This past Monday’s DBT class on boundaries was hard. I find these discussions even more difficult because (and I guess this is what I find most frustrating about interpersonal effectiveness) because in order for them to be effective I need the cooperation of the person I am interacting with or immense will power to stay on track if they do not cooperate with me.
The facilitators asked two questions and answering them made me feel better. I had never thought about my inability to set boundaries, I just knew I found it hard. These questions made me think, but it was easy to do.
How do you define boundaries?
- The do’s and don’ts within a relationship
- They represent your values
- You set boundaries out of respect for yourself and they are upheld out of respect for you
Do you feel you have an issue with boundaries? In what ways?
Yes, I do have an issue with boundaries.
- I find it difficult, if not impossible to respect the boundaries people set when we’re engaged in an argument (ie: they say, “Stop swearing at me or I won’t talk to you anymore.” I swear more.)
- It is difficult to say no in sexual situations for fear of hurting the other person’s feelings (this includes flirting).
- I struggle greatly with standing firm in the boundaries I set.
- I think that boundaries are not (they might hurt people’s feelings).
- I don’t understand that I’m allowed to and should have boundaries.
- If someone cannot respect my boundaries I should leave them but I find that hard.
I believe boundary setting is going to take more work. I can understand being assertive and using the skills around that, I know I can get to the point of respecting people’s boundaries (and for the most part I do, just not when I’m emotional) but staying firm when someone is disrespecting my boundaries, that is going to be hell. It is so strange how I am concerned about hurt other people when they are in the process of hurting me. I know I will get there, but it will take time.
I submitted my homework to present next Monday which includes two examples of when I set boundaries with two individuals. One was successfully received and the other was not. I am looking forward to hearing the feedback from the social work and what my classmates have to say.
I am waiting for a book about boundaries to arrive in the mail. It’s called, Boundaries Where You End And I Begin: How To Recognize And Set Healthy Boundaries by Anne Katherine. I will keep you all posted about it 🙂 From the quotes that were used in Monday’s class I think it is going to be a good read!