Maybe you know someone who bought a popular book about boundaries, read a popular article on boundaries, and/or attended a boundaries lecture, seminar, or workshop. Maybe that person figured out a few generic personal boundaries and, like a soldier with his bullet proof vest ready for combat, closed that book or walked out of that workshop ready to go head to head with a problematic situation in her relationships. Once she stepped out on the battle field, the reality suddenly hit that she’s wearing a bullet proof vest… but is naked waist down.
Those books, articles, and workshops weren’t enough. Here’s why. They tell only a small part of the story, and it’s like taking half of the required dose of medicine. It won’t work. You’ll either never get well or you’ll temporarily feel better then quickly fall ill again.
Big Lie #1: Boundaries are about learning to say no.
The first thing that people typically think when they think of the topic of “boundaries” is learning how to say “no.” Likewise, some of the most popular books, workshops, and conferences on boundaries stick to that very basic assumption. And it’s partly true, just like all lies.
You need to learn how to say no, but just as important is learning how to say yes. A “yes” is a boundary. Yes boundaries ask, ‘Which people in my life am I saying yes to, and in what situations, and how often, and for how long, and in what contexts? What alternatives to ‘no’ can I give that person to make the relationship better? How can I preserve my sense of identity, freedoms, and personal motivation when establishing boundaries in this relationship? How do I know if the problem really has nothing to do with the other person but actually stems from my own lack of self-care?”
Saying no is an incomplete boundary, and It’s not enough without knowing what you say yes to. With The Five Boundaries Workshop™ I’ve developed an entire context to build around the what, when, where, why, how, and to whom to say yes or no. To have the confidence to say no will never be enough to create healthier happier relationships.
Big Lie #2: Emotions are boundaries.
If I could reach out my hand through the computer (or smart phone) screen to lightly tap yours while looking you deeply in the eyes, I would. And I would speak in a quiet voice so that you had to pay close attention. And then I’d say to you, “My friend, emotions are not your boundaries. Emotions are your indicators of how well your current boundaries are working.”
Let me put it another way. I see consistent negative emotions as the indicators of unhealthy boundaries. They signal that it’s time to make a boundaries-adjustment. Consistent positive emotions are the indicators that there are some healthy boundaries in place and they are being managed well. That’s the quick summary.
It was gravely disappointing to read one of Amazon.com’s top selling boundaries books explain how emotions are a boundary. It was as if I was back in the early 1900’s watching a failed attempt at the invention of the airplane, watching it take flight for a brief moment then glide and crash back into the ground. It took intelligence to get that thing off the ground, but the invention needed much more development. It needed better engineering. That’s what I’ve aimed to do with The Five Boundaries Workshop™ – get it off the ground and have relationships flying smoothly.
Thinking of emotions as boundaries will not get you off the ground of your relationship. Boundaries dictate emotions; they are not the emotions themselves buy generic nolvadex. Through years of my own investigation for my own emotional health, I’ve discovered that there are five adjustable boundaries in every relationship. It’s not as overwhelmingly complicated as best-selling boundaries books have made it to be. I take you through all of them in The Five Boundaries Workshop™.
Big Lie #3: Boundaries are for problematic relationships.
Has anyone ever said something like this to you? “She has crossed the line! Now I’m going to have to define some boundaries.” Did you notice the problem in logic with this extremely common way of thinking? 1) She crossed the line. 2) Now I’ll have to create boundaries.
Did you see it? Here it is: If a “line was crossed,” then there was a boundary line somewhere already! There were boundaries in the relationship all along, and one day one of them was crossed. So what the person in this example really means is this: “She crossed a boundary line that I actually never told her about but assumed she knew, and now I’m going to have to annoyingly tell her.”
We are trained to think that boundaries didn’t exist until a problem happened, when in reality, problems happen because boundaries already exist and haven’t been identified. The happiest of relationships have healthy boundaries. The problem is that we don’t care to identify and take a simple inventory of our boundaries until someone has crossed them. This is irresponsible relationship management that works for some people, but doesn’t work for most.
Imagine how different your relationships would be if you took inventory of your already-existing property lines BEFORE they are crossed. Imagine how this would further enhance your happier relationships and how it could prove to be a life-saving act for your problematic relationships.
Having a property line on your piece of land allows your neighbor to freely do what they wish without hurting you or your property. It allows you to feel free and happy to plant, mow, garden, play, and construct the land that you’ve clearly identified as yours. It gives each of you the freedom to do what you wish without impeding on the space of the other. When your responsibility is defined early on, it prevents much confusion and prevents many unnecessary disagreements.
So after all of this you may be wondering “Ok, so identifying my boundaries is probably my next step, but how do I do that?” It’s been a long project for me over the last four years to establish a way for everyone to identify their boundaries and make an actionable plan. This year in 2016 I finished it, and it’s been reviewed and endorsed by therapists, and it’s worked wonders for me. You can become conscious of the property lines of each of your relationships with The Five Boundaries Workshop™.
The Five Boundaries Workshop™ is different than all other boundaries books and workshops before it; here’s why:
- You will go above and beyond saying “no” and get to the motivation and heart of the same Five Boundaries™ that exist in every human relationship.
- You will see how each relationship in your life uses the Five Boundaries™ in a unique way. You will begin with identifying a particular person in your life with whom you have a personal relationship whether it’s family, professional, social, or other, and you will discover tools and a specific strategy for your life tailored to that person.
- The workshop I created will identify your property lines in your relationship with a specific person (you can even use the workshop to help your relationship with a group of people), and then you will make those lines clear simply by acting on them… before the problem happens.