DBT: Boundaries

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!


11 thoughts on “DBT: Boundaries

  1. It is so empowering when you get it down. And I am so glad you are doing this! I love telling people no without thinking a second about their feelings anymore. I used to think I needed to give excuses for saying “no”, but now I never do. Boundaries will give great confidence.
    I can’t wait to check out the book and hear more about it. I know just the person to give it to! 🙂
    hope this class helps you a bunch!

  2. There is another Boundaries book by author’s, Townsend and Cloud. Both look about the same, both Christian based too, if you are into that. I am not, but the books had good advice, i just skipped the religious stuff.

  3. Like you I am not toooo bad (liar, liar) with others boundaries, but useless with my own. My Psyc has been trying to get me to work on this for months by setting boundaries on what I am prepared to discuss and what is my private life…i fail more than I win, I just can’t handle the confrontation/hurt if I try to close down the discussion, I feel that it is part of my punishment….yeah this is a big one…all the best!

  4. Pingback: DBT: Boundaries Activity- Picture Your Boundary | Pride in Madness

  5. Pingback: DBT Skills: Onto the Next Module | Pride in Madness

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