my father yelled, screamed, cursed and beat me growing up. I came to believe that was normal and I let other people treat me like that. When I learned about boundaries I decided I didn't like being yelled at, hit or threatened. So, when someone raises their voice or yells at me - like my boss used to do. I express my boundaries.
I told my boss, "When you yell my name across the office I feel like you're screaming at me. I feel embarrassed. I'm happy to get up and come over to help, but I would like you to use the phone. I won't respond anymore when you yell." He gave me all these reasons about why he didn't want to, and I listened and smiled and said, "I understand it's inconvenient for you, and I won't respond to being yelled at anymore." He couldn't really say too much, Human Resources was not going to back him up for wanting to yell at me!! I didn't tell him NOT to yell at me, only that I would not respond to him if he did. I couldn't control HIS behavior, but I could control mine.
"Setting boundaries is not a more sophisticated way of manipulation - although some people will say they are setting boundaries, when in fact they are attempting to manipulate. The difference between setting a boundary in a healthy way and manipulating is: when we set a boundary we let go of the outcome."